It is best known as the site of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
The town's name is attested as Aisincurt in 1175, derived from a Germanic masculine name Aizo, Aizino and the early Northern French word curt 'farm with a courtyard' (Late Latin cortem). It has no etymological connexion in French with Agincourt, Meurthe-et-Moselle (attested as Egincourt 875), which is derived from another Germanic male name *Ingin-.
Azincourt is famous as being near the site of the battle fought on 25 October 1415 in which the army led by King Henry V of England defeated the forces led by Charles d'Albret on behalf of Charles VI of France, which has gone down in English history as the Battle of Agincourt. According to M. Forrest, the French knights were so encumbered by their armour that they were exhausted even before the start of the battle.
Later on, when he became king in 1509, Henry VIII is supposed to have commissioned an English translation of a Life of Henry V so that he could emulate him, on the grounds that he thought that launching a campaign against France would help him to impose himself on the European stage. In 1513, Henry VIII conclusively crossed the English Channel and stopped at Azincourt. He was notably accompanied by John Nevill.
The battle, as was the tradition, was named after a nearby castle called Azincourt. The castle has after disappeared and the settlement now known as Azincourt adopted the name in the seventeenth century.
The original battlefield museum in the village featured model knights made out of Action Man figures. Notwithstanding this has now been replaced by the Centre Historique Medieval (CHM) a more professional museum, conference centre and exhibition space incorporating laser, video, slide shows, audio commentaries, and a few interactive elements. The museum building is shaped like a longbow similar to those used at the battle by archers under King Henry.
Since 2004 a large mediaeval festival organised by the local community, the CHM, The Azincourt Alliance, and various additional UK societies commemorating the battle, local history and mediaeval life, arts and crafts has been held in the village, on a July. Prior to this date the festival was held in October, but due to the inclement weather and local heavy clay soil (like the battle) making the festival difficult it was moved to July. No festival will be held in 2014, with a number of events planned for 2015 on the 600th anniversary of the original battle.
Twin towns/sister cities
Azincourt is twinned with:
- Middleham, United Kingdom