Today we were very lucky to be invited along to try out the summer Knight School at Oxford Castle & Prison. I’ve never been to Oxford Castle before so I was looking forward to seeing what it has to offer. Lois has visited with school but hadn’t done the knight training.
On arrival we booked in at reception and after a quick walk up the mound, the bell was rang and we hurried to the meeting point. Here we met Sir Robin and Empress Matilda. They led us down to the underground crypt where we were shown knight’s shields and Sir Robin demonstrated how they were used. The kids were then given a shield template to design their own, encouraging the use of heraldry. There were lots of craft materials to decorate the shields with.
Next, each child was given their own wooden sword. We were then led outside to the training area for sword fighting practise. First Sir Robin introduced footwork and how to dart about with your sword. Then they got to try out their sword skills on the dummies. Cody took this very seriously as you can see!
After making sure their sword fighting skills were good enough, they headed round to the courtyard for some archery practice. The children had small bows with dummy arrows and a target. The took it in turns to have a go at firing towards the target. It was quite tricky to begin with but they eventually got the hang of it. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks!
Upon completing the archery training each child was presented with a certificate or taking part. They were then knighted by Sir Robin himself on behalf of Empress Matilda.
The Knight School lasted around an hour in total. I was worried it would feel a bit rushed with all the activities but actually it was perfect. The costumed characters were really good fun. They had a lot of historical knowledge which held them in good stead to answer some of the trickier questions some children came out with! Lois and Cody really enjoyed themselves and have played with their swords all day. The fact you get to keep the wooden swords plus the shields they made makes this pretty good value for money.
For two children it costs £16 to take part. One child costs £9.50, 3 children is £22.50. The Knight School is taking place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from now until 31st August 12-1pm. You will need to book your place in advance through their website.
We highly recommend booking a tour of the castle and prison while you’re there. We loved it! I’ll be publishing our full review of that very soon.
Disclaimer: Oxford Castle gifted us tickets to take part in Knight School. However, they had no involvement in this review and all words and photos are that of my own.