The Herstmonceux Castle Medieval Festival was conceived in
1993 as a celebration to mark the reopening to the public
of the magnificent 15th century moated castle. Set in 250
acres of beautiful rolling hills in East Sussex, the Castle
was in need of a means to announce to the world that it was
again open and a totally authentic medieval festival seemed
an ideal solution.
Festival has now become the largest annual festival of its
kind in England, attracting around 30,000 visitors over the
three days of the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Festival
has also proved to be an excellent source of badly needed
annual funding for the upkeep of the listed building which
now has registered charity status.
objective of the Festival was to re-create a setting that
was so complete that visitors are transported back in time
for the day. In order to achieve this, no effort or attention
to small detail was too great. From the moment of entering
the Castle grounds the experience is totally unique and inspiring.
Visitors are greeted by costumed attendants and ticket sellers
who speak olde English, immediately setting the tone and transforming
the scene into the Middle Ages.
first impression is one of awe, as the magnificence of the
Castle itself, surrounded by colourful tents, marquees and
hundreds of costumed merchants, knights in armour, archers,
performers dancing and playing period musical instruments,
fills the visitor with keen anticipation of the experience
ahead. While some other stately homes or properties around
England claim to have a Medieval Festival, none offers the
complete range and quality of experience that is produced
at Herstmonceux. If Disney created a magical kingdom reflecting
the Middle Ages, the Herstmonceux Castle Medieval Festival
would be their model!