Arundel Castle Celebrates 950th Anniversary

Arundel-CastleArundel Castle in West Sussex will celebrate the 950th anniversary of its initial construction this year.

To celebrate, the Castle has arranged a bumper calendar of events including a week-long jousting and medieval tournament.

Reopening to visitors on 1 April, the Castle’s calendar boasts two brand new events as well as the return of several visitor favourites.

Kicking off the open season and new for 2017, the Warriors of Arundel Castle (8-9 April and 17 September) will explore 1,000 years the Castle’s tumultuous history with costume, crafts, weapons and thrilling combat displays.

April also features the Annual Tulip Festival – the highlight of the garden displays – with a record 36,000 of the brightly coloured blooms on show.

The ever-popular Castle Siege returns on 27-29 May for a three-day spectacular featuring skirmishes between English and French soldiers as they try to take control of the Castle. With a large tented encampment including Raven Tor Living History Group, the Wessex Medieval Alliance and the Company of St Barbara, Arundel Castle’s grounds will be filled with the sights and sounds of battle and conflict.

Also new for 2017, a Four Nations Medieval Tournament (17-18 June) will see England, France, Poland and Denmark facing off in a thrilling free-style competition using a variety of weapons.

The climax of the year, the International Jousting and Medieval Tournament, takes place on 25-30 July. The world’s longest event of its kind, knights from across the globe will descend on Arundel to battle for glory on horseback during an exhilarating six-day competition.

Castle Manager Bryan McDonald explains: “We are looking forward to an exciting and busy open season next year in celebration of our important anniversary. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to experience our events, gardens, restaurant and of course, 1,000 years of history.”

Major events in 2017 at Arundel Castle include:

  • Warriors of Arundel Castle (8-9 April)
  • MG Owners Club Gathering (09 April)
  • Annual Tulip Festival (Mid-April – Mid-May)
  • Normans and Crusaders (15-17 April)
  • Castle Siege (27-29 May)
  • Allium Extravaganza (May-June)
  • Living History Days (01 June, 01 August, 08 August)
  • Shakespeare in the Collector Earl’s Garden (25 and 26 August)
  • Four Nations Medieval Tournament (17-18 June)
  • Norman Knights Tournament (15-16 July)
  • International Jousting and Medieval Tournament (25-30 July)
  • Medieval Tournament (19-20 August)
  • Multi-period event (26-28 August)
  • Warriors of Arundel Castle (17 September)
  • Norman Knights in the Keep (25-26 October)

Shadow of the Cross by Dmitry Yakhovsky Giveaway!

We are part of a book tour for Dmitry Yakhovsky’s new graphic novel Shadow of the Cross. Dmitry wrote a guest post for the site. Below the post you can view the cover artwork and an inside page. Enjoy!

Shadow of the Cross Guest Post

Thank you for having me on the Medieval Archives blog today! My graphic novel ‘Shadow of the Cross’ is based in Southern France in the time of the Cathars and is about the legacy they left in Medieval history. It is a story based on facts, about an obscure sect and heresy that persisted in the presence of the most brutal period in history, the Medieval Inquisition. The Cathars protested against the political, spiritual and moral corruption of the church. The Inquisition was an established group within the government system of the Catholic Church whose aim was to oppose heretics. Key members of the Inquisition twisted, and only acted, for their own political and personal gain. It was a group who dealt with people who were against the church or had other visions and ways of life and many times it was the tool used by the Pope or King to destroy their enemies and claim their treasures. This was a time in history when people were burned for their faith and burned for the ambitions of the Inquisitors.

The Shadow of the Cross is about this very violent time in history but also of faith, corruption, conflict and hope. When I planned the story I imagined 3 stages of self development, the first one is imprisonment (when you are a prisoner of your own mind), then comes awakening, like when you suddenly see a universe inside you and finally – purification. The Cathars had the same stages in their spiritual teachings. This idea then developed into the story becoming a three part series.

When it came to the artwork, I began by imagining this story in my mind to see each scene in pictures. I drew some pages in digital art but I didn’t feel that this medium gave the style and feeling I had envisioned for this story. I was then drawn to watercolours, my favourite medium to use, and this was a much better match. I used watercolours for the whole novel, but also used computer editing software to manipulate some images into page compositions. When I started this journey I showed some of my preliminary paintings to author Morgan Bell, who I’d worked with before on several of his books. He asked me about the story behind the paintings and I told him about my idea to tell this story as a graphic novel. Morgan encouraged me to move forward and also helped me with some of the English passage.

When it came to publishing, I knew I wanted to work with MadeGlobal because they have such a passion for history. I had also already enjoyed working with them to create covers for some of their great historical books. They, together with Patrons of my work, provided additional encouragement and support as I worked on the first instalment of The Shadow of the Cross – Part 1: Imprisonment.

I’m currently working on the second part in the series; Awakening, which will be released next year and then the third part, Purification, will finish the series.

I have made a promotional video for the book, which can be found HERE:

Book Giveaway!

For a chance to win a copy of Shadow of the Cross subscribe to our newsletter and then send us an email with the answer to the following question: In what country is the graphic novel set?

Giveaway expires on 18 Dec 2016 at 1700MST (1900EST, 2400GMT). Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.

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About the Book

The Shadow of the Cross, Pt.1: Imprisonment

– 1243, near Carcassonne, France –

Shrouded in darkness is the history of a time of terror. A time when people lived in fear, were divided, conquered and enslaved. The state was the church, and the church was the law; when justice was the tool of the self-seeking, and when imprisonment and poverty weren’t enough to satisfy the enemy’s appetites…

Featuring the stunning artwork of Dmitry Yakhovsky, this debut graphic novel is a bold undertaking. The novel is a complex and visually inspiring epic based in history, and will thrill with its masterful depth of imagery.

About the Author

dmitry_yakhovsky shawdow of the crossDmitry Yakhovsky is an extremely talented artist who has been working with MadeGlobal Publishing to create some of our stunning cover artwork. However, he has now taken the step to publish his graphic novel with MadeGlobal, and this is only the start of a very exciting future…

He is studying for an art degree in Belarus, and has an insatiable need to draw everything he sees. His graphic novel series “The Shadow of the Cross” is stunning to look at. Through his artwork he brings situations and stories to life.

You can follow Dmitry on Twitter: @entar0178


Reconstructed face of Robert the Bruce is unveiled

robert-the-bruceHistorians have unveiled a digitally-reconstructed image of the face of Robert the Bruce almost 700 years after his death.

The image has been produced using casts from what is believed to be the skull of the famous Scottish king.

It is the culmination of a two-year research project by researchers at universities in Glasgow and Liverpool.

Until now, portraits and statues of the victor of Bannockburn have relied on artists’ imaginations.

With no contemporary artworks to tell us what King Robert actually looked like, historians at the University of Glasgow teamed up with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) to provide an accurate representation.

Its Face Lab specialises in recreating likenesses from legal and archaeological evidence – most famously, the face of the English king, Richard the Third.

Robert the Bruce is best remembered for his victory over the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Dr Macgregor said: “There is a real sense of character in this face.

“Bruce must have been a remarkable man. All of his achievements suggest this to us.

“There must have been tremendous strength of purpose in this individual as well as many other human virtues – flaws as well.”

Dr Macgregor said historians should remain cautious about the identity of the skull. More than one Scottish monarch was buried at Dunfermline.

But Prof David Gaimster, the director of the Hunterian, is confident the face is that of the famous king.

“The combination of these magnificent gilded marble fragments and the skeleton itself, the lead wrapping, the depth of the tomb, the location,” he said

“All of this information begins to build a high level of probability that this was in fact the tomb of Robert the Bruce.”

The King’s Head – the documentary following the reconstruction from start to finish – will be screened on BBC ALBA on 15 December 15 at 20:30

Photo Credit: Face Lab/Liverpool John Moores University

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