Love Bedford Medieval Festival

Published on 10 July 2019

Bedford is getting a colourful and exciting Medieval Festival at the Castle Mound over the weekend of July 27th & 28th, funded by town centre businesses of the Bedford Business Improvement District.

Organiser David Smith, who has considerable experience in staging Medieval festivals believes that “Bedford’s Castle Mound makes for a great setting for a Medieval Festival and the fact that is historically authentic has really helped persuade some great re-enactment groups and performers to come to Bedford for the weekend.”

The FREE entertainment includes groups and performers from the Medieval Combat Society, The Wythe Retinue, God’s Company of Tabor, the King’s Executioner, Talonted Feathers, A Merrie Noyse Minstrels, and England’s most famous Medieval Fool, Juggler, and Jester, the legendary Devilstick Peat Fibbs.

The fun starts at 10am and there will be colourful tentage and living history encampments, circus skills school for children, music and dance, have a go archery, ferret racing, craft demonstrations, the preparation and serving of a medieval feast, the chance to hold a hawk or an owl, black powder artillery demonstrations, and a medieval sword fighting tournament which will quite probably end in a nasty melee or “free for all” with last man standing getting the prize.  Visit for the full itinerary.

The King’s Executioner will be looking to explain the horrors and indignities of punishments meted out to criminals or just to those who attracted the King’s displeasure back in the rather  brutal middle ages, and if you want to find out more about anything medical or surgical then be sure to visit the camp of the Hussites (God’s Company of Tabor), a mercenary band of soldiery taking refuge in England from their uprising against the Teutonic Knights in central Europe - their  battle scarred warriors have had to become well versed in such things.

During Saturday and Sunday morning and early afternoon re-enactors and “mobile perfomers” such as the musicians “A Merrie Noyse” will be wandering into the pedestrianised town centre, shopping, meeting and greeting, performing, and informing the general public about the Festival and encouraging them to visit. This will become a “Pied Piper” style thing as mid afternoon Saturday / early afternoon Sunday to try and get a good crowd for the timetabled activities.

With Bedford being steeped in history it is fantastic that both Heritage Bedford and the Bedford Association of Tour Guides are supporting and attending the festival.  There will be FREE guided tours of the Ice House and Lime Kiln at the festival on both Saturday and Sunday at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.  No pre-booking is required, just turn up.  Tours will commence from the Ice House (Higgins side of the mound). 

In addition on both days from 2pm – 4pm, St Pauls Church which is just a 5 minute walk from Castle Mound, are giving visitors a rare opportunity to go up into the Bell Tower FREE of charge.   Here you can watch a demo of the bell ringing and if you are lucky have a go!?  Cameras are needed here as this is a great chance to see some stunning views of Bedford and beyond.  

PLUS On Sunday 28th from 11-12.30pm pre book for “The Rise & Fall of Bedford Castle” walk. (Visit  for cost and more information.  Pre-book tickets at the Box Office on 01234 718044.  Limited spaces available. )

Over the weekend make sure you visit the Love Bedford team who have entry forms for a Free Prize Draw to win a superb top prize courtesy of Select Travel Holidays on Mill Street.  Free balloons and face painting (11-3pm) will be available for the children too!

The surrounding businesses and restaurants of Castle Lane, the Swan Hotel and its beautifully refurbished Terrace will welcome you during the festival plus there will be some food and drink available to purchase on site including a pizzeria, coffee, smoothies & shakes. 

Put the dates in your diaries, get your friends and families together and bring your cameras!

Weekend Itinerary - (subject to change)

Saturday 27th July

10.30am - Artillery Demo
1pm - Serving the Medieval Feast
4pm - Dance Display
4.30pm - Devilstick Peat
5pm - Sword Tourney and Melee
6pm - Artillery Demo

Sunday 28th July

10.30am - Artillery Demo
1pm - Serving the Medieval Feast
2pm - Dance Display
2.30pm - Devilstick Peat
3pm - Sword Tourney and Melee
4pm - Artillery Demo

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