I have known of the yearly jousting event at Linlithgow Palace ever since we moved to the area, however due to other events we have never managed to actually attend. This year I had the day on the calendar since January and we were so glad that we eventually managed to attend.
We arrived in the crowds at 12:30pm when the event was due to start and we were amazed to see just how big the turnout was, the slopes of the mound below the palace were crowded with people, all watching the foot arena in anticipation.
A short display of battle formations ended with all the kids being called up (well, all the ones that wanted to!) to form battle foot soldiers. The kids taking part clearly enjoyed this, although our two were not interested in this part as we were too far away and they had a hill to roll down!
Knowing that the main event, the jousting, would be starting soon after the foot tournament, we went round to the jousting arena and found a good space that we could get a clear view of the tournament. The boys wanted to go off and look at some other things, but I’m so glad we decided to sit down a bit earlier instead, it was definitely worth it!
Flags with the different knights colours were distributed to all the children. Mr O had the blue and gold diamonds for Sir Antoine Le Grand and Mr A had the black and white squares for the ‘mean’ knight Sir Checkmate Fitzpercy.
The knights were all introduced, 4 in total, including Sir Checkmate who appeared to hate everyone and spent much of his time knocking squires off their stilts and shouting at the audience and the other knights. We found this hilarious, but some children behind us did seem a little confused, thinking that it was all real and wondering why he was shouting at them when they were cheering for him!!
There were foot battles between the knights and then shows of their jousting abilities with wooden apparatus. But it was the actual jousting most people were looking forward to, and we weren’t disappointed. We know it was all set up, but it was still great to see them hit each others shields and knights falling from horses.
After the jousting was finished we had a look around the tents nearby and had a go at the spinning tops and looked at the hunting dogs, weavers and Mr A even took himself off to sit in the stocks.
Mr A’s favourite tent was the musicians and he happily stood in front listening to them play and dancing a little.
We went back to the arena in time for the second jousting tournament, which was similar to the first, but with the overall winner being Mr O’s knight.
By the time we left it was almost dinner time and the boys spent the rest of the evening playing as knights and pretending to fall off their horses. So I think it’s clear to say that they enjoyed themselves!
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Have you ever been to a medieval event?