We met up at the school at around 9am. We waited in the main hall for the buses to come. Eventually, they came and we set off on a one-hour journey to the castle. We arrived there at around 10am. There, we got out and split into four groups, based on our forms. We all marched up to the front gate of the castle, with the first exhibit outside.
We saw an archery demonstration. The man was demonstrating a variety of interesting arrows and bows. One type of arrow could tear massive holes in your intestines. Another could embed itself almost permanently inside you. There were also different kinds of bow and arrow. The crossbow had a deadly long range and could pierce armour, but was slow and hard to reload. The longbow was easy to use and fire, in contrast. He also demonstrated medieval surgery. To remove an arrow in your arm or leg, you had to cut it in half and tear it out of the other side. Unfortunately, an arrow in the gut was usually fatal.
After that, we entered the main gate, or portcullis, of the castle. Our first activity was the tour of the castle towers and walls. We climbed up one of the towers. The spiral staircase was as perilous as it was long. The view on the high castle walls was stunning. You could see for miles all around. We toured this part of the castle for quite a while, before returning to the ground and going up a hill.
The hill led to a valley of various exhibits. This one had a few signs on it. We looked at all the signs and took a few photos. We then went to a bit of a museum located next to a lake. It held lots of inventions in it and was fascinating. We then headed to lunch.
Lunch was at a few picnic benches. We then watched them fire a trebuchet, a giant catapult. It required several men to load and fired a rock several hundred metres away. It was fascinating. We then watched a hawk display. One of them broke loose and chased after a pigeon, which was very amusing. The man showed various hawks, eagles and falcons. After the display was over, and the weather got better, we went to the Kingmaker exhibition.
This was a preparation for war, as Richard Neville, also known as the Kingmaker or the Earl of Warwick, was preparing his army for battle in the midst of the Wars of the Roses. He was fighting on the side of the Yorkist army. He managed several victories before his eventual death in battle. It was filled with sounds of swords sharpening, armour being refined and horses getting ready. Eventually, we got to the end, and the souvenir shop.
I didn’t buy much. After about a half-hour of shopping, we went back on the coach and back to WGS.