On Monday 11th June, our Thirds embarked on their annual trip to Chepstow Castle near the border of Wales. This imposing structure was constructed in 1067 on the orders of William the Conqueror, who wanted to demonstrate Norman power over the native people of the British Isles after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. Upon arrival, we were overawed by the breath-taking view of the castle from the banks of the River Wye. We were greeted by our amazing medieval re-enactor, who proceeded to give us a tour of the site, with particular emphasis on the defensive features of the castle. In fact, Chepstow was considered so strong that no army dared attack it until the advent of cannon-fire in the English Civil War. We also enjoyed a talk on the activities that took place in the Great Banqueting Hall, where owners of the castle, such as the famous knight William Marshal, would entertain his guests with lavish feasts.
After lunch, a couple of our classmates (and Dr Limm) were given the opportunity to try on the armour used in the Middle Ages. They described it as extremely heavy and uncomfortable, especially when asked to “CHARGE” their enemies! To round off a fascinating day, our guide demonstrated his expertise of some medieval weapons, including the longbow, jousting spear and broad sword. We would like to assure readers that only milk cartons, and no Thirds, were harmed during this portion of the day!