THE GOLDEN JOUST
23rd, 24th & 25th May 2020
THE FIELD OF CLOTH OF GOLD
A magnificent tournament was held 500 years
ago in 1520 between Henry VIII of England and the
French King, Francis I. The intention was to increase
the bonds of friendship between the two countries.
They met in a field near Calais to enjoy games,
feast on fine meats and drink from a perpetually
flowing wine fountain.
Due to the splendour of the
temporary golden pavilion that was built, the event
came to be known as ‘The Field of Cloth of Gold’.
Leeds Castle will be hosting a variety of events and
activities to commemorate the 500th anniversary
of this spectacular event.
THE GOLDEN JOUST
Join young King Henry VIII at the
Joust this year, and just as at The
Field of Cloth of Gold, cheer on your
team when England takes on France
in a true competition demonstrating
the finest skills of agility, foot
combat and horsemanship.
This event is included with the price of admission.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Food Fit for a King
Ever wondered what the Tudors ate? Indulge in roasted meats, pies and tarts, amongst other more familiar food; and watch food historians demonstrate ancient recipes and tell stories of old. Additional charges will apply.
The Wine Fountain
A working recreation of King Henry VIII’s Wine Fountain will be part of the festivities, pouring cups of wine and even local juices for children. Additional charges will apply.
'A Meeting of Kings' Exhibition
A series of displays inside the Castle will tell the story of the great events that took place in 1520. DISCOVER MORE
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
Competing over three days for the coveted Leeds Castle International Cup, a team of five skilled fighters from France will battle against five brave competitors from England, each with their own horse and precious armour.
Points will be accumulated across all three days, with the Cup being awarded to the highest scoring team. The tournament consists of four challenging events, each demonstrating strength and ability.
BEYOND THE ARENA
Across the three days of the tournament there will be other medieval events and activities to entertain, educate and thrill.
Witness the amazing sight of the Trebuchet being fired across the Castle lawns.
Experience sight... and sound of the medieval cannons!
Encampment & Market
See medieval reenactors living as they did in Medieval times in encampments on the Castle lawns.
Fiery Jack Workshop
Have a go at skill based throwing games including Toad in the Hole, Quoits and a Kubb arena with Jesters on hand to share the rules.
Children can take part in Medieval Games across the weekend.
UNDERSTANDING THE RULES OF THE TOURNAMENT
Along with his horse, each competitor is required to provide a full, well-fitted and historically accurate harness of armour based on sources dated between 1450 and 1500. The Marshal for the Tournament will be the judge not only of every bash, crash, hit and pass, but also of the equipment used down to the last detail.
To understand in detail how the tournament will be fairly and historically judged, please read the rules.
HISTORY OF THE TOURNAMENT
Medieval Tournaments where knights fought in simulated cavalry battles with the purpose of defeating the opposing team, probably began in France in the 11th century. By the next century, the sport had become popular across Europe. Tournaments often last several days, usually in celebration of an important event such as a marriage or coronation.
By the 13th Century Jousting had become more prevalent as an event of the tournament. The name ‘joust’ originated from the Latin ‘juxtare’ which means ‘to meet’. This part of the event was likely fashioned in answer to the grander prominence of gallantry, chivalry and honour in the later Middle Ages.
A noble knight was expected to demonstrate such qualities as martial prowess and noble debonair manners. Competitors with a criminal background or with a notorious reputation were barred from competing, leading to some knights to enter anonymously.