Knucklas17 was a family-friendly arts-based festival with a broad appeal and an underlying Iron Age theme. It was a celebration of the eight successful years enjoyed by the Knucklas Castle Community Land Project since its inception in 2009.

Knucklas 17 festival was on Saturday 19 August 2017 and many people had a fascinating and enjoyable day browsing the stalls, sampling the lovely cakes, cider and beer, and later the music. Many took the opportunity to explore the hill and castle site, where more delicious food was sampled.

Most events happened in the meadow and the community orchard. Throughout the day, the marquee featured music, song, talks, poetry, story-telling and theatre. There was lots of stuff for children: Play Radnor, stories, cave-painting, Iron-Age pot-making, and much more. Local suppliers offered a wide range of wholesome food while, at the bar, you could buy Clun Brewery draught and other beers, wine, Skyborry cider and soft drinks.

The meadow above the allotments was where you could find demonstrations of Iron Age crafts and the Ancient Artefacts Exhibition with replicas of three Iron Age torques, found locally. By the allotments themselves, at their mid-August best, you could enjoy tea and yummy home-made cakes.

From the orchard, the site rises 300 feet through ancient broad-leaved woodland, home to some very special mysteries. Here, also, you may have come across wandering balladeers.  Then, into the sunlight again and onto the grassy castle mound where centuries ago stood the castle and before that an Iron Age hill fort. Here was found the Camelot Café, a wonderful airy bar, where you could relax, listen to live music and enjoy the views. Camelot? According to legend, at this very spot Arthur married his Guinevere.

And, don’t forget, the Celtic Carnyx! Or it won’t forget you.

Here is the programme:

OPENING CEREMONY (with John Kenny & Carnyx)

Guided botanical walk (with Fiona Gomersall Shropshire WLT)

Catuvellauni – Walking story 1

Guided woodland walk (with John Tuer of Severn Tree Trust)

Talk : Bone Zone! (Ric Morris of Shropshire Wildlife Trust)

Catuvellauni – Walking story 2

Talk : Re-wilding (Simon Ayres of Cambrian Wildwood)

Draw for Guinevere Platter & Raffle


Minstrels : Horse & Cart rides : Exhibition : Pole  Lathe & Shavehorse : Weaving

Play Radnor – children’s activities (from 13.15)

(Shields : Forts : Stone painting : Garlands : Den building : Waterslide : Making fire)

Fran O’Boyle – Story teller (from 13.15) – see tent for times

Catuvellauni – Iron Age Crafts (from 13.15)

(Thumb pots : Drop spindle spinning : Story-telling : Corn grinding : Face–painting)

Cave Painting with Wendy Davies (from 14.00)

Poetry Trail : Coracle & Horn Maker : Potter’s Wheel

Treasure Hunt : Raffle : KCCLP Stall : Shropshire WLT Stall : Balladeers


Organic Beef- & Hogget- Burgers : Organic Vegetarian Food : Salads

Felafel : Curry Puffs : Hot Dogs : Tea & Cakes

Camelot Café – Prosecco & finger food (Castle Mound from 14.30)

All Day Bar – Local Draught Beers & Cider, Wine, Lager & Soft Drinks


Our evening concert took place in the large marquee.

Performers included:

Meg Cox (Poet) : Rapsquillion : Ian Marchant (Stand-up) : Speedgums :

Surprise Guest – Dee Palmer


There were two associated events:

“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” –

Werner Herzog‘s unique and unforgettable documentary takes us on a tour of the world’s earliest known art gallery. In “Cave of Forgotten Dreamswe are lead into an almost inaccessible cave in southern France which contains truly astonishing and wonderful paintings created by our ancestors 30,000 years ago.

In 1994, three French speleologists, exploring caves in the Ardèche, discovered quite by accident the wonders of the Chauvet Cave. The French government immediately sealed off the site to preserve its priceless and irreplaceable contents. Mindful of the damage that has occurred at Lascaux, the general public has never been permitted access.

The cave, closely protected and accessible only to archaeologists and other selected individuals, is now a UESCO World Heritage site. Special dispensation was given to Werner Herzog who, allowed only four hours filming a day over six days, produced this astonishing and widely acclaimed film.

As well as the familiar figures of Palaeolithic cave art – horses, cattle, mammoths, etc. the Chauvet Cave paintings feature many predatory animals such as cave lions, panthers, bears, cave hyenas and even rhinoceroses.

“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” is an unforgettable cinematic experience and presents the audience with a privileged display of astonishing and beautiful artwork created 30,000 years ago. (Runs 90 minutes)


“Mouthpiece of the Gods” –

John Kenny’s solo lecture/recital tells the story of the reconstruction of the Carnyx, the iconic Iron Age Celtic instrument, and the evolution of the great family of lip reed (brass) instruments. His talk is generously illustrated on many instruments from the pre-historic onwards.

Trombonist, composer and actor, John Kenny is internationally acclaimed for his interpretation of contemporary music, having performed and broadcast in over 50 nations. He also works extensively with improvisation and early music and is particularly active in collaboration with dance and theatre. He has been commissioned by London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the International Trombone Association, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust, BBC Proms in the Park and many others.

John is a professor at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has lectured and performed at many of the world’s leading conservatoires and music colleges. He is a founder member of the European Music Archaeology Project (EMAP) and, in 1993, became the first person to play the carnyx in possibly 2000 years. He lectures and performs on the carnyx internationally. In March 2003 he performed his composition “The Voice of The Carnyx” to an audience of 65,000 in the Stade De France, Paris.