Faery Goddess

A Merry Medieval Festival Tour

Join self-proclaimed ‘Archibald The Great’ as he guides us through a typical day at the Loxwood Joust Immersive Medieval Festival. 

Huzzah! T’is I… Archibald the Great. I’m here to regale you with my tale of a day in the life of a Squire at the wondrous Loxwood Medieval festival. Come along now, there’s much to see…

The Enchanted Woodland

Be still…for before me I see the welcoming gates of entry to the Enchanted Woodland, where my voyage begins. Here I stop to make a wish with the Faery Goddess, or if her powers fail me, I cast my spell into the cauldron of the Witch Wizard.

As I ponder the riches that are now sure to befall me, I meander through the workshops of the peasant folk. A blacksmith’s hammer chimes and a copper-beater’s tools throng. How fascinating to see their handywork in action – they really are an industrious bunch!

A mere skip and a jump from the workshops, I meet Gilbert for a good old fashioned torture show… I do love to hear how all those mischievous toerags get their comeuppance on the rack. And all of those tools he uses – what mind-bogglingly inventive ways to inflict justice. If you’d like a little preview, you can read this scroll – it makes for truly painful reading. 

On now to the Woodland stage, after a pitstop at the Mead Shack for a refreshing cup of honey wine! In my merriment, I am enchanted by the sight of the Mediaeval Baebes. Oh how their glorious harmonies and angelic sways transport me to a time long past, when I was free to frolick…and had plenty of hair on my head. Ah well… on I roam.

The Jousting Arena

Out of the woods now as I head past the Tower, into the meadow… There’s a show to watch and I simply can’t miss it. Behold…the wondrous Jousting Arena! To warm us up, some showplay with the eagles, falcons and other birds of prey whose names fail me. They’re charming, indeed. I do so admire their hunting prowess!

And then…The King himself welcomes our Knights into the arena. I watch aghast as the thundering hooves of the battlers’ horses charge at speed. Is there anything more regal than having a front-row seat to witness a Knight knocked flat off his steed in battle? Simply spectacular!

As wounds are mended, off I pop to fill my cup at the Tavern. Here I take a seat at the well-to-do table, and marvel at the heady shenanigans of the paupers at the next…just marvellous how we can all share space for a good old-fashioned booze up. (I must remember to have my weekly bathe this eve!)

The Market and Invictus Arena

Now for a little gander around the market where mayhaps I’ll purchase some scrumptious fudge, or a crown… Just for fun, of course – I could never partake in a mutiny (haw haw haw!). But becoming a Guardian of Loxwood, now that’s something that would tickle my fancy (pick up a programme at the Festival to find out how!). 

Across the way I see some archers taking aim… What’s that? I can do it too! Well, why not! I would have hit the target too had the sun not blinded my eyes, blasted summer blaze!

Ne’er mind… I wander again and I’m drawn to another arena where – oh my! – there is a fierce battle taking place. Two warriors in shining armour are beating each other down with all their might in a full-contact fighting tournament. Heavens! This really is shaping up to be a festival of fury!

Well, after witnessing all that fighting I’ve built up quite the hunger – time to join the royal banquet! I enter the banqueting tent to a spectacular sight and unashamedly load my plate – well, all of this spectating is hard work after all! I enjoy my feast while entertained by belly dancers, jesters and raucous behaviour as we gorge ourselves on a medieval banquet and mead, like the royalty we are (ish)! Decadent and delicious!

Living History Village

While I hate to pull myself away, I’ve been told that dear Jane is putting on a tasting at her kitchen. There’s always room for a smidge more food, isn’t there. I must rush to make sure I can partake in the eating (last year she made an exceptional venison pie!)

Into the Living History Village now, to pay my respects to the residents of this siege camp while they prepare for the day’s battle. I’m curious to know how one might eat and sleep in these primitive tents…and am pleasantly surprised by how opulent they in fact are. Fascinating. I stop by the armoury and discuss how one like me may choose to arm myself should the duty of battle ever fall upon me. I bypass the battleaxes and unsheathe a fine sword (my, it’s heavier than it looked!). Best put it back in case anyone thinks I am fit to go to war!

Speaking of which, there’s still time to catch one more battle – as up to 100 soldiers take to the field to demonstrate the ferocity of their formations and the boom of their canon fire, to end my day with a bang! Huzzah! Now off to down a quick tipple before I catch my steed (shuttle bus) back to my home town of Horsham. T’is time for this Squire to retire…until August – see you there my lovelies!

The Loxwood Joust Medieval Festival is packed full of fun for all the family. No need to drive, just catch the shuttle bus from Horsham Train Station and you’ll be free to be merry all day long. 

Images copyright Chrissie Brooks Photography

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