An action-packed trip back in time

    Tonbridge Castle Medieval Fayre 2

    There is so much to see and do at the Tonbridge Medieval Fayre and there will be entertainment throughout the weekend, plus the chance to have a go at activities such as archery and skittles.

    Rough Musicke creates a feelgood foot-stomping sound by combining early music traditions with raucous percussion.

    The line-up of nine musicians play a range of traditional and reproduction period instruments, including bagpipes, gralla, shawms, curtal, recorders, frame and side drums and tambourines, backed by a strong rhythm section.

    Inspired by folk and street performers from the continent, Rough Musicke brings medieval and renaissance tunes to new audiences, playing danceable melodies in a style rarely heard in the UK.

    Based in the medieval Cinque Port of Sandwich, Rough Musicke was an idea born from the Sandwich 1457 celebrations, organised by community heritage group BASH. A group of musicians were brought together by the events and, discovering a shared love of upbeat medieval music, formed a band in the autumn of 2007. An inspirational trip to the Greenwich Early Music Festival followed, and the band began to create a repertoire of tunes that continues to grow and develop.

    Tonbridge Castle Medieval Fayre 4

    With acoustic instruments designed to be heard across field and battle, they can be spotted leading armies, heading processions and bringing busy streets to a standstill. The band also has its subtler side. Bagpipes and reeds give way to chamber instruments such as medieval fiddle and hammered dulcimer.

    Bosco the jester is an absolute family favourite, delighting the crowds everywhere he goes, bringing his own brand of laughter and merriment to the event. And another well-loved by kinfolk young and old is the Punch & Judy show.

    You’ll enjoy the melodic entertainment from travelling minstrels and the anvil and furnace of the blacksmith from Circus Malabaristas is well worth a visit.

    Tonbridge Castle Medieval Fayre 5

    Refreshments will include libations fit to wet the inside of the finest pewter tankard, such as the wonderfully named Trollsbottom Mead.

    Mouthwatering fare comes in the form of a hog roast brought to you by The Butcher and the Hog family-run catering business using locally-sourced meat from Haywards Butchers, Tonbridge, and there are sweet and fudge stalls, too.

    The village market will be bustling with all manner of interesting things like costumes, pewter wear, woodcraft, jewellery, precious stones, handmade crafts, including complete knights costumes, shields and swords, etc.

    You can have a tarot card reading by Mystics of the East while looking in wonderment at their fabulous stone collection which you can also purchase. There will be other interesting artefacts and precious metals on sale through Trade Winds.

    So come and join in the 15th-century Fayre party and soak up the atmosphere of the village and the inhabitants dressed and living as they would have 700 years ago.

    The Knights of Longshanks will do battle during the day laden with traditional armour and weaponry, but despite their frightening appearance they’re really very friendly to 21st-century folk and love nothing better than to chat about what life was like back in medieval times.

    Saturday & Sunday programme of events*

    10am – Event opens
    11am – Arming of the Knight
    11.30 – Combat display
    12noon – Bosco the Jester
    12.30pm – Medieval Music and Dance with Rough Musicke
    1pm – Punch & Judy
    1.30pm – Combat display
    2pm – Bosco the Jester
    2.30pm – Arming of the Knight
    3pm – Medieval Music and Dance with Rough Musicke
    3.30pm – Punch & Judy
    4pm – Combat display
    4.30pm – Bosco the Jester
    5pm – Close

    *Same both days