Saturday, November 01, 2008

Question from Kayleigh - Field of the Cloth of Gold

Firstly, i would like to say what a huge relief find this site has been. I am 21 and tired of being looking at me as though im insane for talking and reading about the tudors. I love this period of history with a passion and im happy to find that so many others do to.

So, my question, I have read many books surrounding the tudors and have heard the 'field of the cloth of gold' mentioned many times? I was just wondering if someone could explain to me what this is?

Thanks in advance.

8 comments:

Lara said...

Howdy Kaleigh,

I've got a write-up about the Field of the Cloth of Gold here in the Glossaries section:
http://tudorhistory.org/glossaries/f/field_of_cloth_of_gold.html

I mainly concentrated on the events and pageantry, so I'm sure others will have comments on the political side (both before and after the event).

PhD Historian said...

If I might just add a note on the name, "Field of Cloth of Gold."

Cloth of gold was literally that: a fabric made with metallic threads of gold added to the weave. Garments and other items made from it had a bright, shiny golden appearance. It was perhaps the most expensive fabric made during the era, and certainly the most luxurious.

Henry had a marquee (large tent) made from cloth of gold, which was an incredibly extravagant and ostentatious thing to do. Many of those in attendance also had clothing made from cloth of gold. Thus the gathering acquired the name Field of Cloth of Gold because of the enormous quantity of the fabric that was on display during the event. The sight was no doubt jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring.

Kathy said...

Just a tidbit of information: If you get the chance to take Eurostar from London to Paris, the train comes out of the tunnel south of Calais very close to the location of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. It's an uninspiring site now -- not even a marker there as far as I know. I wish the French would organize something around the location and event. I'd certainly attend.

Marilyn said...

As Kathy says, the Eurostar emerges alongside what is now agricultural land sometimes planted to maize.

Road traffic on the A26 passes signs pointing out “Camp du Drap d’Or” which refers to the Field of Cloth of Gold - the area between Ardres and Guines . In Guines the event is re-enacted annually in medieval costumes, some of which are on display at the tourist office there, but Pas-de-Calais has been beset by great suffering and warfare, not least in the Twentieth Century, so perhaps it is not surprising that not very much is made of something that happened so long ago.

The two Kings met at the gateway to the Field and a marble monument stands there today near Balinghem, which lies between Ardres and Guines.

Marilyn

Marilyn said...

I forgot to say that this could have been the first time Anne Boleyn saw Henry, who was then 29. He was ensconsced in great splendour at the castle at Guisnes, whereas Anne was a member of the entourage of Queen Claude, whose husband was billeted at Ardres.

I believe there is a monument in Rouen with elaborately carved scenes depicting the encounter between the two monarchs, but i have not seen it.

Marilyn

Kathy said...

Thanks, Marilyn for that information. I don't get to France all that often, so it is very nice to know that. I am going to put that on my must-see list now!

Kayleigh said...

Sorry Lara, i didnt even think to look in the glossary section of the site, silly me. Thanks for the link.

Thanks to all the others who contributed to extended my knowledge too, it seems a really stupid question now!

Lara said...

There are no stupid questions! Asking questions is how we learn. Gee, I sound philosophical all of a sudden. :)