Gallery: Medieval knights take to the streets of Lavenham during carnival

The Lavenham Carnival procession in full swing.

The Lavenham Carnival procession in full swing. - Credit: Archant

More than 6,000 visitors went back in time over the bank holiday weekend at Lavenham Carnival.

The streets between the famous timber-framed buildings were filled with knights and damsels, horseman and medieval musicians, all kitted out in period costume.

The theme of this year’s carnival, which saw events running from Friday night through to yesterday evening culminating in a spectacular parade, was Lavenham Through the Ages.

Carnival parade day began in the market place with a medieval jester, who provided the commentary for a ‘Palio’ contest – a challenge featuring five horse riders each representing Lavenham’s five guilds.

The carnival procession lead by members of the Household Cavalry headed out from Market Place at 12noon towards the village playing field, which hosted the first medieval joust to take place in Lavenham for around 600 years.


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According to carnival co-organiser Jane Ranzetta, this year’s event also commemorated one of the founding fathers of the village, John de Vere, who was the 13th Earl of Oxford.

His victories at the Battle of Bosworth and Stokes Field marked a building spree in west Suffolk in preparation for a visit by King Henry VII in 1487.

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Ms Ranzetta said: “This year is the 500th anniversary since John de Vere died.

“He was the principal commander of Henry VII’s army at the Battle of Bosworth, and he founded the Household Cavalry – he was also a key figure in Lavenham.”

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