THINGS TO DO: Step back in time at the Abbey Medieval Festival

02 July 2019

Ever wondered what life was like in the Middle Ages? This July, 
step back to days of old at the 
Abbey Medieval Festival! 

With food vendors, merchants, craft, two taverns, eight entertainment venues, and over 40 re-enactment encampments, the Abbey Medieval Festival has something for everyone.

Kids Dig It! Medieval Family Fun Week

Top of the list for families is the Kids Dig It! Medieval Family Fun Week. You will find all the Abbey Museum favourites including archery, archaeological digs and shield painting, plus a few new activities to keep kids occupied! 

Learn the art of illumination, calligraphy, and needlework at the Master Classroom. See what treasures you can find at the archaeological dig! Join the Page Training to find out what life was like for a young boy starting his training to be a Knight, (of course both boys and girls are welcome!), and get arty by decorating a shield, poppet (wooden doll), or torque (headband). There will also be Archery and plenty of games from the Middle Ages including Skittles, Quoits, Nine Men’s Morris, and Chess. The museum will be full of calming activities like a reading corner, paper crafts, brass rubbings, puzzles and costume dress ups.

Held from 1 – 5 July; activities start at 10am and run until 3pm every day.

Tournament Weekend

Held on 13 and 14 July, there are five tournaments that take place across Tournament Weekend.

The most popular is, without a doubt, the joust. The pageantry, suspense and action of this medieval sport has been a long tradition of the Abbey Medieval Festival. National and internationally acclaimed jousters will compete at the Abbey Medieval Festival in the hopes of becoming the 2019 Joust Champion. The Abbey Medieval Festival’s joust is held three times each day, with the finale on Sunday afternoon seeing the champion chosen. 

Debuting in 2018, the holmgang was the first Dark Age ritual to feature as one of the Abbey Medieval Festival’s five official tournaments. Literally translated as ‘small island walk’, the Norse tradition was a duel, a way to settle a dispute through combat where resolution couldn’t be found through legal talks and negotiation.

The Archery Tournament is also a long running tradition of the Abbey Medieval Festival. Hosted by the Traditional Archery Companye, the Archery Tournament sees skilled archers from re-enactment groups compete for the title of Archery Champion.

There will also be a Tournament of Strength and Skill, designed to test the physical prowess of the knights, and Turkish Oil Wrestling.

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