Friday, 11 July 2014
Tewkesbury Medieval Free Festival
Tewkesbury Medieval Festival has been happening since 1984 and is now one of the largest re-enactments in Europe...and it's free. It is based on the Battle of Tewkesbury that happened on May 4th 1471. I was working late in Tewkesbury so thought I'd take my dog for a walk to see what was about. As I walked over the field I was struck by the site of masses of beautiful tents...so much more attractive than a usual camping site.
There were people already dressed up, in fact some families spend the whole weekend living
'the part'....some as above just like dressing up ! In 1984 a friend and myself were asked if we could go over and provide some music, Pat played fiddle and I played the Bodhrun and bones....but we were told to dress up but didn't know it was a medieval event. Pat was in Top hat and tails and I was in a 1920's dress !
Not only is there a big battle re-enactment but there is a big medieval market where you can buy armour, cooking vessels, jewelry , clothes and fabrics...in fact everything that a medieval person could ever need.....you could probably even find a wife or husband ! There are quite a few Internet sites for buying the s tents,clothing and pilgrimage badges etc but you can't beat walking through a lane of ancient tents and buying a beautiful piece of hand made glass from a merchant in full medieval dress....If you think early it's a great chance of stocking up on some unusual presents for friends and relatives.
You can watch musicians and bands in and around the beer tent...past people have included the
Mediaeval Baebes and an amazing band from Germany, Schelmish, and try your hand at archery or watch plays and listen to story tellers......you might even meet a dragon !
The Festival is well worth going to, quite amazing that with the help of so many volunteers it has managed to remain free except for a charge on car parking. The Battlefields Trust has a map on line showing a walk that you can do any time of year....but sometimes you might need wellies !
This years Battle is on the 12th and 13th July.