Glastonbury Medieval Fayre 2015

Held in the Abbey grounds over Easter weekend, Glastonbury Medieval Fayre makes for an enjoyable way to spend a day and this is exactly what we did yesterday.

There’s a very good reason I don’t get many photos of the locations of events.
That reason is my dad.

We decided to go on Saturday for various reasons, not least to ensure that I could get a proper night’s sleep tonight as I’m flying home tomorrow. We probably didn’t pick the best day for weather as the sun only made an appearance as the day was winding up but oh well, it’s England!

All in all, it was a thoroughly delightful day. In fact, it seemed a lot stronger than last year’s event. Perhaps this was because my remembering to pack a telephoto lens meant that we had some targeted things to focus on but I do genuinely think it was because the event was stronger this year.

Perhaps the highlight for spectators was the show performed by the Knights of the Damned Stunt team. They reenact a jousting tournament with great skill and a fair amount of theatrics. I’ve actually seen them a few times now, at various events, and have not grown tired of their performances. Indeed, we watched both shows on the Saturday to enable me to get some decent photos (a success) and both were different, high energy, and thoroughly entertaining!
The main battle is probably the focus of the day as various reenactment groups gather together to reenact a rather anachronistic battle – both Vikings and Napoleonic (I think) gunners were present, to give you some idea. It’s rather entertaining to watch the combination of people who don’t seem like they’re really into it and those who are about ready to tear each other’s arms off beating each other up in the name of history. That said, and for all the comedy included in the commentary and performance aspects, it’s really easy to see how chaotic a battle really would be. This was a (kinda) choreographed reenactment… imagine the reality whereby people were fighting for their lives amidst the crowd and noise. It’s something that’s hard to picture when our ideas of historic warfare come from a mixture of dusty history books and overly polished Hollywood films.
And that, of course, is the beauty, and the importance, of reenactment and of events like this one. It’s easy to teach people the information given in historical tomes. It’s hard to bring that history to life and to re-imbue it with life. Reenactment does just that. It takes the scholarship and makes it into something real, tangible, understandable, human.
Bonus photo of the most stunning sunset-ish moment.
Couldn’t resist popping to the sea on the way home!

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