GAME OF CLONES! – THe Youth Panel get blown away by Carlisle Castle’s Historic Re-enactment Event!

The Tullie House Youth Panel enjoyed a bit of drama at Carlisle Castle this weekend at the English Heritage historic re-enactment event, which marked 700 years since Robert the Bruce lead his army in an attempt to seize the much-fought-over castle. The story of England vs. Scotland was narrated with humour over the loud speaker as the re-enactors battled the Cumbrian winds as well as each other! Despite the gales, re-enactors from ‘Historia Normannis’ and ‘Dawn of Chivalry’ stormed the castle gates and climbed up the battlement walls on (not-so-sturdy-looking) ladders, all to the cheers of the crowd below!

Members of Historia Normannis took time out after their first scene to tell us more about their group, and how they came to be in Carlisle attacking our castle! They explained the importance of historic accuracy when it came to the replica weapons and their clothing (which they all make themselves), and the importance of learning how to fight with skill: making the battles look realistic, but keeping it safe at the same time.

After all that action, and with the ‘Battle of Blackwater’ on our minds, the burning question was of course…..Whether their society had seen an increase in numbers since the growing popularity of the fantasy TV series ‘Game of Thrones’*? We weren’t surprised to hear that numbers had increased recently – especially in Manchester – and this was indeed partly attributed to the popularity of the series about mythical kingdoms, which they said has made it a bit cool to be a bit of a geek!

We were shown around the replica encampment set up in the grounds of the castle where we could take a look at the types of food the soldiers would have eaten, and got a peek inside the tent of a wealthier combatant. We discovered that they were in fact ‘glamping’, as it seems they were 700 years ahead of us with the cleverly designed flat-pack furniture!….IKEA eat your heart out!

The guys and girls we spoke to (yes, girls can battle just as well as any bloke!) were very  friendly and welcoming – as well as very passionate about what they do. They said that lots of different people join for many different reasons, but they stay because they make such good friends being part of such a close-knit society. Currently there is a cell that meet in Kendal, but – just between us and you -there were murmurs about the beginnings of a group in Carlisle if there was enough interest locally.

If you think it might be for you – information about the group, and how to get in touch can be found on their website.

We had a great day, and it was fun to try something a bit different! We would highly recommend you go along to the Castle’s next big event – ‘From Redcoat to Khaki’ – which will be over the August Bank Holiday. You can find out more on their website.

Also, if you’re keen to get involved with the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Youth Panel, you can contact us via our facebook page, or by contacting Catherine at



*a television series, based on novels written by George R. R. Martin.