The Age of Chivalry returns to Sulgrave Manor

On Sunday 11th June, in beautiful if somewhat windy weather, a Midsummer Tudor Fair took place in the appropriately historic setting of Sulgrave Manor. The many spectators and especially the children of all ages, enjoyed a feast of entertainments, notably knights jousting for the hand of a beautiful maiden but also Maypole dancing, archery, close contact with birds of prey, Manor tours showing preparations for a Tudor wedding, traditional music, children’s games, with refreshments ancient and modern.

More pictures on the next page.


Visitors are welcomed by Tudor music played on traditional instruments.

Dancing around the Maypole on the Manor lawn.

The “Washington Children”.

The bride-to-be with her entourage awaits the arrival of the rival knights……

….while her musicians play on.

Sir William arrives……

….and is presented to the spectators.

His rival enters the lists.

Sir William practices with his lance.

The jousting begins.

Hits are scored……

….and Sir William is unhorsed but immediately challenges his rival to foot combat.

Sir William is victorious….

….and his rival pilloried…..

…to the delight of the spectators!

Elsewhere, visiting children try their skills at archery.

…..under watchful eyes.

Close encounters with wonderful wild birds.

Even a dragon appreciates a snack!

The stage is set for an amateur performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

The first volunteer is soon on stage…..

……..followed by others who quickly learn their parts, enter into the spirit of the play……

…..and really enjoy taking part.

As Shakespeare intended, the play ends with the right boys marrying the right girls!

The Lady of the Manor on her way to superintend wedding preparations….

…..explaining Tudor customs….

….and cookery decorations…..

….to appreciative visitors.

Meanwhile, back in the jousting field there is an unexpected challenger for the maiden’s hand.

The Black Knight (Lord Pendragon).

He is roundly booed by the spectators…

…but the maiden herself does not seem unduly concerned by this turn of events!

Sir William is once more forced to fight for his lady love, in the saddle……

….and then on foot.

A mighty blow strikes the sword from the Black Knight’s hands….

….his final unfair thrust is parried and Sir William is once more victorious….

….to the evident delight of the spectators.


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