Festival of History returns to county

Re-enactors at last year's Festival of History. Picture by Richard Marsham''RMG Photography
Re-enactors at last year's Festival of History. Picture by Richard Marsham''RMG Photography

The ultimate historical blockbuster will be put on in Northamptonshire later this month.

English Heritage will once again bring the Festival of History to Kelmarsh Hall and the organisation promises it will bring England’s story across the centuries to life.

It will include battle re-enactments, combat displays and a host of activities spanning 2,000 years of history from a cast of over 2,000 performers.

Highlights in the arena will include a recreation of 1066 Battle of Hastings as Harold and his Saxon army face defeat at the hands of William the Conquerer, the Battle of Stoke Field which was the last bloody battle of the Wars of the Roses and a Second World War reenactment.

On the parade ground, perennial favourites, the mighty Imperial Roman Army, will be put through their paces, while a new show for 2012 will mark the bi-centenary of the epic War of 1812 fought between the British Empire and the fledging United States of America.

Displays of equestrian skill will also be on show, as elegant Victorian ladies ride sidesaddle over jumps in the gymkhana and fully-armoured knights clash in the 15th century jousting tournament.

The First World War Trench experience is also expected to return alongside a gladiators show, Edwardian falconry and the festival of historical writing.

There will be living history displays and shows taking place throughout the weekend and this year, visitors can enjoy 1940s fashion, a Music Hall sing song and relax in the Festival court with live music and a real ale beer tent.

Especially for young festival-goers there is hands-on fun at the dedicated Family Zone - from have-a-go theatre and story telling, to stilt-walking Victorian policemen and cannon-ball juggling pirates.

It will take place from 9.30am to 6pm on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15.

Admission is £22 for adults, £20 for concessions, £15.50 for children and £59.50 for a family ticket for two adults and up to three children.

Weekend tickets are £36 for adults, £32.50 for concessions, £25.50 for children and £97.50 for a family ticket.

To pre-book call 0870 333 1183 or visit www.festivalofhistory.co.uk.

Tickets will also be available to purchase on the day.