The days when Norwich was second in importance only to London will be vividly brought to life next month, when the Castle Museum hosts the biggest medieval pageant the city has ever seen.

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The first ever CastleFest will see Norwich Castle and its grounds come alive with the sights and sounds of the Middle Ages in one of the most ambitious spectacles the museum has hosted.

Three different groups of costumed re-enactors will bring their authentic medieval weaponry, trades, crafts and skills to the castle so visitors can get a taste of what the atmosphere might have been like there centuries ago, as well as finding out about the people who once lived within the castle walls and the city militia who defended them.

Michael Loveday, chief executive of HEART, said: “Norwich won’t have seen anything like CastleFest since the Middle Ages and HEART is pleased to be supporting this unique event. “It will be a great opportunity for people to learn about the city’s past in a fun and exciting way, and we’re especially pleased that re-enactors from our project partner city will be involved.”

The Norfolk and Norwich Medieval Association (NANMA) will take up arms on Castle Mound, while Saebert’s Folc will be providing an insight into the lives of the Anglo-Saxons who were oppressed by William the Conqueror when he seized Norwich.

Funded by Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART)’s SHAPING 24 project, CastleFest will also feature Belgian re-enactors, de Gruuthuse, who will set up their encampment on Castle Green.

There will also be music from Myal the Piper and his minstrels, object handling and the chance to purchase refreshments from a hog roast.

Rachel Kirk, Norwich Museums manager, said: “We are really excited as this is the first time we have extended our activities beyond the castle’s walls on to the mound and down into the Castle Gardens.

“The combination of in-house generated activities and events and re-enactors from across the region and Ghent will ensure that there is something inspiring and fun for everyone to experience.” HEART’S SHAPING 24 project links the Norwich 12. a dozen of the most historic buildings in the city, with 12 heritage sites in the Belgian city of Ghent, with the aim of raising the profile of both cities.

CastleFest will take place over the weekend of Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18.

Tickets cost £6.60 for adults and £4.80 for children, and include admission to Norwich Castle and all CastleFest activities.

Tickets must be booked in advance by visiting www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk or by calling 01603 493625.

Make sure you get the Evening News every Friday for our Going Out section, your guide to what’s on in and around Norwich. You can also find out what’s on by visiting www.eveningnews24.co.uk/goingout

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