Back in time at Pensthorpe

Minstrels, the making of knights and a military show will be just some of the sights, sounds and smells on offer at a medieval spectacular this bank holiday weekend.

Minstrels, the making of knights and a military show will be just some of the sights, sounds and smells on offer at a medieval spectacular this bank holiday weekend.

The glamour and grime of mediaeval life will be revealed at Norfolk's largest historical re-enactment event, where a whole host of colourful displays and activities will be on offer.

More than 150 performers from around the world will be travelling to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, near Fakenham, to provide a magical journey through the Middle Ages.

There will be four distinct time zones set up - around 1066 at the time of the Norman Conquest; 1193, the third crusade; 1346, Hundred Years War and 1471, the Wars of the Roses.


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Guests will have the chance to explore medieval village life, including rope-making, wood-carving, pottery, silk-weaving, baking, ale-brewing and stone-carving.

And the bold and brave will have the opportunity to visit the barber-surgeon, who will be pulling teeth, shaving and dispensing ghastly remedies, while an apothecary, blacksmith and coracle maker will also be at work testing their products.

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The programme of events includes a military show with mock combat demonstrating the arms and armour used by knights of the time, the ritual surrounding knighthood, a medieval fashion show with presentations on food and table manners, minstrels, dancing, falconry and archery tournaments.

Ian Pycroft, from organisers Black Knight Historical, said: “Visitors will get a top-quality medieval experience in beautiful Norfolk countryside.

“The performers really enjoy their weekend at Pensthorpe and I am sure our guests from Europe will be bowled over by the setting.”

Local charity The Mediaeval Trust will also be there as they carry on their mission to build authentic medieval houses, using only the tools and traditions of the era, ready for Norfolk's first-ever fully working medieval village, hopefully to be completed next year.

Deb Jordan, of Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, said: “We are really looking forward to being transported back to the Middle Ages.

“There's a very imaginative and exciting programme, which is great fun for all ages.”

The event will take place this Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, on the A1067, one mile from Fakenham, from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are £7 for adults, £3.50 for children (between four to 15), £5.50 for senior citizens and £17.50 for a family ticket, which includes two adults and two children.

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