A brand-new event will make its debut at Arundel Castle on June 22 and 23 when Mustering for War will transport guests back to 1139 with falconry, battle demonstrations, have-a-go archery crafts and more.
Spokesman Harry Marchbank said: “In 1139, Empress Matilda brought her knights to Arundel Castle to prepare to pursue her claim to the throne. Her father, King Henry I of England, had made her his heir before he died in 1135. Unfortunately for this warrior queen, her wealthy and influential cousin, Stephen of Blois, had seized the crown for himself years before she arrived on England’s shores. Peace was not an option.
“Mustering for War will take visitors back to the beginning of a tense period in medieval history, a tumultuous civil war known as The Anarchy, when Matilda’s invading army readied itself to face Stephen’s forces in battle.
“Historically accurate weapons, armour, archery and combat demonstrations will reveal the intense training that Norman knights underwent and the many complex skills they were expected to excel at to be considered fit to fight.
“Falconry displays twice each day will amaze and educate visitors as trained birds of prey take majestic flight. A professional storyteller will also be in session twice daily, telling tales to capture young imaginations.
“Have-a-go archery (suitable for over-eights) will allow visitors to try their hand at one of the 12th century’s most important skills. A tented encampment will offer medieval crafts, the chance to try on armour typical of the era and even wield replica weaponry.”
Castle manager Stephen Manion said: “Arundel Castle played an important role in this medieval game of thrones; Empress Matilda brought her forces here nearly 900 years ago and she was even besieged here.
“We’re bringing the past alive with a great mix of activities and have taken the utmost care in historical accuracy.
“This will be a fun and immersive day out for people of all ages, and especially relevant for children studying history.”
Mustering for War will run from 10am-4.30pm on June 22 and 23. Vvisit www.arundelcastle.org.