Clash Of Knights at Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

On Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 June tensions will rise, alliances will be made and broken and only one team will triumph as chain-mailed and adrenalin-fuelled, massed ranks of armoured knights will meet head-on at Bolsover Castle’s Clash of Knights event.

Reenactment of medieval knights in combat.

Re-enactment of medieval knights in combat.


English Heritage is once again staging the ultimate in competitive historical combat as four teams attempt to emerge victorious from a recreated “Crest Melee”. The concept is simple; four teams of medieval knights will enter the arena on foot, fully armoured in chain mail and helmets, and armed with shields and clubs. Each team has a captain, who wears a crest on his helmet – the winner is the last team with their captain’s crest remaining.


The only rule in Clash of Knights is no kicking, biting or gouging – everything else is fair game. It’s a genuine competition and a fight of skill, strength and honour.


The event will have three stages of the competition, with the first round being a display of precision and power as the archers in the teams will attempt to repel ferocious opponents bearing down on them. This will then catapult the leaders into the Crest Melee, before the ultimate “Grand Melee” as all four teams battle it out to find the ultimate winner, amid rapturous support as visitors are encouraged to pick a side and cheer them to victory!


Against the stunning and dramatic backdrop of Bolsover Castle, English Heritage will re-create the 13th Century, which was the height of Melees, and transport visitors back to this chivalrous time, where they can interact with Medieval folk as they go about their daily lives in their encampment. There will also be merry music to set the scene and the opportunity for budding young knights to test their bravery and burn off lots of energy in battle drills.


David Edwards, Events Manager at English Heritage said: “Following on from the success and excitement of the Siege earlier this month, the battle is getting tougher. We will be travelling further back in history to the iconic image of medieval past, when the melee was the first common form of knights’ combat – used not only for preparation for war, but also for glory. With the unique surroundings of the newly represented Bolsover Castle, Clash of Knights is sure to be a highlight of the event season.”


— Ends —



Adult – £9.50, Concession – £8.60, Child – £5.70, Family – £24.70, (Members Free)


Bolsover Castle, Castle Street, Bolsover, Derbyshire S44 6PR

Tel: 01246 822844



For further information and images, please contact:

Melissa Gerbaldi, PR Manager – London & East, or 07771 371190 / 01525 863 714


Notes To Editors


Bolsover Castle occupies the hilltop site of a medieval fortress built by the Peverel family. The wealthy Sir Charles Cavendish, a younger son of Bess of Hardwick, acquired the old fortress in 1608 and, with the architect Robert Smythson, began work to create a new and extraordinary castle, called a ‘delicate little house’ by visitors.


Once used by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, a sophisticated, flamboyant, master horseman and courtier to King Charles I, as a retreat for entertainment and cultural pursuits high above the Derbyshire countryside, Bolsover Castle will soon be alive four centuries on, as part of a £1million project.


New for 2014, visitors can rediscover what Bolsover meant to Cavendish and his contemporaries through new furnishings and interpretation, which give a flavour of ‘Cavalier’ decadence and provide for a memorable morning or afternoon at Bolsover. They will also be able to experience the restored and repaired walled Fountain Garden, which, for the first time in almost 400 years, features the opportunity to stroll along the high-level wall walk giving a new perspective over the garden and surrounding countryside.


Plus, a whole new exhibition has been created in the Riding House, and a fantastically fun children’s play area is now open!


English Heritage is the custodian of over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites through which we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.


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