Tensions will rise, alliances will be made and broken and only one team will triumph as chain-mailed and adrenalin-fuelled massed ranks of armoured knights meet head-on at Beeston Castle’s Clash of Knights event on Saturday and Sunday (August 2-3).
English Heritage is once again staging the ultimate in competitive historical combat as four teams attempt to emerge victorious from a recreated Crest Melee.
The concept is simple - four teams of medieval knights will enter the arena on foot, fully armoured in chain mail and helmets, and armed with shields and clubs.
Each team has a captain, who wears a crest on his helmet – the winner is the last team with their captain’s crest intact.
The only rule in Clash of Knights is no kicking, biting or gouging - everything else is fair game. It’s a genuine competition and a fight of skill, strength and honour.
The event will have three stages of the competition, with the first round being a display of precision and power as the archers in the teams will attempt to repel ferocious opponents bearing down on them.
This will then catapult the leaders into the Crest Melee, before the ultimate Grand Melee as all four teams battle it out to find the ultimate winner, amid rapturous support as visitors are encouraged to pick a side and cheer them to victory.
Against the dramatic backdrop of Beeston Castle, English Heritage will recreate the 13th century, which was the height of Melees, and transport visitors back to this chivalrous time, where they can interact with medieval folk as they go about their daily lives in their encampment.
There will also be merry music to set the scene and the opportunity for budding young knights to test their bravery and burn off lots of energy in battle drills.
English Heritage events manager Jenny Rogers said: “Clash of Knights is the highlight of our summer events programme at Beeston.
“The Clash will be a no-holds-barred battle of strength and skill, and a real chance for our courageous knights to take the challenge to the next level.
“Beeston is an amazing backdrop for a grand medieval tournament, and the perfect place for the whole family to take an adventure into Cheshire’s past.”
Admission prices are adults £6.10, child 5-15 £3.70, family £15.90. Call 01829 260464 for details.