Jousting Champion and Magician Wife Transform House into Medieval Castle Complete with Banqueting Hall
A medieval-obsessed couple have transformed their four-bedroom, semi-detached home in Somerset, England, into a Middle-Ages-themed castle complete with a banqueting hall.
Martin and Jayne Townley spent just £5,000 to transform their home into an authentic medieval experience, the DailyMail reports. They commissioned a mural artist to paint the front and inside of their home with a stone wall effect, hung medieval mirrors, suits of armor and flags, created archways, and altered the lighting. But their most prized feature is the banqueting hall, where they host medieval-style feasts with friends. Food is served on wooden boards and they drink from flagons and goblets. Their guests even dress up in medieval outfits.
Martin Townley’s passion for all-things-medieval developed after taking up the hobby of jousting. Jousting can be traced back to the Middle Ages and the rise of the use of the heavy cavalry. The feudal system then in place required rich landowners and nobles to provide knights to fight for their king during war. Jousting provided these knights with practical, hands-on preparation in horsemanship, accuracy and combat simulations that kept them in fighting shape between battles. However, what was initially intended purely as military training quickly became a form of popular entertainment. The first recorded reference to a jousting tournament was in 1066, and within a century they had become so widespread that a series of regulations were established limiting the number of jousts that could be held, lest the king’s armies be otherwise occupied when an actual conflict arose.
A neo-Gothic mural by Léo Scnug in a French castle depicting a medieval knight about to joust and four women in the audience, painted in the 1910s. (timeyres photo/ Wikimedia Commons )
Martin, a former jockey, took up the sport four years ago and is now the British Amateur Jousting champion. Jayne Townley, a professional magician, shares her husband’s passion, and in-line with her career path, also adorned their home with secret doors and magical illusions.
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“We both like anything that’s quirky or different, but Martin is the one who is more knowledgeable about what is authentic for the era,” Jayne said [via the Metro]. “Martin really likes crowns, knights and everything medieval so he was the reason we did this.”
I wanted it to look like a castle,” said Jayne “but specifically not like a dungeon. I’m really pleased with it – we wanted it to feel like a film set or a museum.
Our friends and extended family are always super excited about coming over and our neighbours love it, they come to visit all the time.
Top image: Jayne and Martin Townley at their Middle Ages themed house hosting a medieval banquet (Picture: Caters News Agency)