Castle Barnard celebrates the life of Richard III with a weekend of festivities….

Richard Weekend

This article has been taken from The Northern Echo, and was first published Sunday 24 May 2015 in the Barnard Castle News.

Barnard Castle Town Council and the Northern Dales Richard III Group, alongside the Friends of the Bowes Museum, are holding a several events between July 3 and 5, to celebrate the town’s close connection with the monarch who was Lord of Barnard Castle from 1474 until his death at Bosworth.

On Friday, July 3, Prof Lin Foxhall, Head of Ancient History and Archaeology at Leicester University, will be speaking at the Bowes Museum while on Saturday, July 4, a medieval fair will be held on Scar Top which will feature living history ‘Time Will Tell’ theatre as ‘King Richard’ and ‘Queen Anne’, medieval musicians ‘Caliban’s Dream’ and the period re-enactors ‘Time Bandits’.

At 6.30pm that night, an 80-ticket medieval banquet will also be held in St Mary’s Church, with a medieval-inspired menu of soup, a hog-roast and baked pudding, and specially-brewed ale.

The weekend will close with a commemorative evensong, on Sunday, July 5, at 4pm, at St Mary’s Parish Church, with the Heritage Singers and Heritage Masterworks Chorale leading the music, and the Right Reverend John Pritchard, former bishop of Jarrow and Oxford, preaching.

Kim Harding, Chair of the Northern Dales Richard III Group, has been working with children from Green Lane Church of England Primary School to create medieval banners of local ‘Ricardian’ families to decorate the church with.

She said: “Some of Richard III’s closest friends lived in and around Teesdale – the Fitzhughs of Cotherstone and Ravensworth, Brackenburys from Gainford amongst others – and it’s great for the children to be able to connect their locality to people and events well over 500 years ago.

“Barney is privileged to have such a close association with Richard who invested hugely in the castle, town and church, regarding it as one of his most favoured homes.

“We are delighted that Time Will Tell theatre will be recreating Richard and Anne as our hosts at what promises to be a unique experience: a medieval banquet in the presence of the Lord of Barnard Castle and his Queen, in the church he endowed and where his sculpted head still adorns the chancel arch and his boar symbol underpins a window.

“But for anyone worried about sourcing a doublet and pointy shoes, although our banquet will be late C15th, medieval costume is definitely optional.”

Banquet tickets cost £30 and are available from Ms Harding by calling 01833-637018 or emailing


  1. What an excellent idea to involve school children in their own local history, showing how it links to the wider picture of national history. As a history teacher myself, I have always been in favour of creating a strong local history identity – children can often relate better to that, than the broader picture, particularly when they are still at the concrete stage of development.

    Liked by 2 people

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