Sherwood steps back in time for The Wars of the Roses weekend

The sights and sounds of one of the most troubled eras of English history are being recreated in Robin Hood’s backyard next month.

RSPB Sherwood Forest, on the edge of the North Nottinghamshire village of Edwinstowe, will host a Wars of the Roses weekend on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June with re-enactment and living history groups capturing the spirit of the late 15th Century.

The Royal Houses of York and Lancaster fought bloody battles up and down the country as Civil War raged for more than 30 years.

The conflict would ultimately result in the rise of the Tudor dynasty which would hold the English throne for the next century.

The Tournament of Champions will determine the most fearsome of warriors

The groups taking part in the Sherwood weekend include:

  • Lord Thomas Stanley’s Retinue
  • The Gray Household
  • Beaufort Companye
  • Coventry Levy
  • The Woodville Household
  • The Thomas Fitzgeralds
  • The Savile Household
  • The English Free Company
  • The Neville Household
  • The Oxford Household

Many of the groups were part of an incredible Tournament of Champions weekend during last year’s Robin Hood Festival.

Life at the time of the Wars of the Roses was about so much more than the battlefield and the re-enactment groups’ brilliant attention to detail in the outfits, weapons and artefacts of everyday existence will be evident in the events taking place across the weekend.

The much coveted skills of the era’s artisans and craftspeople will also be on display.

A Fashion Show will celebrate the splendid finery worn by men and women of the day, while an ‘Arming Race’ will pit armour-wearing soldiers in a race which will be as much a test of endurance and sheer strength as speed.

Splendid costumes will be much admired across the weekend.

With so much at stake in the Wars, the two sides are expected to come to blows and there promises to be a Skirmish of Sherwood.

There will be a chance to learn the movements and skills that a soldier of the period would have been expected to demonstrate in order to be ready for battle.

And finally, each day will finish with a tournament of hand-to-hand combat between the warring enemies’ finest warriors to ultimately crown a champion from among them all.

The events start on both days at 10am and admission is free (parking charges apply).

For more information and event timings go to the Events page.