Bank Holiday weekend to mark Siege of Kenilworth

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A whole weekend of events in Kenilworth to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Siege of Kenilworth is getting ever closer.

The August Bank Holiday weekend will see three days of siege related activities, culminating with a full reenactment of the siege at Kenilworth Castle.

On Saturday August 27, Abbey Fields will host a free day of mediaeval-themed entertainment from 10.30am to 5pm.

Visitors will be able to try their hands at house-building, gargoyle making, leatherwork and tile making.

Additionally, there will be several different demonstrations of mediaeval activities including a fletcher making arrows, furniture makers using an old pole lathe and barber surgeon who will show off the traditional medical practices of the time.

King Henry III will also be making an appearance, and visitors will get the opportunity to experience what the King’s living quarters were like during the siege.

There will be free parking in Kenilworth’s car parks on the day to encourage people to attend.

Following the Abbey Fields event, Kenilworth Castle will host two reenactments of the siege on Sunday August 28 and Monday August 29, complete with flaming trebuchets and several reenactment groups from across the country.

Both reenactments start at 11am and end at 5pm.

Events officer at Warwick District Council Paul Garrison said: “Preparations are going really well. I think everyone’s really looking forward to the bank holiday weekend now.

“We can’t promise a sunny Bank Holiday but whatever the weather, the weekend promises to be to full of fun and entertainment for people to enjoy.

“We’re encouraging people to come along to the free event at Abbey Fields and then take themselves to the castle on either Sunday or Monday - hopefully the two events will complement each other and won’t be separate.”

The Siege of Kenilworth is widely considered to be one of the longest sieges in British history.

It was fought between forces loyal to the ruler at the time, King Henry III, and a group of rebels who sided with the Barons after their reforms aiming to limit the King’s power were ignored by Henry.

After the rebels’ leader, Simon de Montfort, was killed at the Battle of Evesham, the remaining rebels retreated to Kenilworth Castle.

Henry’s forces marched on the castle in June 1266, marking the start of the siege.

It finally ended in December 1266, when disease and starvation began to cripple the rebels inside the castle. The rebels decided to surrender and the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth were accepted.

Anyone wishing to attend the castle’s reenactment of the siege can buy tickets here.