Knights to do battle as Joust of the North returns to Alnwick Castle

Sir Andrew McKinnon.Sir Andrew McKinnon.
Sir Andrew McKinnon.
This weekend at Alnwick Castle sees the return of the spectacular Joust of the North.

The international event involves talented performers and horsemen riding in from all over the world.

Witness at first hand the drama, noise, fear, pageantry and passion as these, highly skilled, brave knights and their mighty horses – in authentic medieval armour and flamboyant, colourful regalia, engage in full combat in this gripping – and at times terrifying – 15th century tournament.

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To make the experience even more nerve-wracking for everyone, the skilled contestants will be using real, solid lances, rather than lighter replicas. So, the riders will have to be immensely accomplished to avoid getting hurt.

Sir Dominic Sewell.Sir Dominic Sewell.
Sir Dominic Sewell.

This Joust of the North is the only event like this in mainland Britain where solid lances are used.

Held in a purpose-built ‘arena’ in the castle grounds, it promises to be one of the region’s most thrilling and colourful spectacles this year.

There will be six knights in total. Prepare to choose your champion!

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*Sir Dominic Sewell, who has been jousting since 2000, is considered to be one of the top international exponents of the sport.

Sir Mike Canfor.Sir Mike Canfor.
Sir Mike Canfor.

*Sir Andrew McKinnon has travelled all the way from Australia to joust at Alnwick Castle and is the event producer of the World Jousting Tournament 2019, held in Victoria, Australia.

*Sir Bertus Brokamp has participated in more than 600 tournaments and mounted performances all over the world including England, Germany, California, Russia and Australia.

*Sir Mike Canfor is a more recent convert to jousting but is a life-long horseman with a particular interest in Iberian horses and classical breeds He teaches fencing techniques to equestrians.

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*Sir Michael Sadde served in the French Army then joined the French military horse riding academy in Paris. In 2013 he opened a Jousting Academy and now dedicates his life to the promotion of historical re-enactment. He is writing a thesis on historical riding in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Sir Arne Koets.Sir Arne Koets.
Sir Arne Koets.

*Sir Arne Koets from Germany has been jousting since 2002. He has run more historical solid lances than many of the famous jousters of the period. He is a highly prized dressage instructor and also one of the world's leading proponents of mounted martial arts.

Before and after the jousting performances, which take place at approximately 3pm each day, you can enjoy other aspects of life in medieval England.

And also, every day, as ever, young and old Harry Potter fans can try Alnwick Castle’s famous Broomstick Training in the exact same spot where the young wizard was taught in the film.

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Film Location Tours will take place at regular times throughout the day and visitors can discover behind-the-scenes secrets of the films and TV series that have been located here including Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Transformers and more.

A Knight’s Melee will take place around 12.30pm each day when armoured horsemen perform a series of different sporting competitions.

Prepare to be entertained by the zany antics of the Alnwick Castle jesters, and laugh at their amazing circus tricks and medieval mischief. Otherwise it will be ‘off with your heads’.

The art of falconry was widespread during 15th century England and you can watch exceptional displays by Raphael Falconry, combined with enchanting story telling.This week, as well as every week throughout the summer, visitors can make medieval crafts to take home in Artisans Courtyard, play traditional games in the square, choose from kings and queen costumes to wear during the day here, and take a place on the throne of Hotspur Hall!