War of the Roses history is brought to life at historic Bradford hall

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Re-enactment group Frei Compagnie at last year’s event Re-enactment group Frei Compagnie at last year’s event

Discover what life was like in Bradford during the War of the Roses at a medieval living history weekend at Bolling Hall.

For the second year, re-enactment group the Frei Compagnie will present a weekend of domestic and military demonstrations of life during the 15th century conflict.

The free event will be held at the Bradford Council historic home on Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.

It will include longbow archery and firepower demonstrations, the opportunity to watch a knight prepare for battle as he dons his armour, and the chance to learn about falconry. A doctor will also be on hand to dispense gruesome medical remedies.

In addition, visitors will be able to hear medieval music being played by a minstrel and find out what part Bradford and its principal families played at the end of the medieval period.

The weekend will be held in memory of the late George Peter Algar, who was a descendant of the Bolling family, a novelist and a member of the Towton Battlefield Society, to which the Frei Compagnie is affiliated.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s executive member responsible for culture, said: “This will be a fascinating event that will bring history to life for visitors. It’s an opportunity to find out about the experiences of the people of Bradford, rich and poor alike, and how they were affected by fighting during the War of the Roses.”

The War of the Roses was the 30-year struggle between 1455 and 1485 between the houses of Lancaster and York – the red and white rose respectively – to claim the English throne.

Loyalties in Yorkshire were divided during this period and records show that Bolling Hall was forfeited to the crown in 1461 as punishment for the then owner, Robert Bolling, fighting for the Lancastrians. He begged for the return of his estate several years later, claiming he had fought in the battle against his will, and the King relented.

The war ended in victory for Lancastrian claimant Henry Tudor who defeated the last Yorkist king Richard III in 1485.

More information is available at bradfordmuseums.org.

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