A MEDIEVAL fair with re-enactments will mark the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes on Saturday.
Entertainment will include live demonstrations, the arrival of King Henry III and visitors can try out medieval weaponry during the sixth annual May Fayre at Lewes’s Priory Park.
Mark Ridgwell, from the Southover Bonfire Society organising the event, said: “We hope as many people as possible will come out to support what promises to be a very enjoyable and fun day and learn more about the battle that played a key role in England’s political, parliamentary and military history.”
The day begins at 11.30am with a pageant re-enacting Henry III’s welcome at Cliffe Bridge, as he is joined by a cast playing dignitaries of the period. As they march on to the priory for a day of historical entertainments expect them to be jeered by “dissenters” planted in the crowd to add to the drama.
There will be activities from 10.30am to 4pm including demonstrations of alchemy, mosaics, carving, print making, wood spinning and felt making.
The Owls About Town sanctuary will put on displays throughout and medieval musicians will be joined by Derek The Clown and minstrel Simon The Poet.
More bloody-minded visitors will have the chance to fire bows and crossbows, take part in a tug-of-war and witness the trials of battle “amputations”.
Children will even be able to volunteer their parents to undergo the grisly procedure, courtesy of trickery and fake blood.
On or around May 10 in 1264 King Henry III arrived in Lewes for the feast of St Pancras expecting reinforcements from France to help him battle Simon de Montfort. His defeat by the rebellious baron on May 14 marked the first step towards parliamentary democracy.
Admission to the May Fayre is £2 and free for under-12s. Proceeds will be divided between local causes supported by the society and the Lewes Priory Trust.
The celebrations continue at 7.30pm with the Battle of Lewes Bash barn dance with performances from The Sussex Pistols, So Last Century and medieval bagpipe music from TV music writer Dirk Campbell. Tickets are available on the door at the All Saints Centre for £8.
For details visit southoverbs.com