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Lances, arrows and bullets - enjoy an all action weekend at Linlithgow Palace

8 July 2009

More than a joust – this weekend’s spectacular tournament at Linlithgow Palace will be a grand tour of Medieval sports and warfare.

The flower of Scotland’s chivalry will take on international challengers, including Samuel of Castille in a fast and furious contest to discover which knight is the best.  There will also be archery displays, to show just why the longbowmen became the dominant force on the Medieval battlefield.

And there will be a glimpse of the future, with noisy displays of the matchlock muskets which started to come into use at the end of the 15th century.  Together the draw back the curtain on fighting techniques used in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th centuries.

Jeremy Richardson, who is leading the Knights of Royal England display team, said: “This should be a spectacular show, we will be condensing all the action of a three-day tournament of the 12th-century into two dramatic 45-minute sessions.

“Characters like Sir Jasper de Barry, Eugene of Blackness, Stephen of Porlock and Samuel of Castille will compete to prove who is the best.”

That means there are likely to be falls and fights galore along with breathtaking displays of equestrian skills.  

Hugh Robertson, and costumed performers from Fire and Sword, will be showing audiences the difference between a bodkin and a swallowtail – and explaining why they would not want to be on the receiving end of either.  

“We will be displaying archery skills in the arena and showing why the longbow was the most feared of medieval weapons.  Archers had a choice of arrows they could use – there was the swallowtail against lightly protected soldiers, that would just rip through their clothes, or the bodkin that was designed to be armour-piercing and could fell a knight.  But we will also be showing what the future of warfare held, with displays of the early muskets.  At the time they were very inaccurate but, but the noise caused a lot of fear, and gradually as technology improved, they came to eclipse the bow.”

The events take place on the weekend of 11 and 12 July, against one of Scotland’s most beautiful historic backdrops.  Historic Scotland have been running a special membership offer, 18 for 12, which has proven extremely popular – and runs out on the 15th July.  People signing up to membership at the event will gain free entry as part of their membership.  

Claire Smith, Historic Scotland Members manager, said:  “The membership offer has proven really popular since we launched it – with 6 months free and only paying £6.16 a month it provides a really great solution to great days out all summer long with the family.”   

Each afternoon will be packed with excitement from the first fanfare, which announces the knights’ arrival in the arena, to the crunch moment when the tournament champion is decided.

In addition to the jousting there will be a living history encampment and falconry displays as part of the Sunday event.  Visitors can also enjoy the palace itself, where there will be costumed performers taking on the roles of rival medieval lords.

The event takes place from 12.30pm to 4.30pm both days and is part of Historic Scotland’s nationwide programme in support of the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

Images supporting the PR for this event are available:


Rob McDougall, 07856 222 103

Notes for editors:

  • Tickets are £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and £5 for children.

  • Park and ride will be available.

  • Linlithgow Palace is in Linlithgow, off the M9. Telephone 01506 842896.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information, pictures of previous Jousting events and media wishing to attend/cover the event:

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871