By Aliki Kraterou
This medieval-mad mum turned joust-ess with the most-ess and hired a castle for her £1,500 Middle Ages-themed 50th birthday party.
Professional magician Jayne Townley previously turned her house into a Tudor castle, so it wasn’t a surprise when she rented Banwell Castle in Castle Hill, Somerset, with hubby Martin, 48, for her big birthday bash on Saturday [March 9].
The mum-of-two, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, enforced a strict costumes-only policy with the 50 guests dressed up as knights and damsels before taking selfies with an animatronic dragon and enjoying jousting, sword fighting, medieval dance, a jester act, medieval mind reading and traditional food.
Jayne, 50, whose birthday was on March 6, said: “I thought it would be nice to have a different party, where everyone would be dressed up and do loads of fun things.
“I bought medieval costumes and a few extra cloaks and hats so everyone could have one – we have a rule ‘no costume, no entry, no exception’.
“It was totally amazing, neither of us take ourselves too seriously.
“I didn’t want to be ’50 and boring’, so the medieval theme was perfect.
“The day was truly memorable, it was a lot of work but totally worth it. Our entertainment was fantastic too as we had lots of games.
“Every single person dressed up and we loved how wacky it the party was – 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.
“Our guests were not surprised at all when I told them about the medieval party – they know us and they were expecting it. They all thought it was a brilliant idea.”
Jayne and Martin are big fans of the medieval era and previously spent £5,000 transforming their home into their very own castle – including turning their dining room into a Middle Ages-themed banquet hall and painting flagstones and ramparts on the back of the building.
The couple’s love for the medieval era comes from landscape gardener and former jockey’s Martin’s beloved hobby of jousting.
The former jockey took up the sport four years ago after Jayne bought him a jousting experience as a birthday present and since went on to win the British Amateur Jousting Championships.
After the couple’s medieval wedding in 2015, dubbed ‘Wedstock’, and a Middle Ages-themed New Year’s Eve bash they were looking for the opportunity to plan another wacky event for their friends and family.
Jayne added: “We had such a good time at our wedding and all our friends were asking when are we going to do ‘Wedstock 2′.
“Martin and I love random quirkiness and we are both fully into something different.
“This was one of my most special birthdays for sure.”