Sunday, June 08, 2008

Battle at Templecombe

Medieaval Re-enactors ~ Templecombe Medieaval Fayre, June 2008

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*.


kenju said...

Belly dancers at a medieval event? I don't see the connection. Good photos.

Bob-kat said...


Belly dancing wasn't around in Britain in medieaval times but it sure was in the East! :) The event was organised for charity by small local groups and the belly dancers were like a guest act.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I think your pictures are FANTASTIC! You caught the feeling of these battles and it looks so real...I feel like I am right there "in it" too! I am fascinated by these re-enactment things. It seems to be a very popular happening there in the U.K. I know CQ does this and I wondered have you ever been to any of her weekend re-enactments?

Dianne said...

I haven't gone to anything like this in a long time and your photos make me want to.

There's an old farm near me that does 'life as it was' events. You've inspired me to check them out.

As always - fantastic photos!

craziequeen said...

It was a good day, albeit not as well patronised as it could be (some Brits are getting fussy about the weather!) - but I think the entire population of Templecombe turned out :-)

The battle was fun - we were on the rails in line with the small cannon. I love those photos - especially Big Nose and Roger in the first one. The pictures sum it up, very good :-)

Next up - Tewkesbury! :-) Are you going? [wink]


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love the pictures, Bob-kat. Awesome. I wish I could have been there. Really, I want to come live your life with you. It's much cooler than mine!

rashbre said...

The fighting looks pretty serious, and those weapons look sharp. I've never been to a full event like this, yet there seem to be quite a few around the countryside.

Great reporting!

Nikki-ann said...

Looks like fun! A friend of mine used to do re-enactment and I think her partner did a lot of the metal work.

Michael Manning said...

Morning, Bob-kat! Of course I'll have to return for the belly dancing photos for closer inspection! Coincidentally, my Mom was visiting me and we were at the Grand Canyon for a re-enactment of a robbery of our train by fine actors. It was very well done and brought back a flavor of the Old West!

moon said...

OMG that looks like it was a great time! would have loved to be there myself!!Your photos are terrific!!

R. Sherman said...

I defended a Civil War re-enactor who accidentally shot one of his colleagues in the arse with a musket. Served 'im right, though. He was dressed as a Yankee.



Melody said...

I love these photos BK! SO clear and makes you feel involved. (were you? *heehee*)

Sim said...

They used to have a lot of these fayres and re-enactments here in the mouth of Ply but if they still; do, they are no longer as well publisicised or they do not appear to be as popular, which is a shame. Your photos did take me back to my youth though, and like Dianne, I would love to go to something like this, this summer

Shephard said...

What a grand day that would be. :) Even amidst meteorological turbulence. :) I'd have loved to have seen the falconry.


David said...

hello, thanks for the visit.

happy fathers day