A look ahead to the return of the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Philip Pembridge on King, at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. This year's event takes place July 9-10

Philip Pembridge on King, at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. This year's event takes place July 9-10 - Credit: Celtic Hammer Photography

The Tewkesbury Medieval Festival returns to the summer calendar for 2022 and is belated celebrating a special milestone.

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival has been a popular feature of Tewkesbury’s summer calendar since 1984. It is now widely regarded as one of the largest medieval re-enactment and fayres in Europe. attracting re-enactors, traders and entertainers, and visitors from all over the world.

Its central attraction is a re-enactment of the Battle of Tewkesbury, which was the final battle in the War of the Roses between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Prince Edward was killed either during or just after the battle and is now buried in Tewkesbury Abbey.

2021 marked 550 years since the Battle of Tewkesbury which took place on May 4, 1471, last year's event was a virtual festival which meant the commemoration had to be postponed, but the festival returns in full this year to allow for a belated anniversary celebration on the site of the original battlefield. 

The event will also feature a wide range of period entertainment, including music, dance and drama as well as a collection of interesting characters from the past. These may include barber surgeons, preachers and even the odd dragon keeper! There is a children’s activity area, with period-based arts and craft sessions, and an exhibition tent with displays from organisations specialising in different aspects of history.

The busy and colourful medieval market will have everything from a suit of armour or gown to a pot of herbs or bag of sweets. Caterers supply traditional and contemporary food and drink, including ale specially brewed for the occasion.

Meanwhile, the town centre will feature associated events and the streets will be adorned with dozens of authentic medieval banners for the festival period.

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The festival is traditionally held on the second full weekend in July, which means that the 2022 festival will be take place on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 close to Tewkesbury town centre, just off the Gloucester Road, on part of the original battle site.

Although the event is free, the long term survival of the festival is dependent on the hard work of volunteers and the donation buckets that will be placed across the site during the weekend. Parking is £10 per car per day.

For further information, visit: www.tewkesburymedievalfestival.org