STAFF and volunteers at the National Trust for Scotland’s Castle Fraser near Inverurie are continuing preparations for a massive medieval onslaught at the end of this month.
The normally tranquil grounds at the historic seat of the Fraser family will be transformed as the battlecries of brave knights, the clang of metal on metal and the whinnying of highly-trained warhorses fill the air at its Jousting Weekend.
On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July, the grand baronial tower house will be the backdrop to battle, medieval style. The fearless Knights of the Damned will take to their steeds to compete for honour and glory in a traditional jousting tournament. These talented horsemen and their mounts will demonstrate the skills, thrills and spills of the historic sport which is thought to have originated in the 11th century.
This year they will present brand new for 2012, “Olympic Games – Joust of the Home Nations”. Four famous knights, William Wallace of Scotland, Owain Glyndwr of Wales, St. George of England and Edmond de Burgh of Ireland will represent the home nations.
Property Manager Christina Low said, “Castle Fraser has a very long history, so it seems appropriate that knights are once more jousting in the shadow of our castle. Our jousting weekend will transport visitors back to medieval times, bringing the sights, sounds and smells of medieval battle to life, showing Castle Fraser as it might have been in the past.”
And there’s even more action on offer with an archery competition, where the Scottish Archery Association shooting “Olympic Recurve Freestyle Bows”. The Macdonald Academy of Arms will present live swordmanship and sword fighting displays.
The impressive bird of prey display will feature the Bramley the Barn Owl, Jack the Gyr Falcon and Murtle the Turkey Vulture.
Away from the battlefield, experience life in a medieval encampment and get a glimpse into life as a knight, lady and a lowly squire and join the Rhynie Wifies for a taste of domesticity, 14th century-style with cooking, crafts and household tasks to take care of.
Advance tickets for the event are available online at www.nts.org.uk/events and cost £8.50 for adults, £6 for children and concessions and £23 for families. On the day, tickets will cost adult £9.50, child £7, family £26.
For further information contact 0844 4932164.