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The Lincoln Knights Trail - 36 sculptures across Lincoln City Centre to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forest.
The Battle Of Lincoln
"The Battle of Lincoln, one of the most decisive in English history, meant that England would be ruled by the Angevin, not the Capetian dynasty."
- Professor David Carpenter
After agreeing the Magna Carta in 1215, King John went back on his promise which led the country to fall into a civil war. This divided the barons between supporting the crown and rebel barons who invited Prince Louis, the son of the French King, to take the English throne.
In October 1216, King John died and his son, Henry III, was only a child so William Marshal, a famous medieval knight and the King's champion, acted as regent. By May 1217, much of the country had been taken by the combined French and rebel English forces, but Lincoln Castle held out for the royalist cause under the command of a formidable lady constable, Nicola de la Haye.
On the morning of 20 May 1217, the Royalist army set out from Stowe or Torksey (the sources disagree) to help Nicola and raise the siege. The Royalists broke into the city and in the fighting that followed between the castle's East Gate and Lincoln Cathedral, the siege of the Castle was lifted and the French commander was killed. The rebels then either surrendered or fled down the hill and towards London. The Royalists claimed victory and then sacked the city. One chronicler ironically nicknamed the battle the 'Nine-day' of Lincoln (a Nine-day was either a fair or a tournament) as a battle in the city in 1141 had already been given the title of The Battle of Lincoln.
This battle was of national significance. If the Royalists had lost, England would have become part of France and our King Louis VIII, instead the Plantagenet dynasty ruled for another 250 years.
The Charter Of The Forest
The 1217 battle and the subsequent defeat of a French naval force at the Battle of Sandwich in August meant Louis' attempt to become King of England was over. On the 6th of November 1217 Marshal, in the name of the young Henry, reissued Magna Carta in an attempt to reunite the country and with it a companion document called the Charter of the Forest. In contrast to Magna Carta, which mainly dealt with the rights of barons, it confirmed rights of access to royal forests for all men and was not superseded until 1971.
The Lincoln Knights Trail
The Lincoln Knights' Education Trail is organised by The EBP, in partnership with Wild in Art and Lincoln BIG, with sponsorship from Waterside Shopping Centre, Siemens and generous print support from Ruddocks.
More than 40 primary, secondary and special schools from all over Lincolnshire have participated in the programme which saw a banner of half-size knights, all designed and decorated by schools, join the main Lincoln Knights' Trail this summer. With the help of an extensive resource pack, thousands of children have learnt about some of the fascinating characters involved in the Battle of Lincoln and how our often-overlooked local history has helped shaped the world we live in today.
The Education Trail made its debut at this year's Lincolnshire Show. The sculptures were then displayed at Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincoln Central Library, The Collection, the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Lincoln Cathedral, the Nomad Trust Shop on Sincil Street, Lincoln Castle and the Usher Gallery throughout the summer.
Our Knight - Show Us What You've Got. By Mel Langton
Mel Langton is a Lincoln based designer and illustrator whose work encompasses both digital art and traditional painting. Mel produces a range of colourful, bold and edgy artwork, having a particular passion for depicting strong and fiesta female characters, with music, lifestyle and alternative culture as influences within her work. You can view more of her work at www.mellangton.com
Sponsored By Lincolnshire Showground
The Lincolnshire Showground is a multi-functional events venue based just north of Lincoln. One of our main charitable objectives is to educate children about food, farming and the environment and we're excited to be working with Lincoln BIG to launch the 'Lincoln Knights' Trail Education Programme at the 2017 Lincolnshire Show.
The Nomad Trust
Most of the proceeds from the Lincoln Knights' Trail auction, and donations through the trail, will be going to The Nomad Trust.
The Nomad Trust serves the homeless community of Lincoln and provides emergency accommodation for those who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets. In 2013 the Trust joined with YMCA Lincolnshire and together they are seeking to develop new accommodation to replace their current facility, which is not suitable to meet all of the current needs, and a Day Centre.
The current emergency accommodation is a series of five rooms which house up to twenty-one homeless people each night. As the Trust does not have the facilities, those who stay at the centre have to leave during the day. This can mean spending up to twelve hours each day wandering around the city.
Subject to funding, the new accommodation will have sixteen units of emergency accommodation to support those who find themselves homeless. There are an additional forty units of move-on accommodation.
The Nomad Trust envisage the new centre will have day services and will be able to provide information, advice and guidance along with education and job search giving those who are homeless somewhere to go during the day.
Further information about the Trust can be found on the Nomad Trust website.
Two-thirds of the money raised from the Lincoln Knights' Auction will be presented to the YMCA and will be put into a restricted fund for the new build project. The remaining third of the proceeds will be put into an Art and Innovation Fund for the City of Lincoln.
Lincoln Knights Auction
The 36 sculptures of the Lincoln Knights' Trail raised nearly £180,000 in a thrilling auction in Lincoln Cathedral.
Hundreds of expectant Knights' fans gathered in the Nave for the sale and, after days of hot speculation, it was the Knight of the Skies - signed by the last surviving Dambuster, Johnny Johnson MBE - which attracted the big money. A mighty cheer went up when it was snapped-up by its sponsor Game Engineering for £15,000.
The Knights New Home
Our Knight will have pride of place in our new showroom on Outer Circle Road which is due to open early 2018.
We were pleased to be able to secure the Knight of our choice. Supporting local charities is something which is close to our hearts and we are thrilled our donation has helped towards the grand total of £180,000 raised.