Medieval Pageant Hailed A Success

Image: Child shown armour

East Cambs’ first Medieval Pageant was hailed a great success as thousands of spectators turned out to wander round an authentic medieval encampment set up in Ely Park and watch the re-enactment of the Battle of the Bishop’s Rebellion of 1342.

The two-day event featured a sprawling encampment of genuine medieval style tents, with armourers, blacksmiths, men-at-arms, knights, merchants, women’s quarters and camp followers. Nearby were hog roast stalls and a beer tent selling medieval-style honey beer and cider.

During each of the two days a continuous programme of 14th century archery, dancing, music and weapons displays kept the audiences entertained. The highlights of both days were the battle re-enactments when mini-armies of knights, archers, gunners, pikemen and foot soldiers clashed noisily and bloodily in a re-run of the decisive battle when the forces of William the Pretender, aided by the 14th century Bishop of Ely, were defeated by Edward II.

Image: Ely Pageant Encampment

East Cambs Tourism and Events Officer Tracey Harding, who managed the marathon event along with Ely Museum said: “This was the first large scale visitor event the Council has organised. We have built up a lot of valuable experience over the last few years of running bigger and bigger visitor events, such as the Apple Festival, now in its fourth year, the Eel Day, now in its second year, and the concerts in Jubilee Gardens and Ely town centre.

“All of these events are aimed at continuing to build up Ely as a prime tourist attraction and shopping centre, and we are undoubtedly succeeding, as other market towns in England have been looking to Ely as a successful example of how to re-generate their own economies.

Image: Ely Pageant Soldiers

“The medieval pageant is the biggest event we have run so far, and our first ever ticketed commercial venture. It took a huge amount of work to organise it, but it has been a big success, especially being the first paying event we have put on, and we have learned a lot from it. We’ve already got the planning for the Ely Christmas lights event well under way, and now we’re even starting to think about events for the summer of next year!�

2 replies
  1. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    There doesn’t appear to be anything planned this year as far as I can see. I have been in touch with the tourism office and have (as yet) had no reply.

    You can be sure that shiuld the event be scheduled it will be featured in our ‘What’s On’ page.

  2. Zita
    Zita says:

    I just caught the tail end of the medieval pageant last year and wondered if there was a similar event planned for 2006.

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