Posted by: travelrat | July 31, 2018

The Joust

Arundel Castle: 25th July 2018

‘Whither away, Sir Knight?’

‘Oh, I’m just going to joust about’

‘Then, I will joust a bout with thee. Art thou ready?’

‘Aye! Joust about!’

Joust 1

Most folk have seen re-enactments of ‘mediaeval tournaments’. Some of them are good; some not so good. However, very few of them conform to the Hollywood idea that the aim is to unhorse the other rider; some films even give the impression that it’s a fight to the death!

The idea is that points are scored for hits to various parts of the body with the frangible lance, with bonus points if the lance is shattered. And, to make things more difficult, contestants don’t ride their own horse, but one allocated at random. It probably goes without saying that both horses and riders are professionals.

As a warm-up to the main event, there are also exercises in spearing rings with a lance, shooting the bow and throwing javelins on horseback and making coleslaw by chopping up cabbages with a sword. And, at the quintain, another misconception was corrected. The objective is NOT to strike the plate with a lance, then get out of the way before being clobbered with the counterweight … they just count the revolutions the device makes, which will vary depending on how hard the plate was hit.

In this part of the tournament, the ladies also took part … and some of them were as skilful as the knights. The tilt itself, though, is strictly a man’s game … at the moment!



  1. Near my part of the world. I love Arundel (not just the castle), it’s such a lovely old town and sitting by the pub by the river can be sheer heaven on a warm day. I didn’t know about the jousting rules, so thanks for that.

    • News to me, too … then I realised I’ve only seen mainly foot tournaments; the last mounted event I saw was many years ago, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

  2. This is normal in Finland:


    Have a great day!

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