Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Raglan Castle Tudor Weekend

If you can ever get along to Raglan Castle for the Tudor Weekend be sure to do so. This is our third year and we will be going again, for sure.

We got there on Friday afternoon when it was quiet and we had to wrestle with the wind to get our gazebo up. Thankfully, someone was watching over us and we were helped by a friendly friar who must have had God's ear because things went more smoothly once he came along.
Saturday morning dawned dry but it didn't look promising. We wriggled into our Tudor clothing and prepared to meet our public. It was a slow day, the ever present threat of rain and the knowledge that it was free entry into the castle on Sunday, kept the visitors at home.

The visitors I did meet however were interesting, funny and very enthusiastic. I have never met people from so many corners of the world. America, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Essex :) Lots of them went home with one of my books tucked beneath their arm, and even more with a card so they can look me up on kindle.

Tudor clothing, particularly women's, was not designed for comfort. as the day wore on my bodice felt tighter, my knees grew weaker from so much standing and i was very very hot - thankfully it wasn't a hot day, or I would have melted for sure.

My partner in crimes against Tudor history, John, was not too hot. He is not a warm  blooded mortal at the  best of times and so relished the comforts of his thick velvet (modern day thermal vest hidden beneath) his nice worsted stockings, and the benefits of a hat.

Sunday was much busier. Early on, before we were properly attired a large coach party of Americans arrived. We were photographed, questioned and had a  thoroughly good morning chatting to them. People, particularly the women and little girls are really interested in the clothes and what it is like to wear them and this year we had a french hood for the girls to try on and have their photo taken, next year I hope to have more items for them to try. If any of you should read this I'd love to see some of the photographs. I even remembered to remove my glasses - staring blindly into the lens, blinking like a mole in the sunlight.

I had a lengthy discussion with a lady who was a big fan of Henry VII but had no idea he'd grown up at the castle. i pointed out that Margaret Beaufort visited Henry there, and later his wife, Elizabeth of York visited too. This happy lady went off determined to look at it afresh, with the knowledge she was walking in Henry's shoes.

We had a few showers of rain, nothing heavy but enough to illustrate the inadequacies of our silly modern gazebo - a medieval style canvas tent is on my shopping list before next year's event.

I sell my books at discount prices at these events so it is not for profit. it is pure fun. I love meeting readers, new and old. Meeting up with old friends, the Amicorum reenactment group, and the Beaufort Company, watching a reenactment of the Battle of Bosworth and hoping every year for a different outcome.

The Tudor Weekend is not the only event at Raglan worth visiting. The castle offers something new, something fun, and surprisingly educational with living crafts, historical talks, refreshments, battles, executions, mock jousts, archery and knight's school; not to mention the wonders of Raglan Castle itself. If you ever make it there, be sure to look for me. I am the one in the posh red gown.


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