The Loxwood Joust 2017
From the first moment you walk through the gates and see the sign – ‘You are now entering the 15th Century. Laws of the year 1455 now apply. You have been warned’ – you will be transported back in time, with the unique tree surrounded seven meadow location, shielding you from the modern world outside. You will then go forward to explore the many areas full of all the wonders of the Middle Ages.
This Mediaeval Festival was started by Legend Presents in 2002 at Berkeley, Gloucestershire and ran there successfully until 2007 when the site flooded. After 4 years of looking for the perfect site, the magical Loxwood Meadow was found and The Loxwood Joust has now been running here since 2012. Starting as a one weekend event; always the first weekend in August, it expanded in 2015 to accommodate the growing interest and is now a permanent fixture on the first two weekends of August.
So, The Loxwood Joust is the most spectacular mediaeval festival in the land and explores the full richness of our countries grand heritage with an unrivalled programme of mediaeval mayhem. This is your chance to step back in time and experience the verve and vigour of a world where lives were harsh and hearts were passionate at this unique, fun and educational day out for all the family.
As you enter the realm of the Middle Ages, prepare yourself, for you will be greeted by a sight not seen on these lands for hundreds of years, a living mediaeval encampment. Here in the Living History Village the inhabitants go about their daily life with the smiths sharpening swords and axes as their good wives cook stew over steaming pots. In the battlefield beyond, harken to the call of booming cannon fire, the clash of steel on steel and experience the authenticity of the mighty battle taking place in front of your eyes.
As with most things mediaeval, crime and punishment were a grim affair. Murderers were given the same trials as apple thieves and both usually met the same grizzly end. Mediaeval life was a terrifying one. But nothing brings that reality to light, more than the gruesome and frightening apparition that is the Executioner. Dressed in all black, wielding an axe or scythe, this fearsome arbiter of the law was once all that stood between the good folk of the realm and the gallows. In his torture zone situated in the woodland you will find Gilbert Savage, aka The Executioner, putting his new rack to good use. A replica of the real one that was used in the Tower of London, this gruesome assemblage of rollers, ratchets and metal framework just goes to show that creativity came in all forms during the dark ages
Over the bridge dwells the den of the witches and their black cauldron, so prepare to be bewildered or enlightened by their strange and arcane delights. These creatures most foul will lure and beguile you with their spells and incantations, but be brave and you may be rewarded instead with a charm or two.
Nestled in the heart of the woodland area you will find the Mead Shack. Loxwood Joust Mead is the ‘Nectar of the Gods’ and this golden liqueur of poets, lovers and kings can be sampled and enjoyed whilst absorbing all this unique experience has to offer. At the main concert stage the internationally acclaimed Mediaeval Baebes will entice, entrance and soothe their audience with magical voices that will be heard all across the Loxwood fields, and it is here that you will also see the hypnotic belly dancers and will laugh along with the talented performing mummers.
Beyond the woodlands lies the mighty jousting arena. In the heart of the Midsummers Meadow the knights come to earn honour and valour before the watching eyes of the crowd. With the pounding of horse’s hooves as they thunder their way across the field, the magnificent fully armoured jousting knights present a fast-paced, all action jousting tournament that will always amaze and astound.
So as you venture forth, you must take your time to look around at the variety of treats in store. When not in flight, the hawks, owls, falcons and other birds of prey, rest on their perches giving you the chance to see the hunters of the skies up close. And you cannot miss the Mediaeval Market Place where traders and hawkers vie for your attention. Traders skilled in authentic medieval techniques and products bring their wares to sell, just like peddlers of old. Try to see if you cannot hawk a bargain at Traders Row where the merchants have gathered together, bringing with them trinkets and treasures and all manner of goodies for your pleasure.
As companies of actors, wandering minstrels, the Court Jester and dance troupes entertain and delight throughout the day, “Sir Lancelot the Bald” will be found resplendent in tights. This bright character will have you in stitches with his improbable stunts and cheeky comedy. See him roll crystal balls across his head, juggle copious amounts of fire and most amazingly of all, with support from the audience, walk a rope whilst playing with some deadly sharp knives.
Now the question to ask is have you ever wondered what mediaeval underwear looked like? If indeed they even wore underwear back in those days. And just exactly how long did it take to get dressed in all that garb? How does one tie a corset? Why did men wear tights? And exactly what is a Coif? All this and more is answered in person by the Mediaeval Housewife, as she presents to you the dirty laundry of the Middle Ages.
Whilst exploring the abundance of all things is mediaeval, you will locate the Loxwood Tavern and a surrounding collection of foods and drinks stalls. Gorge yourselves on the many varied and wonderful foods on offer and make sure you rest a while on the hay bales scattered about, whilst you take in the living history around you.
And then in the far corner of the Midsummers Meadow nestles the Children’s Kingdom. A festival within a festival, where the Mediaeval Groat is the currency, there is all manner of exciting activities from Have a go Archery, Pelt the Peasant, Face and Wound Painting and of course the, Bouncy Castle. Encamped within the Children’s Kingdom you will also find sword school, giving both adults and children the chance experience the life of a knight in training and more importantly learn some longsword moves! Here you will have the opportunity to test your bow skills against an exciting range of targets. Would you have been able to feed your family back in medieval times? Can you hit the3D life-size boar and stag? Then move on to the Mediaeval Gaming Zone” where children and adults can try a few historic card games, play a round of chess or try your hand at Tafl – a strategy game from the Viking era.
So there you have it, The Loxwood Joust is a festival like no other, one of history and discovery and everything else in between. You are welcomed to your heritage and all are invited to an exciting mediaeval day out, as history comes to life. each day from 10am to 6pm.
The Loxwood Joust’s unrivalled programme of mediaeval revelry, guarantees a day out like no other, takes place on the 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th August. It is excellently located just off the B2133 between Wisborough Green and Loxwood with ample Free Parking.