Women in History - Ladies at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Something for the Ladies!

There is something for every Lord and Lady at the Abbey Medieval Festival and this blog features a few special items designed to pique the female interest.  Women, Ladies, Maids and girls – both medieval and modern minded – look, listen and laugh – you are in for some eyebrow raising subjects!


This presentation given by Order of the Dracul takes place on Saturday only and delves into a very dark period in the dark ages.  From the early decades of the 14th century until 1650, continental Europeans executed between 200,000 and 500,000 witches, 85% of whom were women. The character and timing of these executions and the persecutions which preceded them were determined in part by changed objectives of the Inquisition, as well as by a differentiation process within medieval society. The ‘witchcraze’ answered the need for a redefinition of moral boundaries, as a result of the profound changes in the medieval social order. The fact that these executions and the accompanying demonological theories enjoyed widespread and popular acceptance can be explained through the anomie which permeated society at that time.  This sobering presentation will discuss the intellectual cognitive background for the witch hunts, and separate fact from fiction.

Medieval Fashion Show

For the best-dressed dames and damsels out there, this year’s costume competition is a must.  The competition is held on Saturday (only) and is open to patrons  aged 16+.  Applications close on July 8th, please see conditions of entry.

Neither will you want to miss the medieval fashion parade from the Society of Creative Anachronism.  Take a tour through the transition of fashion from early period through to the late medieval period as our models  display the evolution of fashion influenced by construction techniques, politics and status.

Music and Dance

Bardic Harpress – Raven Lamont of Women in History will deliver a performance of musical storytelling accompanied by her Irish High Headed Celtic Harp.  In addition, the Shuvani Carnival Historica have a dance show that tells the story of 500 years of migration from India to Europe through beautiful dance and movment.  Additionally, you are very welcome to join the Shuvani as they teach you Circle Dance workshop as they teach their favourite simple circle dances.  No experience necessary, if you can walk you can do this!

Grown ups only…(R18+)

As modern Australian women can openly bemoan their grievances, one can’t help but wonder about the ladies of medieval times and how they managed their private issues. A hilarious talk  brought to you by Historia flings the doors wide open on the subject and exposes the very secret sex lives of medieval women examining the intimate details of women in society and in the bedroom.  For mature audiences only.  Additionally you might be interested in the Order of the Artisans and Kindred Spirits (OAKS) and their presentation ‘Medieval Missed Conceptions’ (also rated 18+) as Lady Merewin has a realm of myths, truths, missed truths and sheer unadulterated lies revolving around the methods of avoiding pregnancy in medieval times.  Prayers, lemons and confusion regin as tools for contraception during this era.  Entertaining and interactive, this lecture is suitable for adults only.


We are constantly looking for ways to get you more involved with our festival and to facilitate a deeper and more personal experience.  These workshops are a wonderfully creative way to bring history to your finger-tips, engaging body, mind and your medieval spirit.

Laid-and-couched embroidery workshop

Description: Laid-and-couched embroidery is a quick and easy method of decorating fabric with yarn; it’s most popularly known as the method used to produce the Bayeux Tapestry.

Time: 10:30am – Day: Saturday and Sunday – Cost: $5

Making a paternoster workshop

Description: The paternoster was the predecessor to the rosary and was a must-have accoutrement, worn by both peasant and noble.

Time: 11:30am – Day: Saturday and Sunday – Cost: $5 (paid in cash on the day)

Fringes and tassels workshop

Description: Fringes were used to finish off the end of various household fabrics, and tassels were a popular form of decoration.

Time: 2:30pm – Day: Saturday and Sunday – Cost: $5 (paid in cash on the day) –

Application to join the workshops is here, and they are offered by Oltramar, a 13th century crusade group base in St. Edith’s Village. The fee is to cost of the materials and is paid directly to the group on the day.  Each workshop is limited to eight people and a waiting list will commence once capacity is reached. Please remember we would love to see your photos!


Book your tickets to this year’s festival here.