Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Great Siege of Kenilworth - 700th anniversary photos

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Saturday 11-June-1966.

"The siege of Kenilworth (21 June - December 1266), also known as the great siege of 1266, was a six-month siege of Kenilworth Castle and a battle of the Second Barons' War. The siege was a part of an English civil war fought from 1264 to 1267 by the forces of Simon de Montfort against the Royalist forces led by Prince Edward (later Edward I of England). The siege was one of few castle attacks to take place during the war." [Wikipedia].

The Urban District Council of Kenilworth decided to celebrate the 700th anniversary with an all day event. A while back I blogged the programme from The Great Siege of Kenilworth - 700th anniversary celebrations. I recently unearthed some photos I took on the day, so without further ado, here they are with quotes from the programme.


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

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


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.

Tug of war in the Echo Meadow (1/3).

Tug of war in the Echo Meadow (2/3).

Tug of war in the Echo Meadow (3/3).


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.

Demonstration of Cannon Firing.

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. .

Peasant in the stocks (1/3).

Peasant in the stocks (2/3).

Peasant in the stocks (3/3).

I remember it as a fun day out and was pleased to discover these forgotten photos in my archive.

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