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Tudor Power & Glory

Tudor Power & Glory

March – August 2020

A new exhibition and action-packed programme of events to mark the 500th anniversary of The Field of Cloth of Gold, Henry VIII’s spectacular meeting with Francois I of France, one of the greatest and most conspicuous displays of wealth, pageantry and culture that Europe had ever seen.


In June 1520 Henry VIII and Francois I met outside Calais in France for a diplomatic and sporting event of unprecedented scale and ambition – The Field of Cloth of Gold.

Accompanied by their queens, courts and vast entourages, the summit and tournament was an extravagant and public display of friendship between England and France and their young and ambitious monarchs.

Though peaceful, it was also a feat of arms with both sides competing to outdo one another in demonstrations of their martial and chivalric prowess.


Our new exhibition will bring together for the first time a collection of remarkable objects, including some of Henry VIII’s most important armours, specially created for him to wear at The Field of Cloth of Gold.

Recognised as the home of international jousting our tiltyard here at the museum in Leeds will be the venue for our own spectacular Tudor jousting tournament over the May bank holiday.

An action-packed season of events and school holiday activities will bring this exciting period of history to life.


Opens Friday 27 March 2020
Travel back in time and explore with us the development of Henry’s armoury, the challenges of transporting the English court to France, the spectacle of tournament and the political power play at the heart of the event.


Over the May bank holiday weekend our purpose-built tiltyard will resound to the clash of metal on armour and the thunder of hooves as internationally renowned jousters battle for coveted trophies, glory and honour. The King and his court will be in attendance, and the museum bedecked in Tudor splendour. Tickets can be booked online.

Events programme

Our story begins at Easter with the Road to Power. Discover how the Wars of the Roses led to a Tudor ruling dynasty. History will come to life with re-enactors, combat demonstrations and battlefield skirmishes over the Easter bank holiday.

May half term will be golden as we re-imagine the festival of the Field of Cloth of Gold with a packed programme of events for all the family.

By July the Tudors will be at war. Discover the arms and weapons of the period, the combat skills and how the story ended.

Summer is a time for royal family days out with activities and events to keep everyone happy.


Friday 10 July
We present an opportunity to dig deeper into the fascinating history of this period, as some of the most accomplished Tudor researchers and historians of the period explore the background and significance of the Field of Cloth of Gold.