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Home  > News  > Celebrate St George's Day with knight games and more

Celebrate St George's Day with knight games and more

March 16 2007

This story has been updated for 2011...

Have you ever daydreamed about knights in armour? Played swordfighting? Imagined you're jousting on your trusty steed or facing a dreadful dragon? We certainly have.

One of our most famous knights was St George and he is the patron saint of England. But what do you know about him?

Find out more about St George at a click!

Check out English Heritage's St George's Day Festival for some real-life knight action.

Play knights' games!
The Royal Armouries have got a Games Zone on their website?

Try some combat fun with Jousting Tournament and dare you play Arming King Henry VIII?

Courtesy Royal Armouries

Rich lords and knights would wear suits of metal armour in battle and practise their skills at tournaments. There was sword fighting and archery, but most important of all was the joust.

This was where two knights on horseback would wear full armour and charge at each other pointing huge lances (a long weapon like a spear) at each other.

This man has dressed up as a knight in armour.

© Roland Hancock

Photo of a man wearing a suit of armour.

Two people on horseback, wearing armour and charging towards each other with lances.

Sometimes knights used a sword or axe instead. They would both carry wooden shields, but a direct hit could knock a knight off his horse.

Here are some modern-day people having a go at jousting (don't try this at home!).

© Royal Armouries, Leeds

More games

Historic Royal Palaces have two fab fighting games. In Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill you take part in a sword fight with another knight.

In Henry VIII: heads and hearts you joust for the King.

Screenshot courtesy Historic Royal Palaces

Screenshot from jousting tournament game showing a cartoon style knight on a horse fighting another knight with a crowd including King Henry VIII in the background.

Computer graphic of knights on horseback, jousting.

The Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Archives have made a great game called Joust! where you can see if you would have made it as a tournament champion.

© V&A Museum and The National Archives

When they went to war or jousted, knights wore special designs on their clothes so that people could see who they were. These became more complicated as the years went on and were known as coats of arms.

Computer image of a chunky gold ring engraved with a coat of arms featuring three lions.

Some families still have coats of arms. Don't worry if you don't have one yourself - you can design one using the Design a Coat of Arms game from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Or check out Show Me's An Emblem For The Twenty-First Century - which symbols would represent your family?

© V&A Museum

Armour wasn't invented in the Middle Ages. People had been using different kinds of protective gear for hundreds of years before the Middle Ages.

The Roman army was famous for being well-equipped with big oblong shields and leather and metal armour.

Try the Dress the Roman Centurion game from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to see how they dressed up ready for battle.


Cartoon of a Roman centurion in armour, holding a spear.

There are loads and loads of castles all over the country where you can step back into the Middle Ages. Here's are just a few of the great locations you can visit:

Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh
Royal Armouries, Leeds
Caernarfon Castle, Wales - one of the best places to imagine you are a knight
Tower of London
Banff Museum, Scotland - arms and armour
Bodiam Castle - try on armour on selected days during the school holidays

Schoolchildren wearing pieces of replica Roman armour.

If you live near Chester you could even try on copies of Roman armour at Dewa Roman Experience - like the kids in this photo.

If you're in the north east, Segedunum Roman Fort always has loads of activities on and weapons to see.

So - get out and about and have fun. And don't forget to write in and tell us all about your visit!

Graham Spicer