On our recent visit to Hever Castle, we really enjoyed the beautiful gardens and exploring the building itself. The highlight though was the jousting.
Whilst going around the castle, we heard an announcement to return to the front of the castle at 2pm for the tournament procession. We had lunch and prayed and then went back to the front of the castle. There we were met with actors dressed as King Henry the Eighth and Jane Seymour, whose childhood home the castle was. The procession was led by Knights dressed in red and blue. As the boys were wearing red and blue tops, this decided for them which teams they would support.
The jousting itself was preceded by a long and silly speech by the king and lots of messing around by people dressed as pages and knights. Pretend fights, people falling over and knights racing around the track posturing at the opposing team.
It was great fun. The jousting was quite realistic and the sword fighting was good fun too. The whole performance lasted over an hour (it was still going when it started raining and we headed for the car). It included a stunt scene where a girl playing a page was put in a sack and dragged by a horse, which was quite realistic and thrilling.
I found a couple of video's of the jousting on Youtube, below is an example of one of the better ones.
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