Warwick’s King James I Festival

Warwick's King James I Festival

Party like it’s 1617 in Warwick this November as the town commemorates the 400th anniversary of King James I’s visit

From the 3rd – 5th of November 2017, visitors to Warwick can revel in a series of activities including historic tours, banquets, fireworks and Guy Fawkes crafts, Sunday services in honour of the founder of the King James bible and his relationship with the town, and an extra special Bonfire Night at Warwick Racecourse on Saturday 4 November.

*Image courtesy  (c) Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Festival Program

Lord Leycester Hospital

A lavish extravaganza of music, dancing, food and ale kickstarts the celebrations from 7pm to 12am (midnight) on Friday 3 November 2017. Recreating the Grand Banquet held in the King’s honour in 1617, the grand feast has limited tickets available, on sale from 4th September. Cost £75 per person.

The festivities continue from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday 4 November with live music, food and merriment for all ages, at the Courtyard and Great Hall. £5 entry. Find out more.

Warwick Racecourse

King James I loved a party and following the failed attempt on his life under the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, he declared a special bonfire to celebrate his survival. This year’s Warwick Town Bonfire continues this tradition and promises to be bigger and better as a key event of the 400 year celebrations. On Saturday 4 November, gates will open at 5pm with hot refreshments and children’s fun area. The bonfire and fireworks display will start at 6.30pm.  Tickets priced at £6 and £1 for adults and children in advance. 3 and under are free. Book tickets here.

Market Hall Museum

Discover what life was like in 1617 with a visit from the Museum’s Time Traveller, design your own coat of arms shield, or create a patchwork to help dress Guy Fawkes for Saturday night’s bonfire. The Market Hall Museum is open from 10.30am to 3pm on Saturday 4 November. Bookings not required. Cost £2.50 per child; free for Heritage and Culture Warwickshire Supporters (ID required).

St Mary’s Church 

Learn about the intriguing friendship of King James I and Sir Fulke Greville – poet, dramatist, statesman, Earl of Warwick, custodian of the Castle and host of the 1617 banquet. An historic exhibition also unveils how the world-famous King James Bible came to be commissioned and its impact on today’s world, whilst services on Sunday 5 November will feature choral music enjoyed by the King.

The Church’s tower will be open on Saturday 4 November, providing a bird’s eye views over the town as it prepares for the bonfire during the day (£3 adults, £2.50 Students £6 family {2adults up to 4 children), and will provide a unique vantage point for the evening’s fireworks, including champagne and canapés. £15 to book contact@stmaryswarwick.org.uk or call 01926 403940. Opening times 10.00am – 4.30pm

Warwick Castle

The area’s leading attraction, Warwick Castle’s expert History Team will be delivering entertaining insights into King James I – his power, his personality and his influence on the Castle, including why he gifted it to the Greville family. Tours run throughout the weekend and are included in the Castle’s ticket price. Book tickets here.