The sixteenth-century Accession Day Tilts were a fundamental aspect of Queen Elizabeth’s Accession Day. These jousting tournaments were celebrated in the courtyard of Whitehall Palace and their imagery was designed to establish the ‘political and theological position’ of Protestant England. As there are no surviving images, these festivities are largely depicted through literary references. However, parts of the original tiltyard in Whitehall, currently the Horse Guards Parade, still exist.
As the understandings and meanings of heritage are cumulative and fluid, accommodating the shifts and gaps in knowledge are important. History, as conveyed through notions of montage and allegory enables specific aspects to be further addressed by the precise use of advancing technology. In this instance, the vividly described ringing of church bells and cheering tiltyard crowds on Accession Day can be interpreted and digitally recreated as sound fragments to enhance eidetic experiences.
Montage as a technique enables a non-hierarchical framework that approaches the multiple renderings of the Tilts through an asynchronous archive where the disjunctions between tactile experiences of a tangible site, literary material and intangible auratic additions are juxtaposed to conjure up meaningful and individual experiences through active user participation. The gaps are celebrated, and meanings shift as contingent on the work being completed by the embodied user.
Dialectical history is expressed through the construction of active sources with the critical intent to reflect participation and use. The nature of heritage is communicated through varying hybrid and interdisciplinary material. Hence the Tilts that occurred during Elizabethan England are presently experienced through allegorical fragments. The expanding archive of material acquired through different working processes and practices now includes virtual sensations and environments. The readings of the Tilts are transformed by the user and similarly, the resulting polyvalent experiences of overlaid histories transform the physical and digital archive of resources that enrich discussions concerning this particular aspect of English heritage.