Sunday the 11th of June was a warm, sunny day; perfect for going for a tranquil walk in the park. However, if you were thinking that there would be peace and quiet in the Old Courthouse Recreation Ground, you would be very much mistaken! This is because our first ever Medieval Festival took place on that day, with lots of medieval merriment and mayhem. Just over 1,000 people visited our festival, which is part of our major Heritage Lottery Funded Battle of Barnet Project, to discover more about this important Wars of the Roses battle and encourage the local community to get involved.
We invited along members of the Medieval Siege Society to show visitors what it would be have been like to live (and fight) during the 1400s. The Medieval Siege Society is one of the largest late medieval re-enactment groups in the UK. They provided an exciting day of living history, Men at Arms and Gunnery demonstrations with lots of noise!
In addition, our Battle of Barnet Project and Barnet Museum volunteers provided medieval fun including children’s crafty activities and ‘guess the mystery object’ for visitors to try their luck. The museum was open to the public and Jan Stevens, a food historian was on hand to delight visitors with tastes of the past, including medieval Marchpane, Frummenty and Lamb’s Wool drink. Yummy! Visitors could also find out more about the Battlefields of Britain, courtesy of one of the Battle of Barnet’s project partners: The Battlefields Trust and there were also stalls selling jewellery, books and costume.
We now planning next year’s Medieval Festival, which we hope will be bigger and better, with medieval music, more stalls and fun historical activities. Watch this space!
Over the rest of the summer, we are training our volunteers on giving guided tours (eventually, we hope to promote Battle of Barnet walking tours early next year) and undertaking more archaeological investigations.
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Battle of Barnet Project Co-ordinator