As Kenilworth Castle was holding a mini War Of The Roses re-enactment event we decided to mooch along and have a gander. We all love Kenilworth – more so than Warwick though the latter is certainly one of the grandest castles in the UK. The trouble with Warwick, I find, is that Tussauds’ have eviscerated the entire place of atmosphere and have stuffed in its stead a money-spinning circus of hi-tech mechanics and theme park quackery. Kenilworth for the most part is a well-preserved ruin and as such retains so much romance and atmosphere that it’s a joy to walk around its walls and battlements just as they are and to let your mind drift back to what once might have occurred there. The boy certainly loves it and always takes a sword along to fight imaginary foes.
Yesterday however the foes were very real. Whatever re-enactment society were performing the honours (I know, I should have endeavoured to find out) certainly threw themselves into their respective roles with gusto and we had fantastic views as the Lancastrians and the Yorkists laid into each other with pike, sword and bill. Volleys of blunt tipped arrows also added to the overall melee though the boy seemed quite disappointed that we weren’t seeing any real bloodshed. However, his usual testosterone fuelled lust for fighting soon quailed when we suggested that he was welcome to engage some of the fully armoured warriors down on the battle field...!
Wise decision. They were an impressive bunch. The women were all magnificently buxom and the men were all mightily bearded.
In fact, Karen and I were consistently mistaken for being two of their number...