Castle brings history to life

Battle of Wakefield reinactment
Battle of Wakefield reinactment
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MEDIEVAL weapons and replica relics helped recreate 15th century castle life.

Around 300 people visited Sandal Castle

on New Year’s Eve to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield.

The Frei Compagnie re-enactors held a show and tell event in partnership with friends of the castle.

Families got to touch and see weapons, clothing and crafts, including a working spinning wheel. Friends of Sandal

Castle member Keith Souter said: “I think everyone found it interesting seeing the weapons and how they would spin wool in 15th century Wakefield. “I hope some people went away with that sense of belonging and pride in Wakefield and what it has to offer. Although the castle is a ruin, it is an important historical site and I think some people learned that on the day.”

During celebrations, around 200 people joined members of the Wakefield Historical Society

and the Yorkshire branch of the Richard III Society to lay a wreath at the monument on Manygates Lane, where it is believed Richard Duke of York was killed 551 years ago. The Duke of York died during the War of the Roses conflict on December 30, 1460.

He was slaughtered during one of the bloodiest battles after leaving Sandal Castle

with his army of around 5,000 to face King Henry VI’s opposing Lancastrian force of 15,000.

And the landmark battle lead to the downfall of the Yorkists.

A wreath is laid each year to commemorate his death, but this was the first time the visitor centre opened for such an event at the castle, which is being promoted by the friends group.