North Ayrshire Council is to remember “the dazzling days of the Eglinton Tournament”, when the Earl of Eglinton hosted a medieval gathering in the grounds of his castle.
A display, running until September 27th at the Heritage Centre in Saltcoats, features a range of objects relating to the tournament, which was held at Eglinton Castle on the outskirts of Kilwinning in August 1839. A Council spokesperson said, “It was a triumph for Archibald William Montgomerie, the 13th Earl of Eglinton, attracting over 100,000 people from all over the UK, Europe and beyond.
“Now, 175 years later, the story is being told just a few miles from where the great and the good gathered on an August day for a display of jousting and horsemanship.”
With a new railway in operation, travel to the tournament was made easy for the public. The Council spokesperson explained, “In the midst of a Gothic revival, the tournament captured the imaginations of many. Important men of the day donned their armour and battled for pride and prizes in a joust and melee, but things don’t always to go plan, as the story of this extravaganza shows.”
The display at the Heritage Centre in Saltcoats tells the tale of the run-up to the tournament, the events and the people involved. The spokesperson said, “There will also a ‘Medieval Mayhem Day’ on Saturday, September 6th, from mid-day until 4.00pm, for children aged between 8 and 12, which will feature a mini-tournament where they can learn the courteous ways of Knights and Ladies, and enjoy some good old fashioned fun, all for £2.00.”