Thing of the week: Joust!

This week we went to see the Battle of Bosworth commemorative event, on Bosworth Battlefield in Leicester. This entailed lots of battle re-enactments, falconry demonstrations, a huge medieval market, a beer tent selling the (excellent) wares of the Williams Bros Brewing Co… and more living history demonstrations than you could shake a pointy stick at.

One of the more interesting bits was the Jousting tournament. I’ve seen various things in the past that claimed to be jousting events… but they usually end up being some kind of static-target-hitting contest, or choreographed stunt show with people falling off horses. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever seen jousting done ‘properly’ … i.e. a contest in which the objective is to try to break your lance tip while striking your opponent on various point-scoring parts of the body. Interesting to watch and — I would assume — a very difficult / dangerous thing to do.

The battlefield heritage centre has changed quite a bit since we were last there… the changes triggered in no small part — I guess — by the fact that historians have now decided that everything happened in an entirely different place, and that the actual battlefield is a couple of miles off to the south west. All the big banners (and I assume the connected “what happened here” boards — though we didn’t go and check) are gone… and the old “near this spot died King Richard III” stone has been relocated to the visitor centre courtyard, since nobody really seems to know where it should live now, and the farmer wanted his field back. It’s a bit sad, really.

When the staff attempted to panhandle us for a copy of the (new, improved) battlefield guidebook, I was sorely tempted to point out that the one they sold us a few years ago turned out to be entirely inaccurate / largely made up, and suggest we should be given the v2.0 release for free. Though, of course, I didn’t. Because I’m far too nice 🙂

Good day out though. (Albeit helped by the surfeit of hot weather, “Seven Giraffes” Cask IPA, and ice-cream). I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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