August 12, 2011 10.02 am This story is over 131 months old

Medieval Lincoln captures best-selling author and historian Alison Weir

Medieval Merriment: Best-selling author Alison Weir explains why Lincoln is a brilliant place for rediscovering the past.

Lincoln Castle will open its gates and transport visitors back in time at the weekend, transforming its grounds into a scene from Medieval England.

The Medieval Merriment event at the castle will be brought to life with theatrical performances and re-enactments of traditional crafts.

Bestselling author and historian Alison Weir, who recently visited Lincoln to promote her latest book, The Captive Queen, explains why Lincoln is really such brilliant place for rediscovering the past.

In the past she has spent a lot of time in Lincoln researching her books, in particular, while writing a biography of local historical figure, Katherine Swynford.

“When I was researching Katherine Swynford I was up and down from Surrey like a yoyo. I spent my time researching in the cathedral library and around the town.

“I have learnt a lot from my research here because, actually, you’re still essentially living in medieval Lincoln. The Layout is still the same.

“You could do a book on Royal Lincoln and you could pack it.Henry II came here and obviously there is St Hugh of Lincoln.

“Like so many Kings and Queens, Henry VIII came here with Katherine of Howard on progress, and of course part of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, is buried here.

Her latest novel, The Captive Queen, based on the turbulent life of Elenor of Aquitaine, even features the character Rohese de Clare, countess of Lincoln.

Mistress to the King, she had a reputation for being the most beautiful woman in England, and provides a pivotal turning point in Weir’s story.

Not only does Weir enjoy coming to Lincoln for its history and heritage, she also has enjoyed hosting many events here.

She has also performed at the cathedral alongside local historian Tracy Borman, where they gave a talk on their respective titles The Lady in the Tower and Elisabeth’s Women.

“I always have a wonderful time when I come to Lincoln.

“I started coming here when this [Waterstones, High street] was still Ottakars, I have lost count of the amount of times I have been, and I have to say that one of my events here was one of my landmark events.

“It was promoting my biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1999, and there was such a great turnout, I just thought, I have arrived.It was just such a wonderful evening, and everyone I have done here since has lived up to that.”

Entry at Medieval Merriment at Lincoln Castle cost £7 adults and £5 kids.

The Lincolnite contributors Lauren Westwood (L) and Chelsea Buckthorp (R) strut their medieval outfits for Alison Weir