Battle of Wakefield anniversary recap

Battle of Wakefield anniversary recapThe clash of swords and the screams of battle cries were brought back to Sandal Castle to celebrate the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield.

Sandal Castle was the site of the one of the bloodiest battles of the War of the Roses on December 30, 1460 – ending with Lancastrian defeat and the death of Richard, Duke of York.

And more than 1,600 visitors and enthusiasts celebrated the anniversary on Sunday.

As well as a falconry display with aerial acrobatics from Jack and Vera the Harris Hawks, visitors got to play quoits, a medieval version of hoopla, and battledore, a historical form of badminton.

A junior jousting tournament gave children the chance to be knights for the day, and knights were on hand to talk about weapons and tools from the War of the Roses, which were on display.

At one point, the sound of medieval gunfire even rang around the castle during a medieval weaponry display.

Cabinet member for culture Coun David Dagger said: “The event provided the opportunity to celebrate the important heritage of Sandal Castle and allowed people to learn more about the battle and its link to the castle in a fun and exciting way.”

Throughout the day, the Yew Tree Theatre group treated crowds to short productions inspired by the Battle of Wakefield, and visitors got to sample culinary delights from medieval times. Sandal Castle was probably first built in the early 12th Century after William de Warenne received the Manor of Wakefield from Henry I in about 1106.

It is thought the earthwork motte and bailey castle was probably completed by about 1130.

Finds discovered during extensive excavations of the site can be seen at the site’s Visitor Centre and at Wakefield Museum on Wood Street in Wakefield.

Source: Wakefield Express

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