CARNIVAL OF HISTORY
27th & 28th July 2019
Join us for the incredible 'Carnival of History' in partnership with the Arts Council, to celebrate Leeds Castle’s 900th anniversary!
Travel through nine centuries of the Castle’s history across two days, culminating in spectacular carnival processions through the grounds. Witness large-scale carnival costumes, historic re-enactors, music, dancers amid a dazzling riot of colour and celebration.
This event is included with your admission ticket.
WHAT TO EXPECT
In the arena
Witness extraordinary shows which will reimagine medieval crusades, Henry VIII on his way to the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520, the Battle of Maidstone in 1648 and other historic events around the Castle's fascinating history, up to the present day.
Representing all the nine centuries of Leeds Castle will start from 3pm on each day with a drum roll and a fanfare as colourful groups with banners, flags, carnival characters, music, dancers and horses wind their way around the castle grounds to the main arena.
Around the estate
Encounter pop-up musical performers, huge carnival costumes and roaming entertainers throughout the day.
On the Cedar Lawn
Find encampments from different centuries pitched around the outside of the arena, with hands on historical activities to conjure the authentic sights and sounds of vanished ages.
Food and Drink
Food and drink aplenty will be offered from stands surrounding the arena, as well as from the main Castle View Restaurant, Maze Café and other outlets.
Timetable – Arena Events
11am - Crusaders Battle - Knights on horseback charge, bows are shot and swords clash. The Soldiers of the 4th Crusade take on their colourful Byzantine opponents.
11am - Musicians busking and carnival performers roaming until procession gathers mid-afternoon.
12pm - Henry VIII inspects his Troops before departing for the Field of Cloth of Gold. His flamboyant landschneckt soldiers parade and display their weaponry as the gunners test their cannons!
1pm - A Tournament for Henry V - Knights in Armour compete for honour and glory as they fight with swords and axes in a competition - cheer on the Knight of your choice!
2pm - Civil War – Roundheads and Cavaliers meet in a skirmish in the 17th Century. The dashing mounted Cavaliers of doomed King Charles take on the might of General Fairfax's New Model Army.
3pm (Saturday) - Historical Parade with re-enactors, carnival performers, dancers, horses and musicians
3pm (Sunday) – Grand Finale Procession with up to 1,000 community volunteers dressed in carnival splendour, re-enactors, performers, dancers, horses and musicians.
900 YEARS OF HISTORY
Explore 900 years of history at Leeds Castle, visit the links below to find out further information.
ACTS & ARTISTS
Find out more about the professional artists and volunteers taking part in the Carnival of History.
Rosa Productions is an arts and festival production company working around the UK on unique festivals, outdoor events with large scale community participation. The company also produces broadcast media and site-specific theatre productions. Rosa Productions has produced the Carnival of History in partnership with Leeds Castle.
Shademakers UK specialises in design, large scale installations and moving objects, and carnival art. The company is at the forefront of contemporary carnival design. They are the lead creative group for this event providing large carnival makes and costumes for the community participants as well mentoring local artists and providing the designs and materials for the community makes.
Dizzy O’Dare is a leading contemporary circus and outdoor theatre company based in Kent. You can’t miss them over the carnival weekend with their two madcap Victorian gentlemen in roving earth bound hot air balloons and their King Edward II puppet. They will also perform a 1920s themed tightrope act during our finale.
AcroJou is recognised as one of the leading street theatre and circus companies in the UK. Based in Kent their Jesters will visit the Carnival over the weekend with a walkabout act including power-skips, acrobatic tumbling, ‘acro-juggling’ and hula
Other Acts & Volunteers
Download a full List of our professional acts & volunteers