Learning all about the cut and thrust of mediaeval warfare

190512 Cromwellian re-enactment at blackness castle.
190512 Cromwellian re-enactment at blackness castle.

Given a spell of good weather, crowds are expected to flock to Blackness Castle for a weekend of historic re-enactments to showcase it’s formidable role in Scotland’s history through the ages.

Castle custodian Historic Environment Scotland will roll back the years with the aid of a team of costumed interpreters and an army of re-enactors.

Together they will demonstrate military strategy and techniques from the era when the castle played a pivital role in the country’s history.

Historic Environment Scotland’s Siege on the Forth event will take place at the Castle over the weekend of September 2 and 3, allowing visitors to explore the history of the 15th century fortress through the ages.

One of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, with spectacular views across to the Fife coast and along to the Forth bridges, the castle has served as an artillery fortress, royal castle, prison and armaments depot.

Known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unique profile and footprint, the mighty fortress will be brought to life as visitors enjoy living history camps and arena performances by re-enactment groups representing the mediaeval, Covenanter and Napoleonic periods.

The family-friendly event, running from noon to 4pm on both days, will include a musketry display and pike drill, with children being invited to form a Kid’s Army, laying siege to the castle.

Youngsters will also have the opportunity to make their own castle and mini-mangonel to try to topple it.

Laura Gray, assistant events manager for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to bring Siege on the Forth back to Blackness Castle for a second year, after the success of last year’s event.

“We’ve put together a really exciting and entertaining programme that offers something for everyone – it’s one not to be missed.”

Other highlights include a mediaeval science show and there will be a children’s bridge-building exercise to celebrate the opening of the Queensferry Crossing on August 30.

Budding stonemasons can learn what’s involved in maintaining an ancient castle in the stonemasonry and soap carving classes and children will be able to take their soap designs home with them.

Visitors can discover more about the ecology of the Forth from Inner Forth Landscape Initiative and Historic Environment Scotland Ranger Service who will lead walks around the wilder areas surrounding the castle, followed by birdwatching opportunities from the battlements.

For more information and to book your ticket visit the Historic Environment Scotland website.