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Edward III To Make Surprise ‘Royal’ Return to Guildford Castle for Christmas

Published on: 8 Dec, 2017
Updated on: 11 Dec, 2017

For those keen to experience time travel, Guildford castle is the place to be this tomorrow, Saturday, December 9.

Those who visit the castle will experience how Christmas was celebrated in Guildford in medieval times.

A costumed live interpretation company, will take visitors back to 1347 to encounter King Edward III, Queen Philippa of Hainault and members of their court who are known to have celebrated Christmas at Guildford Castle almost 700 years ago.

The event, organised by Guildford Borough Council, sees the return of Past Pleasures, the UK’s leading professional costumed live interpretation company, to Guildford following the hugely successful Christmas at the Castle event last year.

Proceedings will once again begin at the Medieval Undercroft, (by Jack Wills) 72-74 High Street, where history enthusiasts and Christmas shoppers alike will encounter His Majesty’s courtiers. Following a quick lesson in royal etiquette, the royal party will arrive and members of the public will be encouraged to join a procession to the castle.

Processions will leave the Medieval Undercroft on Guildford High Street at 12pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

The procession heads off to the castle at last year’s event.

King Edward and Queen Philippa will address the crowd assembled in the Castle Grounds before entering the Castle where they – and members of the public – will enjoy Festive merriment provided by Medieval musicians and dancing – along with the promise of high jinx from the Gong Scourer, appointed on this occasion to be the ‘Lord of Misrule’.

Buoyed with Christmas cheer, the crowd will be joyfully dismissed back to the Castle Grounds where they will find Seasonal stalls selling crafts, decorations and refreshments – all by local Surrey makers.

Edward III will address his subjects as his mean looking sherrif looks on

En route, the procession will pass activities and demonstrations of aspects of Medieval life from Historia Normannis in the lower Castle Grounds, and within the castle The Yarnsmith of Norwich will be telling tales for all the family to enjoy. There will also be free craft activities, including an opportunity to make a crown to greet the king or help to decorate the Christmas tree.

Kate Howard, Creative Director of Witley-based Past Pleasures, says: “The Household Accounts of the Great Wardrobe of Edward III show that the Court stayed at Guildford Castle in 1347, during which time the King and Queen enjoyed a Christmas masque.”

“Inspired by this visit, we are delighted to once again be working with Guildford Borough Council Heritage Services to return King Edward to the town in 2017!”

Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith

Cllr Nikki Nelson Smith, lead councillor for social welfare, heritage and the arts, said: “It is very exciting to be working in Guildford with Past Pleasures who are renowned throughout the UK for their costumed interpretation in many historic venues. Their lively procession from the town centre and into the castle will certainly bring our medieval Guildford Castle to life this Christmas. Please join us and follow the King to the Castle and remember to buy an entrance ticket to see what happens when he goes inside.”

For further information about the event:

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Responses to Edward III To Make Surprise ‘Royal’ Return to Guildford Castle for Christmas

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    December 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Last year’s event was good fun and a sight to see.

    But, why is this only being promoted the day before the event? I haven’t seen anything about this taking place advertised prior to this article.

  2. Julie Howarth Reply

    December 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I agree.

    Good to see The Dragon promoting it. First I heard this evening was a rather rushed interview on BBC Surrey and Sussex and I was left unsure what timing was. Surrey Ad focusing on the predictable demise of “The Village” on the front page and could find no mention of this event, nor on getsurrey that I could find.

    Didn’t spot any posters on the High Street.

    There must be so much effort put in by the performers and how much council tax?

    Why is GBC so bad at promoting?

    Sounds interesting. Hope to make it down there.

  3. Harry Eve Reply

    December 13, 2017 at 10:18 am

    This was a great fun event thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of those playing the many and varied parts in costume and those who helped to facilitate it. Among the highlights for me, and my family, were being roped into helping with the procession, listening to the storyteller practising this ancient art – and the excellent vegetarian food courtesy of “Lord Falafel” (worth looking up – other food was also available).

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