MEDIEVAL knights will be battling in the shadow of Whitby Abbey’s ruins at a special event next week. The Abbey have seen a number of significant battles fought within its precincts – from the destruction of the original wooden abbey by Vikings in 867, to the arrival of Henry VIII’s men in 1538 following its dissolution.
From Saturday 28 May to Bank Holiday Monday 30 May, historical re-enactment group The Plantagenets will fill the site with the sound of arrows hitting targets, steel on steel and music that will get your feet tapping in three days of celebration of medieval England.
Throughout the weekend, visitors can meet the knights and their ladies as they prepare for battle in the ultimate Tournament of Foote, which will see their skills challenged with bow, sword and mace to find the ultimate champion knight.
The main combat display takes place at 3.00pm each day, although there will be smaller skirmishes throughout the day.
Anyone inspired by the professional displays of archery will be able to have-a-go themselves with a traditional longbow (a small charge applies) to see if they can strike gold – something that every man in the kingdom would have been required to practise each weekend to play their role in the defence of the realm.
Also entertaining visitors throughout the weekend will be the Time Travellers, alias Don and Katheryn Holton of Heuristics.
Demonstrating medieval games and pastimes, and encouraging children to knock down the walls of a model castle using miniature siege weapons, the Time Travellers will be continuing the medieval mayhem throughout half term until Sunday 5 June.
Regular presentations by the Heuristics duo will include medieval medicine, featuring such quackery as blowing dried dog poo into the eye to cure infections – not very effective, but a great way for dubious doctors to charge for a follow-up appointment.
Medieval Courtly Combat runs on Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Bank Holiday Monday 30 May from 11am to 5pm.
Time Travellers Go… Medieval runs from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June, also from 11am to 5pm.
Admission to the events is £6 for adults, £5.40 for concessions and £3.60 for children, or £15.60 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). English Heritage members get in free.
An additional £1.00 will be charged to member and non-member children for the Time Traveller activity.
For more information, please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/whitby or call (01947) 603568.