Sunday, June 08, 2008
Battle at Templecombe
The first weekend in June I went to Templecombe Medieaval Fayre in Somerset. This is an annual event, organised by a couple of re-enactment groups in the South West of England a.k.a. bunch of otherwise seemingly normal folk who like to dress up at weekends and hit each other as per the days of yore. The day forecast rain and sunny intervals but we Brits are used to such meteorological turbulence and headed out anyway. When we got to the event the field was pretty muddy but other than being a bit overcast we were pretty lucky with the rain.
It was a fairly modest event but I have to say it was one of the better organised I have been to. There were a number of things to do and see including stalls selling, clothing, jewellery, archery kit, wooden items etc., there were places to eat and drink (and get real Somerset cider which is nothing like the stuff known as cider in the US!), there was falconry, jousting and belly dancing as well of course sword combat and a battle!
The battle was very entertaining and everyone who took part put on a good show for the audience. The organisers had built a wooden castle at one of the battle field which was defended valiantly by the Lord and his retainers. The Lord had rebelled against paying taxes and so the King had sent a loyal Lord of the Court to bring the rebellious Lord back into line.
A big battle ensued complete with canon where the defenders were driven back into the safety of their castle. Eventually a truce was called and Knights from both sides fought each other to try and determine the outcome. This ended in a draw and so the defenders pledged to give the women and children safe passage before a siege developed. However, the attackers started to slaughter them and this resulted in a big end battle where many a valiant Knight was slain.
Re-enactment events like this are not just fun however. This one was a small local effort raising money for charity, but they are also importnat in that they expose the public, and children in particular to history. Of course I had my camera with me and despite the crowd of people in front of me I managed to get a few decent shots you see here. I think the smoke from the canons and the moody weather just added to the atmosphere of the photos. I will post some more pics soon of the belly dancers but meanwhile I posted one recently on my photoblog which you can view *here*.