Canterbury’s Medieval Pageant returns with a parade, workshops and free family trail

A medieval parade will see knights on horseback, jaunty musicians and royal figures take to the streets.

The time-travelling pageant takes place in Canterbury and, this year, it’s celebrating 850 years since King Henry II’s visit to the city.

Huge crowds are expected to turn up for this year’s Canterbury Medieval Pageant

Huge crowds are expected to turn up for this year’s Canterbury Medieval Pageant

The parade will begin at 11am from the Westgate Towers and will see hordes of characters from the Middle Ages, including warriors, pilgrims, dancers, giants and King Henry II and Queen Eleanor, march to the Cathedral Precincts.

This year, the theme is Crowns and Coronations and, to mark this special occasion, King Henry II will stand outside the cathedral and apologise for his part in the murder of Thomas Becket.

Becket was found dead in the cathedral in 1170. He was killed by four knights who were believed to be acting on behalf of the king.

Four years later, in 1174, Henry II visited the city to make amends for the murder by walking barefoot through the city.

This year’s parade will feature King Henry II to celebrate 850 years since his royal visit to Canterbury

This year’s parade will feature King Henry II to celebrate 850 years since his royal visit to Canterbury

After the reenactment of this historic event, the Cathedral Precincts will remain open until 9pm with free entry for visitors.

There will be lots of activities going on inside the grounds, including a dramatic ‘carve-off’ between two of Canterbury Cathedral’s stonemasons.

There’s also a free family trail available on the day with 20 locations across the city.

Visitors can pick up a free trail leaflet and follow the map to at least five different locations where they can collect stamps and, at the end, be rewarded with a chocolate coin.

Canterbury’s Medieval Pageant takes place on Saturday, July 6. You can find the full programme here.

However, in the week leading up to the main event, there are also lots of ‘Medi Mayhem’ activities taking place.

From Tuesday, July 2 to Saturday, July 6, you can join in crown-making workshops, medieval music lessons, choir singing lessons and jester school.

There are also performances ranging from Morris dancing to guitar and lute music.

 

Courtesy of Kent Online