St George’s Day Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, Viewpoint Road IP11 3TW, Sunday April 23rd

St George’s Day Landguard Fort

What do we know of our patron saint, St George? To be truthful, very little!

Possibly he was born at Lydda about 270 AD. In 303 under the rule of Emperor Diocletion in ancient Niconedia, a young Christian soldier was arrested for tearing down edicts ordering torture of Christians and destruction of churches. For this, he was put to death, some say by roasting alive. His bravery and composure astonished his executioners. This was probably “our” George.

Forward to the Crusades of C11th – C15th when the likes of England’s King Richard I (the Lionheart) and nobility of Christendom were in the Middle East embroiled in battle for control of contested Holy Lands. The knights were captivated by stories of St. George and adopted him as a role model.

His feast day was ordered to be a national festival in England (April 23rd) and when Edward III founded George’s Chapel at Windsor and instituted the Order of the Garter St George became the patron saint of England.

Probably because we have so few facts about him, legend abounded fuelled by art, literature, fable and forever embedded in the chivalric tales of the Crusaders. Thus we picture him in chain mail and the white tunic with the familiar red cross as shown in the English component of our national union flag.

So much for history and the embellishments of myth. What are we left with to celebrate on April 23rd? Dragons a-plenty, fair maidens, as many as will be rescued from peril, swordplay to rival d’Artagnan and brave knights on the battlements. Nothing of this sadly is part of the history of our Felixstowe stronghold of Landguard Fort. Its dates are modern compared with the times of the real George, and even of the Middle Ages where we (wrongly) have always pictured him. Usually we like to stick to the facts and be as accurate as possible with our information. We aim to teach and bring the past to life as much as possible.

And yet —- let’s break a few rules and have some fun, including the grammatical error of starting a sentence with “and”. St George’s day at the Fort will be a day of dress-up (some of us volunteers and some of you, the visitors, young or as young as you feel). Please come as a knight, maid (or dragon) and let’s hear it for derring-do and blowing a trumpet for England’s special day. There will be one of our super treasure trails, colouring, model making and sword practice, and there is as always our amazing fort to explore. Dragons will be in evidence.

Join us at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, Viewpoint Road IP11 3TW, Sunday April 23rd,or St George’s Day Landguard Fort.

We are open every day from 1st April 10:00 hrs – 17:00 hrs (last entries 16:00 hrs) but you may find us more sensible and hysterical – I mean historical – on other days than St George’s day.

For further information on St George’s Day Landguard Fort  contact Penny or Roger on 01394 283633.

St George’s Day Landguard Fort March 2017