Saturday saw a little time travel to the annual Medieval Fayre at the Old Hall, Tatton Park, an historical estate in Knutsford, Cheshire. I attended this wonderful event for the first time last year, and had such a fantastic time that I had subsequently been really excited to revisit this year. I love history, the Dark and Middle Ages being of particular interest to me, and even more exciting, was that my boyfriend was attending the Tatton Old Hall Medieval Fayre as his first foray into historical re-enactment.
The morning, unfortunately, saw rather a lot of rain, which I was worried would ruin the day somewhat, as it's a completely outdoor festival event; Thankfully, by the time we'd made our way there, the rain had stopped, and there was a slight slither of sun peeking through the clouds.
The entrance to the fayre is lined with dozens of tents, through which you are able to wander your way through, all set up with their own campfires with little cauldrons of stew bubbling away, pots, pans, crockery and weaponry, all neatly laid out, with the camps tended to by living history re-enacters who make you feel as though you really are in the 1200's! It's really wonderful to see!
The history continued inside with more fantastic camps, including medieval cooking demonstrations and blacksmithing, a medieval band and an impressive falconry display, which saw beautiful birds of prey swoop and fly around the crowd.
There were also countless stalls bearing all manner of wares that were for sale, from clothing of cloaks, smocks, kirtles and tunics to weaponry of swords, axes, halberds; there were also leather and woodworking's, stalls selling chainmaille jewellery, mead, ales, herbs, spices and more! We had a splendid time looking at the wonderful crafts, admiring the incredible craftsmanship that goes into so many of the goods on show, sampling meads and cordials, and parting with our coins in exchange for some really rather lovely things.
Morgana Le Fay
There is an astonishing amount of historical accuracy with attendees, from living history re-enacters to the general public; I, however, dressed in a rather more Medieval by way of Morgana and 80's fantasy movie villain. So about 6 percent historically accurate. Admittedly, I never turn down an opportunity to get all dressed up; it's an awful lot of fun, and I've never felt that we were felt badly thought of for not being particularly serious about accuracy, and whilst I would like to incorporate a few beautiful pieces of medieval garb into my wardrobe, I don't think I can completely rid myself of the 80's fantasy movie villain vibe, no matter how hard I might try. Heh!
I purchased a rather lovely medieval style cowl with a long, pointed hood, something I've been after for a while; it makes me feel like a strange pixie, and will be fantastic for the cold, Yorkshire winters, and for trudging across the moors in the mist and rain. I'm looking forward to sourcing the perfect broach or clasp for it. I think that may even elevate me to 15 percent historically accurate?
The day culminates in a rather grand engagement as two rival armies meet on the battlefield. It was really exciting to watch them march off to battle, especially as I got to see my boyfriend in fully authentic Medieval gear (he was one of the water bearers) It's a gloriously noisy affair, with shouts, threats and heckles from both sides before they clash in a flury of cannonfire, archery and swordfighting!
The Medieval Fayre at Tatton Park is fast becoming one of my favourite events, and I'm already looking forward to 2016's gathering and next time, I'm aiming for 40 perfect historical accuracy with a good side of 80's fantasy movie villain.