History Comes to Life at English Heritage Properties this May Half Term

kenilworthknight99History will come to life across the country this summer, as English Heritage launches a season of spectacular events that tell the story of England, from Roman times to the Twentieth Century.

Over the late May bank holiday weekend and the half term week, visitors are invited to step into history and witness dramatic displays and re-enactments, meet historic characters, get hands-on with activities from times gone by, and enjoy a great family day out!

In this centenary year of the First World War, visitors can discover what places were like in this time of conflict, as English Heritage recreates events that happened on the home front 100 years ago. Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire will host a Wartime Wedding – reliving a real life event from the time – while Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire will host Boots, Bayonets and Brasso, bringing the castle to life with a look back at soldiers representing the British Army through both World Wars.

Wrest Park in Bedfordshire will relive its wartime role in both major conflicts in Wrest at War, including the chance to find out more about its role as a First World War convalescent hospital. Dover Castle in Kent will commemorate later conflict with the family favourite WWII Weekend, a dramatic and explosive event including reconstructions, military encampments, displays and live music.

Further back in time, the Romans will return to Wroxeter Roman City, Shropshire, with displays from the world-famous Ermine Street Guard and their siege machines, while the popular Hadrian’s Wall Festival returns with a week of Roman themed events. Highlights include Roman food and cooking at Birdoswald Roman Fort, the return of Roman cavalry to Chesters Roman Fort, and a Roman Soldier School for kids at Housesteads Roman Fort.

For those in search of medieval knights, there is plenty of chivalry on display to reflect this colourful era. The thrilling Clash of Knights returns at Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire, as teams of knights battle it out in the ultimate contest of skill and strength, while the Knights’ Tournament will visit Old Sarum in Wiltshire, as participants compete for individual glory. Visitors to Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, will find a weekend of mischief, merriment and family activities, as it hosts, Medieval Mayhem!

There’s plenty more to take you through to the modern day too, with the chance to meet historic figures and get hands-on with history across the country. Queen Victoria herself will welcome visitors to Osborne, Isle of Wight, for a celebratory fete complete with sideshow stalls and games, Victorian music and entertainers. At Audley End House and Gardens in Essex, Sonnets and Swords will celebrate the royal visit of Queen Elizabeth I, with merry-making including minstrels, music and military displays.
If you’re stuck for how to entertain the kids over the half term week, there’s plenty going on for families too. Children are invited to attend Soldiers’ School at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, meet Charles Darwin and explore evolution at Down House, Kent, and discover the gruesome side of history at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. And of course, there are always the simple pleasures of climbing up castle walls, exploring hidden corners and imagining yourself as part of history!

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Full event details can be found below; to find out more please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/events, or call English Heritage customer services on 0870 333 1181.

English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.
www.english-heritage.org.uk

Event listings

Prices as follows:

Members: Adult / Concession / Child / Family
Non-Members: Adult / Concession / Child / Family

WWII Weekend
Dover Castle
Sat 24 – Mon 26 May 2014
10am-5pm
Dover Castle’s popular WWII Weekend is back with a bang! Witness an explosive battle and soak up the atmosphere as the castle returns to the 1940s. Walk through military encampments and get up close to a full size replica Spitfire.
Step inside Mr Smith’s bombed out shop and discover the austerity of the war years from the Ministry of Food. Experience the German field hospital, get tips on the latest period fashion, and witness the firepower display. With live music from the 40’s and plenty of hands-on activities for children, it’ll be a day to remember for all ages. M: £1 / £0.90 / £0.60 / £2.60
NM: £18.50 / £16.70 / £11.10 / £48.10
Booking required: Recommended
Price notes: Some additional charges may apply for activities

Wrest at War
Wrest Park
Sun 25 May – Mon 26 May 2014
10am-6pm
Get ready to take cover as this explosive action-packed weekend propels you into wartime Britain. From the Tommy in the trenches of WWI to the Trooper of the WWII D-Day landings, prepare yourself as you’re drawn into the theatre of war from all quarters at Wrest Park.
Fall into step at soldiers school, scramble into a replica biplane and relive Baron Lucas’ life as a fighter pilot in WWI, and be blown away at the spectacle of the explosive arena show. From the sadness and injury of the battlefield to the make-do-and-mend lifestyle of the homefront, we’ll tell the stories behind the battles that shaped the world as we know it.
M: Free
NM: £10 / £9 / £6 / £26
Booking required: Not Necessary

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Victoria’s Fabulous Fete
Osborne
Sat 24 – Mon 26 May 2014
10am-5pm
Come and celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday with a fabulous fete at her favourite home by the sea. Join the party with traditional Victorian music, entertainers and sideshow games, take a stroll on the private beach, laugh out loud at Punch and Judy and ride the seaside swingboats. Enjoy the spectacle of the soldier’s parade and marvel at exhibits of the Victorian inventor. Kids can make and fly a colourful kite, then play princes and princesses down at Swiss Cottage. Get your portrait taken at the Victorian Photobooth for a souvenir of a fabulous family day you’ll never forget.
M: £1 / £1 / £0.70 / £2.70
NM: £14.90 / £13.50 / £9 / £38.80
Booking required: Recommended
Price notes: Additional charges apply for some activities.

Brodsworth at War – Wartime Wedding
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Sat 24 – Mon 26 May 2014
11am-5pm
Charles and Constance Thellusson cordially invite you to attend the wedding of their chauffeur, George, and their cook, Martha, at Brodsworth Hall.
Witness the story of the happy couple, from George’s proposal, to Martha’s preparations while the country is at war. Meet the happy pair, and discover the impact of war and the kindness of the Master and Mistress of the Hall. Don your best hat and raise a glass to the newlyweds. Cheers!
M: Free
NM: £11 / £10 / £7 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Medieval Mayhem!
Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
Sat 24 – Mon 26 May
11am-5pm
Polish your armour and dust off your tiara – it’s time to become the hero of your own medieval adventure. Mischief and merriment rule the day as you play the king, knight, princess or fool of the castle. Well, if the crown fits…
M: £2.10 / £1.90 / £1.30 / £5.50
NM: £11.40 / £10.30 / £6.50 / £29.70
Booking required: Not Necessary

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Knights Tournament
Old Sarum
Sun 25 & Mon 26 May
11am-5pm
Marvel at our noble knights as they take on the ultimate medieval tournament. Swords will be wielded, archery skills tested and helmets battered. Soak up the sights and sounds of medieval encampments and laugh out loud at our silly jester.
M: £1.50 / £1.40 / £0.90 /
NM: £5.50 / £4.50 / £3.30 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Romans Invade!
Wroxeter Roman City
Sun 25 & Mon 26 May
11am-5pm
Witness the might of the Roman Army as it invades Wroxeter Roman City! Tremble in the face of the formidable Ermine Street Guard and their fearsome siege machines. Budding young centurions can hone their skills in a series of drills and games.
M: £1.50 / £1.40 / £0.90 / £3.90
NM: £6.90 / £6.30 / £4.10 / £17.90
Booking required: Not Necessary

Clash of Knights
Scarborough Castle
Sat 24 – Mon 26 May 2014
11am-5pm
Chain-mailed and adrenalin-fuelled, massed ranks of knights meet head-on. Feel the heat of the battle as they fight with shield and club in this genuine contest of skill and strength. Medieval combat just got personal.
M: Free
NM: £6 / £5.50 / £3.50 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

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Sonnets & Swords: Elizabeth at Audley
Audley End House and Gardens
Sun 25 May – Mon 26 May 2014
10am-6pm
Prepare your bow and perfect your curtsey as you meet Queen Elizabeth I on her royal progress to Audley End. Join in the merry making with minstrels, music and military displays.
M: £1.60 / £1.40 / £1.20 / £4.40
NM: £17 / £15.30 / £10.20 / £44.20
Booking required: Not Necessary

Boots, Bayonets and Brasso
Richmond Castle
Sun 25 & Mon 26 May 2014
11am-5pm
Set in the centre of Richmond town, surrounded by breathtaking views, is a castle with a fascinating war story. For one weekend only, soldiers representing soldiers of the British Army through both World Wars will bring to life the history of the castle.
M: Free
NM: £6 / £5.50 / £3.50 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Warriors at Beeston
Beeston Castle and Woodland Park
Sun 25 & Mon 26 May
11am-5pm
Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life as a 13th Century warrior as the Garrison set up camp at Beeston. Meet the mighty armoured soldiers as they train for war with spear, shield and bow!
M: Free
NM: £6.60 / £6 / £4 / £17.50
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: Car parking charges apply

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Pirates Invade!
Dartmouth Castle
Sun 25 & Mon 26 May
11am-5pm
Arr me hearties! The castle is under attack from a fearsome bunch of pirates from the famous ship La Grand Derriere. Hear the bang of muskets and see history brought to life as the pirates show off their weapons and weave fantastical tales of shameless skulduggery.
M: Free
NM: £5.50 / £5 / £3.30 / £14.30
Booking required: Not Necessary

Medieval Fighting Knights
Ashby De La Zouch Castle
Sun 25 May – Mon 26 May 2014
10am-5pm
Marvel at our noble knights as they take on the ultimate medieval tournament. Swords will be wielded and helmets battered – who will reign supreme and become champion?
M: Free
NM: £4.70 / £4.20 / £2.80 / £12.20
Booking required: Not Necessary

Hadrian’s Wall Festival: Roman Food & Cooking
Birdoswald Roman Fort – Hadrian’s Wall
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
11am-5pm
Birdoswald Roman Fort will become a centre of Roman food and cooking. Enjoy samples of food you never knew existed and be surprised by traditions that stem from our Roman ancestors. Tantalize your taste buds and pick up tips and traditions in this one-off surprising event. Check out the events at Chesters & Housesteads Roman Fort too.
M: Free
NM: £5.60 / £5 / £3.40 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Hadrian’s Wall Festival: Here comes the Cavalry!
Chesters Roman Fort and Museum – Hadrian’s Wall
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
11am-5pm
Join us as we celebrate Roman traditions during a week of ancient festivities. Charming Chesters, once home to many horses and riders, welcomes the return of the Roman Cavalry.
M: Free
NM: £5.60 / £5 / £3.40 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Hadrian’s Wall Festival: Roman Soldier School
Housesteads Roman Fort – Hadrian’s Wall
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
11.30am-4.30pm
Join us as we celebrate Roman traditions during a week of ancient festivities. At Housesteads, little soldiers will become a part of the Roman military!
M: Free
NM: £6.40 / £5.80 / £3.80 /
Booking required: Not Necessary

Squire School
1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
10am-5pm
Put your skills with sword and shield to the test in this fun challenge for kids. A knighthood awaits the brave and noble who complete a series of tasks set by the King. Have you got what it takes to make it through Squire School?
M: Free
NM: £8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80
Booking required: Not Necessary

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Wild Week at Belsay
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
11am-5pm
The Wildman character was of great importance to the Middleton family, so we’re inviting adventurous families to imagine what Wild Belsay was really like. Join artist den-builder, Chris Harman and build your own den.
M: Free
NM: £8 / £7.20 / £4.80 / £20.80
Booking required: Not Necessary

A Monk’s Life
Whitby Abbey
Sat 24 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
Performances at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm
For the school half term we return Whitby Abbey to its medieval origin. Children can dress in monk’s and nun’s robes and, under the instruction of Brother John, can discover the lives of novices, monks, lay brothers and nuns.
M: Free
NM: £6.60 / £5.90 / £4 / £17.20
Booking required: Not Necessary

Brodsworth at War – Skittles, Hoops and Whistles – Edwardian Children’s Games
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Tue 27 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
11am-5pm
Tell the kids to leave their computer games and mobile phones at home, and let them get their hands on some traditional Edwardian games.
M: Free
NM: £9.70 / £8.70 / £5.80 /
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to take part in this event. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every non member child to help us fund this entertainment activity.

Cavaliers and Roundheads
Carisbrooke Castle
Tue 27 May – Sun 1 Jun 2014
10am-5pm
The country is divided, brother against brother. Discover what it took to be a soldier of the English Civil War. Test your agility in the kids’ battle and learn to master your weapon in our soldiers drill. Pikes at the ready!
M: £0 / £0 / £1 / £0
NM: £8 / £7.20 / £5.80 / £0
Booking required: Not Necessary

Kings & Queens Academy
Audley End House and Gardens
Tue 27 May – Fri 30 May 2014
10am-6pm
Put on a right royal welcome at Audley End as we teach you to avoid the pitfalls of palace life and impress your regal rulers.
M: Free
NM: £15.40 / £13.90 / £9.20 / £40
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to join in these events. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every child, member and non member, to help us fund this entertainment activity.

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The King Recruits
Bolsover Castle
Tue 27 May – Fri 30 May 2014
10am-6pm
Pikes at the ready! Aim your muskets! Be put through your paces as you fall into step and defend Bolsover Castle against Cromwell’s cronies.
M: Free
NM: £9.50 / £8.60 / £5.70 / £24.70
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to join in these events. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every child, member and non member, to help us fund this entertainment activity.

Gruesome Goings On
Framlingham Castle
Tue 27 May – Fri 30 May 2014
10am-5pm
Ghastly gallows, horrific hangmen and terrifying torture – travel back in time and discover the painful punishments your history teachers were too timid to tell you!
M: Free
NM: £7.70 / £6.90 / £4.60 / £20
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to join in these events. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every child, member and non member, to help us fund this entertainment activity.

Discover with Darwin
Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)
Tue 27 May – Fri 30 May 2014
10am-5pm
Join the man himself – Charles Darwin – and explore evolution at its birthplace as you delve daringly into the mysteries of science.
M: Free
NM: £10.30 / £9.30 / £6.20 / £26.80
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to join in these events. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every child, member and non member, to help us fund this entertainment activity.

Soldiers’ School
Wrest Park
Tue 27 May – Fri 30 May 2014
10am-6pm
Attention! Right you ‘orrible lot, it’s training time. Become a Home Front hero and be put through your paces at Wrest Park.
M: Free
NM: £9 / £8.10 / £5.40 / £23.40
Booking required: Not Necessary
Price notes: All children are welcome to join in these events. An additional £1 will be charged on standard admission for every child, member and non member, to help us fund this entertainment activity.

Framlingham Castle. Photo by Richard Marsham for English Heritage

Framlingham Castle. Photo by Richard Marsham for English Heritage

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One thought on “History Comes to Life at English Heritage Properties this May Half Term

  1. Medieval swords and armor has always been a friend of soldiers and knights which they used for their survival. This iron hard covering is used to protect an individual from any dangerous environment.Full plate armors were originally developed during Late Middle Ages but gradually started declining in the 17th century. As a result of modification, full suit of armor were introduced at the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

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