Monday, April 07, 2014

The Great Siege of Kenilworth - 700th anniversary souvenir programme

Full PDF version: 19660611-kenilworth-castle-programme

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The Great Siege of Kenilworth

700th anniversary souvenir programme
at Kenilworth castle Saturday 11th june 2pm

price two shillings

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The Commemoration Committee

MR H. L. G. SUNLEY Chairman
MR C. R. BLICK Hon. Secretary
MR D. F. MOORE Business Manager
MISS H. M. CAPPS Publicity Manager


Our Grateful Thanks to:

St. Barnabas Young Wives; Inner Wheel Club of Kenilworth; Methodist Church Women's Fellowship; Kenilworth Flower Club; North Warwickshire Hunt Supporters Club; B.P. Scout Group; Warwickshire Girl Guides; The Kenilworth Society; Kenilworth Town Women's Guild - Afternoon; Kenilworth Town Women's Guild - Evening; Kenilworth Liberal Association; Kenilworth Horticultural Society; Kenilworth Historical Society; Warwickshire Fencing Union; Talisman Theatre; The Kenilworth Payers, Priory Theatre; Kenilworth National Savings St. Group; The British Legion; Ministry of Public-Building and Works_; K. Gee, Esq.; Kenilworth Urban District Council; Warwickshire & Worcestershire Yeomanry; Peter Asquith, Esq. Hudson's of Birmingham; E. F. Abbot, Esq.; Civil Defence; W.V.S.; St Nicholas Bell Ringers; Kenilworth Rugby Club; National Federation of Business & Professional Women's Clubs; The Woodlands School; Mrs D. Harley; Kenilworth Police; Kenilworth Labour Party; 1st Kenilworth Girls Life Brigade; The Rotary Club of Kenilworth; St John's Mothers' Union; Calor Gas Co.; Bullfinch Gas Equipment Ltd. ; Kenilworth Meals on Wheels; St. George's Society of Kenilworth; Councillor E. T. Evans; Mr H. L. James of Autoprufe; Mr H. C. Kenderdine; Eric Pedler; Mr T. E. Bates; Mr and Mrs C. F. Dyer; Mr, R. Tisdale; The Sphinx Club; Kenilworth Carnival Committee; Mr R. Gee and all the good friends who have helped us.

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Bristol Siddeley supply the power

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Messages from

The Right Hon. The Lord Kenilworth, CBE, TD

It was with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to inaugurate the festivities to commemorate this 700th Anniversary of the Great Siege of Kenilworth.

My family has been associated with this area for many years and I recall with pleasure the time my wife and I lived in the Gatehouse of the Castle.

This is a unique occasion and I know that many people in the town have put a lot of hard work into suitably remembering the valour of our ancestors.

I hope that everyone visiting the Castle will thoroughly enjoy themselves and I wish every success to the other events which are going to be held during the period of the commemoration.

[signature - 'Kenilworth']


The Chairman of The Urban District Council of Kenilworth

In January 1965, the Urban District Council sent a message to the Speaker of the House of Commons praying that he would convey to the Members who were celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the Parliament, the greetings of the inhabitants of Kenilworth and the Council (the present owners of the Castle of Kenilworth which in 1265 was in the possession of Simon de Montfort, and in which he conceived, or at any rate pondered, on the constitution of the 1265 Parliament), who were proud to recall the association of their Castle and its environs with that great man and his cause.

When the Kenilworth Historical Society suggested to the Council that a suitable commemoration of the 700th Anniversary of the Siege of Kenilworth Castle might be arranged, the Council readily gave its support.

It is appropriate that Kenilworth obtained a Grant of Arms this year. The motto adopted is 'Cives oppidi fundamenta' (The Citizens are the backbone of a town). The enthusiasm and voluntary effort of your committee certainly bears out this motto.

As Chairman of the Council, it is indeed a pleasure to congratulate you on your exciting programme and I urge everyone in the town to give their fullest support.

[signature - 'Florence N Adcock']

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A Medieval Entertainment

Saturday 11th June - in the Castle Grounds

Two performances - 3.30 pm and 6.45 pm


A tale of Robin Hood

Presented by The Priory and Talisman Theatre Companies

Thrill to the throbbing drama as Maid Marion is abducted by the Dastardly Sheriff! Enjoy the jocular jokes of the jolly jesters!

Marvel at the mirth and music as the Merry Men dance round the Maypole!

See the amazing action-packed duel between the Sheriff and Robin Hood - ten great hits . . .

Thursday 13th October at the Priory Theatre

*A GALA PERFORMANCE Normal performances from 14th to 22nd October

Presented by The Kenilworth Players

The Play tells the true story of the period in Henry VIII's life, when having gained dissolution of his fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves, he fell in love with and married Katherine Howard, a young and spirited girl of twenty.

Her sudden decline and fall was brought about by a trio of Court Ladies. Their disclosures - some under threat of torture - about the young Queen's previous love affairs, led to Katherine's overthrow and imprisonment in the Tower. She was of course beheaded.

The Commemoration Committee is most grateful to The Priory Theatre who are donating the proceeds from this Gala Performance to the Commemoration Fund.

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Saturday 11th June 1966, Kenilworth Castle

Multi-method Minor Peal of Bells from St. Nicholas Church

2 00 Unveiling of Plaque by Lord Kenilworth

2 15 Tour of Medieval Fayre by official party

3 30 A Medieval Entertainment presented jointly by the Priory Theatre and the Talisman Theatre

4 00 Fencing

4 30 Short-Bow Archery

5 15 Cannon Fire

Draw for Programme Lucky Number

In the Echo Meadow

5 20 Tug-of-War

5 45 Long-Bow Archery

6 15 Demonstration of Cannon Firing

6 20 Musketry

Back in the Castle

6 45 2nd performance - A Medieval Entertainment

The Medieval Fayre will remain open from 2.00 pm until approximately 8 pm.

Other attractions to be announced during the Afternoon

Prize Winning Programme

2 bottles of Lanson Black Label Champagne

Your Programme Number is 910

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Bows and arrows were introduced to this country about A.D. 450 The early types, such as were used at the Battle of Hastings, were short and the archer drew the arrow only to his chest.

The introduction of a longer bow, such as was used during the Siege, made it possible to use a longer arrow and for a more powerful bow to be drawn because the archer could draw to his ear instead of his chest. Both power and range were increased.

It was the long-bow that made the Bowmen of England. Its use was practised by all and sundry from a very early age. It was not an easy weapon to use but practice brought proficiency and it was always superior to the earlier cross-bow which had a shorter range and was slow in operation.

The long-bowmen stood in a body eight or ten deep and shot together, those behind shooting over the heads of those in front. This the cross-bowmen could not do.

The long-bow was last used in battle in 1644. The most effective range was between 250 and 300 yards. Bows for military use were usually between six and seven feet long and made of yew, basil, wychelm, ash or hazel. The arrows would penetrate plate armour.

The long-bowman of today uses a six foot bow and his arrows weigh about one third that of a war arrow. His bow is not as powerful as the military weapon and the range is about 220 yards. There are very few men today who, without constant practice, would be strong enough to draw a military bow.


A sport with ancient origins, fencing has been developed over the years into its modern form. It requires a high degree of skill and co-ordination of mind, hand and body.

Today's fencer has the choice of three weapons - the foil, originally a practice weapon, the sabre which is a lighter version of the cavalry sword, and the epée, derived from the 18th century French court sword. All three are demonstrated today.

The fencers' special clothing gives them the maximum protection consistent with freedom of movement and the position they adopt when 'on guard' enables them to defend themselves or launch an attack with equal facility.

As they advance and retire, testing each other's reaction, seeking an opportunity for attack, the action flows from side to side until a hit is scored.

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A cloake of Worsted camblett or cloath, fitting for the winter,

A chair to sleepe in, either of Russia Leather or plush Shagg,

2 pair of Shoes for a girle of little age, one biger than the other.

6 Mops to wash Houses

1 duzen leathern flashes smelling of fragrances stronger than those to which we are ackustomd.

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Tel: 26657/8
Tel: 24946

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The two Cannon in use today belong to Robin Wigington of Stratford-upon-Avon, an antique dealer who specialises in firearms.

The larger of the two Cannon is a bronze seven pounder. The barrel is a fine example of its type and the carriage has been reconstructed to its original pattern in oak and teak.

Known as a 'galloper' it was a mobile field gun in Napoleonic times and could be moved rapidly about the battlefield to support the infantry. It mostly fired solid shot, but when in action at short range - repelling a cavalry charge for example - it fired canister shot.

Although a 'light' gun the barrel weighs several hundredweight, and the complete gun around 15 - 16 cwt.

The smaller weapon is an iron barrelled three pounder of the early 19th century. This is its first outing since its reconstruction.

A mountain battery gun, it is easily dismantled and was designed to pack away on three mules. It was mainly used by infantry in difficult areas such as the North West Frontier of India, and the mountains of Africa, where normal artillery could not operate.


The muzzle loaders in the clay pigeon shooting are of two main types, flint lock and percussion. The flint lock guns date from 1730-1810. They are of slow ignition and the shooter has to learn to follow through even after the priming has flashed if he wishes to connect with a fast moving 'bird'.

The percussion or detonating lock guns are of the 1825-1860 period. The invention of the percussion cap made ignition certain even in wet weather.

Both types are loaded with a measure of loose black powder and then a card wad is rammed down followed by a measure of shot topped by a thin felt wad. in the case of the flint lock the pan has to be primed, and in the case of the percussion action the cap placed in position.

As well as the firing demonstrations we have a fine collection of antique arms and firearms on display, all arranged by Mr Peter Asquith, National Hon. Sec. M.L.A.

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Kenilworth has no Museum. Its treasures have found homes in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, the County Museum in Warwick and The British Museum, amongst other places.

By kind permission of these friends, and the generosity of many others, it has been possible to put on an exhibition in the Gatehouse of the Castle.

Recent aerial survey has dramatically altered our knowledge of the occupation of this area by pre-historic man. Worked Flints and fine examples of axe-heads, found locally, are on display.

The Romans were here. A tile kiln, near Chase Wood, has long been known but members of the Historical Society recently located a new Romano-British find and examples of tiles and claywork are on display.

Also on show is a unique collection of glass, metalwork and pottery found about 1917 in the area of Kenilworth Common, and this covers the period from Roman times to the 12th century.

The Kenilworth Urban District Council and the Churchwardens of St. Nicholas Church have lent us examples of coins, glass and leadware, tiles and stonework found in the excavation of the Abbey, but the great 'pig of lead'— melted down from the Abbey roof—remains on display in the Church.

The Ministry of Public Building & Works, and Mr. Philip Rahtz have put on display shot typical of that used in the Great Siege, a suit of armour and many examples of pottery, glass and metalware found in the 1960 excavation in the Castle.

To give some idea of the weapons used models have been made of the catapult and trebuchet, and Mr John E. Pocock, Agent to the Raleigh Estate, has lent fine medieval swords and armour.

There is a display of prints, maps, copies of Dugdale's 'The Antiquities of Warwickshire, 1656' and important books written subsequently. A copy of the Enclosure Award of 1756 is on show.

The Kenilworth Historical Society has published a history of the Siege to mark this occasion and it has been designed and beautifully illustrated by Eric Pedler of this town, a member of the Society. Copies are on sale for the first time today on the Historical Society's stall. The price is 2s. 6d.

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