Every summer events season at English Heritage is bigger than the last, and this year is no exception.
It’s a mammoth undertaking, with events from all eras of history, ranging from the Roman era to the Second World War, featuring medieval jousts, sieges and plenty of explosive displays, at events all over the country, with knights, horses, historic costumes and even a replica First World War biplane all on display.
Here are some fun facts about our 2015 Summer Events:
- 15,000 swords will be carried
- 10,000 arrows will be loosed
- 5 miles of bunting will be hung
- 8,000 loads of medieval laundry will be scrubbed
- 3,400 knights will call our castles home (including one 15ft knight!)
- 1,120 horse shoes will be used
- 240 Roman soldiers will return to Hadrian’s Wall
- 37,000 flags will be waved
- 450lbs of explosives will be set off
- 107 tons of firewood will be burnt for camp fires
To prepare for Europe’s biggest living history events, the team starts work in the winter, planning out the six week calendar for the summer.
‘We try to keep a balance, mixing spectacles like jousts and arena shows with hands on activities such as our knight schools or Victorian games. It can be a hard mix to get right, especially as you have to be careful to not lean too heavily on one particular era of history. Knowing how to get the balance right helps us to create the most interactive, fun, and unique events possible’
(Emily Sewell, Head of Events English Heritage)
Once the events have been finalised, focus turns to working out the logistics. We need to make sure there are enough explosives for Dover Castle’s Festival of Firepower, the horses are hired for Kenilworth Castle’s jousts, and the re-enactment groups are booked to attend all of the events across the country.
Many of the props and costumes that are used throughout the summer programme are housed at our events warehouse in Northamptonshire. With thousands of props, from Bi-Planes to 15ft knights, the warehouse can be very crowded. As the summer approaches the warehouse is a hive of activity, as props are packed up, and start to be transported to properties around the country.
Look out for medieval spectaculars across the country this summer including English Heritage’s Grand Medieval Jousts, taking place at Pendennis Castle in Cornwall and Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight (plus other sites too!), and the dramatic Clash of Knights, where dramatic combat takes place amid an atmospheric setting. Plus there are loads of hands on activities for all ages, from learning what life was like as a Roman to Edwardian fun and games.
Find out more here