A jousting champion and his magician wife have spent £5,000 transforming their dining room into a Middle Ages-themed banquet hall.
Jayne and Martin Townley moved to the four-bedroom semi-detached home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, two and a half years ago – and decided to give it their own fantasy twist straight away.
Within days they had enlisted a mural artist to paint the walls of their dining room to resemble stones, and used mirrors, archways and real lights from stately homes to create an authentic medieval feel.
Jayne and Martin Townley, from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, spent £5,000 transforming their dining room into a medieval themed banquet hall
A step inside their home shows a dining room (left before transformation and right after transformation) from the Middle-Ages
Two and a half years ago the couple had the outside of their house (left before transformation and right after transformation) painted to look like a grey stone fortress and had the walls painted to look like archways
A step inside the medieval home shows a banqueting hall (left while the work was in progress and right after its transformation) fit for a king and his guests
The couple enlisted a mural artist to paint the walls of their dining room to resemble stones, and used mirrors, archways and real lights from stately homes to create an authentic medieval feel
And the couple have found the most unique way to celebrate the turn of the year – by hosting a medieval-style New Year’s dinner served on wooden boards and slate slabs with mulled wine and ale from flagons and goblets as an annual tradition.
Even better, their 19 guests also dressed up in medieval outfits, crowns, hats and headdresses before posing outside the back of their home.
Professional magician Ms Townley said: ‘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.
‘Martin really likes crowns, knights and everything medieval so he was the reason we did this.
‘We had a medieval dining room in our previous house but that was primarily just the props such as the suit of armour and flags – it wasn’t until we moved here that we actually painted the walls and ceiling.
‘I wanted it to look like a castle, but specifically not like a dungeon. I’m really pleased with it – we wanted it to feel like a film set or a museum.
Mr and Ms Townley celebrated the turn of the year by hosting a medieval-style New Year’s dinner served on wooden boards and slate slabs
During the lavish banquet, that saw 19 guests enter their fantasy home, they also served mulled wine and ale from flagons and goblets
The dinner table in the dining room of the Jayne and Martin Townley’s home saw plates of meat, cheese and grapes laid out for eager guests
Ms Townley said: ‘People who do know we’ve got a medieval dining room thought it would be tacky and cheesy but it isn’t, it’s tranquil. They like to sit in there and soak up the atmosphere and listen to the lute music’
‘We didn’t want it to look tacky or have just pictures of medieval things, we really wanted it to ‘feel’ medieval, so we even burn log fire scented candles.
‘When most people enter the room they are usually in stunned silence.
‘They don’t expect our dining room to go like this because the front of the house is normal, so it’s hidden.
‘People who do know we’ve got a medieval dining room thought it would be tacky and cheesy but it isn’t, it’s tranquil. They like to sit in there and soak up the atmosphere and listen to the lute music.’
The couple’s love for the medieval era comes from Mr Townley’s beloved hobby of jousting.
The former jockey who is also a landscape gardener took up the sport four years ago after Ms Townley bought him a jousting experience as a birthday present.
He has since gone on to win the British Amateur Jousting Championships.
With the help of an artist, the couple were able to transform their ordinary dining room (left) into a scene from the Middle Ages (right). The couple’s 19 guests also dressed up in medieval outfits, crowns, hats and headdresses during the medieval meal
The couple have also filled their Middle Ages themed home in Somerset with secret doors and magical illusions
Mr and Ms Townley later invited guests to pose outside the back of their home which is made to look like a grey stone fortress
But they admit their teenage twins, Max and Evie, 16, are ‘not especially interested’ as they ‘eat in the dining room every day anyway’.
Ms Townley said: ‘We do it for ourselves. We do eat in there every day.
‘People are usually pretty amazed as you can’t tell from the outside.
‘Our friends and extended family are always super excited about coming over and our neighbours love it, they come to visit all the time.
‘I just wanted to do something different for meal rather than a simple dinner, so I thought a cold meat and cheese platter would be more ‘medieval’.
‘I don’t like modern things much – I didn’t want anything tacky but I didn’t want just to put up pictures, I wanted proper medieval.
‘It looks like a film set, you feel like you really got back in time.’