Clash of Knights!

I’ve been slightly obsessed with knights and chivalry for as long as I can remember, thanks to tales of the dashing Robin Hood, Crusades, and Arthurian myths, so I was delighted when the knights returned to Tynemouth Priory for Clash of Knights. And boy, did they clash!!
Yes, the swords are blunted (mind, having felt the edge, I still wouldn’t want to be hit by one), but these folk are running around in layers of padding and mail, wearing helmets, as well as carrying shields and swords or clubs, depending on which stage of the contest we’re at. This was definitely hard-core stuff. It was fascinating to talk to some of the re-enactors, part of the Historia Normannis group, and find out all about what they get up to, as well as feeling the weight of that mail… I once spent an afternoon making a single bracelet, and that was difficult enough, but a whole coat of the stuff is an amazing feat, and a massive thing to carry about.
And so to that clashing…
We started with some archery, with knights representing North, South, East and West teams (you can guess who got the loudest cheer!) – it’s a skill I’ve always fancied getting better at, and always impressive to see a good display.

Our victorious Northern archer, Sir William
Our victorious Northern archer, Sir William

And then it came to the Melees – firstly, two teams facing each other, each trying to knock the other’s crest off the top of one of the knights, and then the Grand Melee – all four teams on the field together, each trying to defend their own crest, whilst trying to take out everyone else’s. It was crazy, and in truth, a little scary, watching the teams literally clash in the middle of the field. You can only imagine how it must have been in actual battles…

Blue (North) and Gold (East) teams face up to each other on the field
Blue (North) and Gold (East) teams face up to each other on the field

As you can imagine, there were plenty of patriotic cheers for the Northern team, in Blue, who (happily) came out the ultimate victors.
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All in all, a fabulous day, and so great to see the Priory so full of people! Still, I do wish I hadn’t found out that Sir Christopher, when not being a heroic knight, is, in ‘real life’ a maths teacher… I’ll just blank that bit out!!! And, I even have some ideas spinning around my head for a poem and short story!

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5 thoughts on “Clash of Knights!

  1. The sort of scripted battles with weapons other than cudgels are pretty spectacular as well! Saw a scrap between Saxons and Vikings at Lindisfarne, they were very loud and would be quite safe down the Bigg market…

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    1. Little late to the party here, but none of the Clash of Knight are scripted. Historia Normannis prides itself on competitive combat. With the exception of a few English Heritage shows none of their combat is scripted.

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      1. Hi Chris, thanks for your comment – I should have made that clear in my original post. I think the fact that they’re not scripted makes it even more interesting to watch!

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