Thursday, 13 June 2013

Rockingham Joust And Ghoulish Going ons....

 Set in the heart of England  (or near it, Kettering/Corby so to speak!)
High Above the gentle slopes of rolling hills is Rockingham Castle, almost 1000 years old and still telling stories of days gone by.
Now are views of splendiferous idyllic surroundings, that have replaced a land of uncertain futures and uneasy peace, some of which never held,

Its doors are now open to the public who are regularly entertained by various events that take place throughout the year and today, we were lucky enough to have a warm spring day to watch the yearly jousting of brave knights who wish to keep their honour and their titles intact.

Its hedgerows are cut quite immaculately into various shapes, some look like animals, others not quite so recognisable.


The Walker House and Café/restaurant boasts wonderful tasty tantalisers that make the mouth water, so if your prepared to wait a while for your meal (the queue we joined went outside as people were only eating downstairs, which regrettably was petite, though quintessentially English!) the wait was definitely worth it and at a reasonable price, a small meal was a proper dinner! but we did not begrudge it one bit, huge and beautiful!
With fair Maiden not far away, the brave knights walked out with the black night "unhappily" leading the way, heading my way! was I going to be his first victim? His steely eyes gazed upon my lens, would he walk past and give the next fair maiden a more favourable gaze or was this black knight as many had feared?
 And one by one the brave jousters came into the jousting ring, showing their colours and patents of nobility on their person.
We became concerned when Sir Frederick came out holding his beer and then promptly fell of his horse! We`ve all been told of the dangers of alcohol! Well during the medieval days, drinking beer or mead as it was then was commonplace as most of the water was contaminated with sewage and other unsavouries, so most of the population actually drank mead/beer or wine instead of water.
As for Sir Frederick, well his day was only just beginning!
With the jousting in full pelt, if a rider was not knocked of his horse, a duel continued, although the purpose of it was to actually get the opponent to yield and not to die, although "accidents" did happen, but not today!
In the photo above there was a strange "mist" which we could not work out, and did not know it was there until we actually got home and found no other on any of the other photos, like the one below, so what was causing the mist?
Was it something from a bbq? though there was not one about, or did someone have a really big inhale of cigarette smoke and then exhaled in blow? or something we could not explain? What about sunlight? but then the photo below was taken only a few seconds later - no mist just look at the brown covering in the background and the darkness of the interior - what d`you reckon?
With many a Knight having a wonderful "battle" of skill and judgement and as we tucked into many an ice-cream (99 being my favourite!) it was eventually time to call it a day, but what a day it was, full of vibrant colour and then to finish of it was into the heart of Rockingham itself and into the Sondes Arms for a wonderful cold pint in the room where Charles Dickens used to do his writings and where the local beer festival had also been one of success finishing today, or if you don`t fancy a cool refreshing pint, how about a pleasant cup of tea in the local café where you can pick up the walk for the Jurassic Way, whatever you fancy, it`ll be worth every penny for a step back in time and nostalgia and being a part of history.

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