[Julia Claxton]

Medieval mayhem

The clashing of swords will ring out in the grounds of Arundel Castle in June as the Four Nations Medieval Tournament sees four great kingdoms meet in fearsome combat.

Beneath the ancient Arundel Castle in West Sussex, on the weekend of 23-24 June, this 15th century style contest between England, France, Poland and Denmark promises awe-inspiring feats of skill and immersive activities for all ages.

The knights, squires and men-at-arms of Raven Tor Living History Group will compete in a historically accurate medieval foot tournament featuring free-style fighting with a variety of replica weapons such as swords, axes and polearms.

All of the armour, weapons and costumes will be true to the period, with each competitor carrying around 60lbs of equipment.

Alongside the tournament, the tented encampment will feature a professional storyteller, medieval music courtesy of Rough Musike and live falconry displays. Have-a-go archery – suitable for over 8s – will take place daily from 10am-1pm.

Paul Ullson, Arundel Castle’s Events Coordinator, says: “These displays of strength and valour were a popular way for 15th century hopefuls to win favour with their local lord and prove themselves worthy of joining a private army.

“The Four Nations Medieval Tournament is a continuation of this ancient tradition – a Marshal of the Lists will oversee all combat and keep careful track of the scores.

“Our tournament events are immensely popular; they are true competitions with all of the spectacle and intensity of real medieval contests. We are passionate about history and pride ourselves on giving visitors a day to remember.”

The Four Nations Medieval Tournament (23-24 June) precedes the Norman Knights Tournament (14-15 July), and the International Jousting and Medieval Tournament: Champion of Champions Edition (24-29 July).