Arundel Castle to close open season with Norman Knights in the Keep

Norman reenactors in the keep of Arundel Castle. Picture: Victoria Dawe
Norman reenactors in the keep of Arundel Castle. Picture: Victoria Dawe

Arundel Castle is set to close its 2018 open season with a step back to the time of the Norman knights.

On October 24 and 25, Norman Knights in the Keep will transport visitors back to the Cousins’ War with 12th century combat, replica weapons, costumes and craft displays.

An early encounter in the war saw King Stephen surround the stronghold and force Empress Matilda, his first cousin and a competing claimant to the throne, to surrender.

Visitors will see knights preparing the keep’s defences for attack and engaging in combat.

Atop the oldest part of the castle, guests will see how the stronghold was strategically positioned between the River Arun, the sea and the South Downs.

Demonstrations of the combat training of Norman soldiers will combine with the opportunity to wield replica 12th-century weapons and try on medieval garments.

Alongside combat demonstrations will be a display of Middle Ages crafts, including leatherwork and naal binding (an early form of knitting).

This event complements key stages one, two, and three and will teach schoolchildren about life in a 12th century castle, its strategic importance and the European influence England was experiencing at this time.

The half-term is also the last chance to see the beautiful castle gardens before they close for winter.

Castle manager Stephen Manion said: “Norman Knights in the Keep is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about the early history of Arundel Castle and the region. We’re thrilled to welcome visitors to experience the authentic sights and sounds of 12th century life. Autumn is an especially beautiful time at the castle – you won’t want to miss out.”