Downtown Abbey brings more to your festival experience

The Abbey Medieval Festival prides itself on bringing history to life – and at Downtown Abbey we bring you to a place that allows you to dip your toes in history, while enjoying the pleasures of the 21st century. 

Conveniently located as you make your way to the festival gates, Downtown Abbey is a quaint village that provides you with the essentials you need for a fun-filled family day out.

Equipped with ATMs, phone charging facilities, photo booth, cloakroom, bubz hub, the last coke stand, a sausage sizzle, festival merchandise and a bunch of interesting stalls, plus plenty of seating and roving performers, Downtown Abbey is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the festival.

You’ve been asking for it – and now it’s here! The Bubz Hub is perfect for parents and the youngest festival goers. The Hub is fully equipped with baby feeding and change areas, plus bottle heating equipment – and most importantly, somewhere comfy to rest your feet.

We love our Sponsors! And we know you will too! Each year local businesses dig deep and support the festival that we all love so much. This year, they will be onsite at Downtown Abbey.

 We will have McDonalds Bribie Island & Bribie Interchange (the McDonalds just off the Highway) who will be giving away some fantastic (and delicious) vouchers including buy 1 get 1 free Bacon & Egg McMuffin.

The ever-awesome Telstra Van will be rolling up to Downtown Abbey and offering free mobile phone charging stations – you don’t want your phone going dead from taking so many awesome photos at the festival.

Test your artistic skills at the North Harbour marquee with some free colouring-in … how well can you stay between the lines?

Sylvan Beach Resort will also have an onsite presence so make sure you pop by and say hi!

Want to win YOUR Ultimate Moreton Bay experience? Of course you do!

Well, make sure you stop by the Kombi Krew at the Visit Moreton Bay Region Photobooth for your chance to win either a Family Bayside Weekend, Woodford Folk Festival experience or a Romantic Hinterland Escape. While you’re there, jump inside the Kombi and get your photo taken and take home your photo strip!

After checking out all the exciting stuff happening at Downtown Abbey, you might be a bit peckish! The last coke stand (you can’t purchase soft drink when in the festival) is the perfect place to pick up a soft drink and a sausage sizzle, or even some Ice Cream over at the Baskin Robbins stand before making your way to the festival (or home!). 

There’s stacks to see and do at Downtown Abbey – you’re must-do stop before you reach the festival!

Proud sponsors of the 2015 Abbey Medieval Festival 


History never tasted so good – know your medieval tipple!

Here is handy guide on the delicious drinks you will find at the festival.

Ales & Beers:  The oldest recorded recipes are over 3000 years old and brewing was originally ‘women’s work’, using a mix of malt and water to make the popular Ale favoured by the lower class and often consumed in place of water.  The magic of hops was discovered and beer (as we know it today) was born.


In addition to premium bottled beer offering at the festival, such as Peroni and James Boags, why not try Celtic Heather Ale  (Celtic red ale with organic heather tips, originally used throughout Ireland & Scotland before hops. Easy drinking nutty tasting ale with a nice floral aroma) or Elderflower Summer Ale (A light refreshing English Ale made with Elderflowers. The elderflowers give it a lovely floral aroma & unique taste).


                                                          Wines:  Enjoyed by nobility, wines were produced from a wide variety of ingredients including cherry, current, raspberry and pomegranate.  Why not make your festival experience a little noble and enjoy a cup or two of hearty mulled wine from Friars Folly tavern, a red wine that has been warmed an infused with deliciously spicy aromatics including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.


Mead:  Made by fermenting honey (and often infused with spices, herbs or fruit) mead has enjoyed a reputation as being the chosen tipple of the Greek Gods and fairy folk. The sweet honey beverage was also favoured by Viking honeymooners as an aphrodisiac to add a little sweetness to their nuptials.  Add a little of that sweetness to your festival experience with a glass of ale from Friar’s Folly, made with premium honey from the Chateau Dorrien in the Barossa Valley.

Norfolk Punch:  Stemming from an ancient recipe in the Welle Manor Hall, the Benedictine Monks recorded the recipe for this ‘cure-all’.  This non-alcoholic punch enjoyed favour in medieval times until King Henry the VIII abolished the monastic orders and the recipe was lost.  In 1980, the new owner of Welle Manor was fortunate to re-discover the recipe which includes 26 natural ingredients including nutmeg, elder beery, meadowsweet and cinnamon.


Cider and Perry: Cider seems to be somewhat of a new trend these days, but cider has a long and delicious history! Cider is the fermented juice of apples, and perry is the fermented juice of pears. These delicious, fruity drinks are a light, sweet alternative to beer. We will be serving both beverages at the festival and we will have non-alcoholic versions as well. Our cider and perry is Three Oakes brand, proudly made at the Step Rd Winery in South Australia.

All this and more will be available at this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival – we cannot wait to give some of these a try! For more information, check out this fun site with recipes you can try yourself!

McDonald’s Bribie Island and Bribie Interchange support the Abbey

McDonald’s Bribie support the Abbey Medieval Festival in 2015

We know a lot of you travel far to attend this event, and many of you are locals too. Our local businesses love to help support this major fundraising event for the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. Let’s support them right back.

Check out these vouchers valid until the 31st of July 2015!

Special Offers for Abbey Medieval Festival Visitors

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NEW to this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival!

Whether you’re new to the Abbey Medieval Festival or attend every year, this year is set to be bigger and better than ever! Along with old favourites such as the jousting, the Turkish oil wrestling, the amazing food, the talented re-enactors and the stalls with their Medieval wares, this year’s Festival program has more to keep you entertained. With new events, demonstrations, street theatre, food and stalls, we are very excited to show you everything new on offer at this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival!



For Saturday’s program, there is a host of new things happening at this year’s Medieval Festival. There’s sure to be something to excite or entice you. Check them out below!

9:45 – 10:15            Grand Parade

10:15 – 10:45          Abbey Medieval Festival House Troupe

10: 15 – 10:45         Rare Byrds

11:15 – 11:45           Kazuri Tribe – Turban Tying

12:15 – 12:45          Citadel: A Question of Debt

1:15 -1:45               Rare Byrds

1:30 – 2:15             Phoenix: a Tournament of Two Houses

2:00 – 2:30           Knights Guild of Wessex and Mercia – The Magna Carta

2:45 – 3:15            Saga Vikings Shield Wall Demonstration

2:45 – 3:15            Companye of Northumbria 12th Century Tapestry

3:00 – 3:45           Knights Order of Lion Rampant Mounted Knights versus Foot Battle.


Sunday’s program also looks a little different to what you might have seen last year. Here’s what’s new:

9:45 – 10:30        Grand Parade

12:45 – 1:15          Knights Guild of Wessex and Mercia – the Magna Carta

1:10 – 1:40            Saga Vikings Shield Wall Demonstration

1:30 – 1:45           Templars and NVG Rusland


New and exciting things are also happening in the encampments. For a true Medieval experience, why not pay them a visit?


Black Wolf

Rope Making                                                                        2:30 Saturday and Sunday


Joust Training (paid activity)                                         10:15 Saturday and Sunday

Ex Libris

Button Making                                                                    2:30 Saturday and Sunday

Historica Germanica

Cannon Ball Knapping                                                      2:30 Saturday and Sunday

Kazuri Tribe

Storytelling for Children                                                   1:30 Saturday and Sunday

Knights Order of Lion Rampant

Mounted Knight                                                                  11:00 Saturday and Sunday


12th Century Wedding                                                       4:00 Saturday only

Order of St Knud

Mead Making                                                                        11:00 Saturday and Sunday

Arrow Fletching                                                                    11:00 Saturday and Sunday

The Templars

Pilgrim Escort                                                                       11:30 Saturday and Sunday

Get your tickets now to ensure you don’t miss out on an amazing two days at the Abbey Medieval Festival 2015! For more itinerary information, check out our suggested itineraries page.

Need to convince your family to join you in Medieval Times?

How to convince your family to come to the Abbey Medieval Festival

Here’s the good news…there’s no convincing required!

An immersive medieval environment, delicious food and drink, shopping, gorgeous handmade crafts and thrilling live sports! Who wouldn’t love it?!

The festival has activities for every member of the family and for all ages.

However, should your family need that extra little push, here’s a few gems you can mention;

Jousting, sword fighting and archery!

Who can resist these timeless, noble sports?! And for all those with little brothers out there, you can show them Turkish Wrestling…the origins of WWE!

The pièce de résistance of our displays will be the Jousting Championships, where you will see who’s lance will reign supreme! Watch from our grandstands to get a first class view. Tickets can be purchased online.


Everybody loves feasting on fresh, delicious foods cooked over open fires!
In addition to our yummy street fare, we also have two magnificent banquets in our great hall which will be a wonder to behold! Tickets can be purchased online, but be quick, our banquets are renowned across the lands!


The festival is a bright, joyful experience and one that you won’t soon forget. There is so much to see and do at the festival, it’s impossible not to swept up in the levity of it all!

Best of all, you don’t have to be well versed in medieval history to enjoy the fun.

So gather the family up and come along for a great day of history and culture that you will all enjoy! Get your tickets now to ensure you don’t miss out on this fabulous weekend.

Artist in Residence – Tania Crossingham


Artist in Residence at the Abbey Medieval Festival

tania artist


Our talented artist in residence, Tania Crossingham, draws her inspiration from a lifelong love of books, art, medieval history (especially manuscripts) and a deep connection to the Divine. Tania’s early career was inspired by the exquisite illuminated books of the middle ages. Over the years Tania has produced beautiful artworks based upon these illuminated books and has also worked with inks, watercolours, pencil sketches and digital art. Through her beautiful art, Tania hopes to inspire others to see the divine in the world around them and to explore the mystery of self.

During the festival, you can see Tania’s beautiful work for yourself, including original illuminations. You will also have the opportunity to purchase prints, cards, bookmarks and bookplates. Get your tickets now to make sure you don’t miss out on wonderful Medieval-style art!

abbey art

Have you been holding out for one of these Volunteer roles?

Final List of Volunteer Roles needed for the Festival have been released!


Here they are – please contact us if any of these take your fancy!


Bump in Crew Friday 10 July

Bump in Crew Saturday

Set up Crew


Venue Supervisors

Encampment reviewer (think secret shopper!)

Gate accreditation

Photo Booth Cashiers

Photo Booth Dressers

Information Booth Staff

Cloak Room attendants


Gate staff

Banquet staff

Why you don’t need to love Game of Thrones

Do you love Game of Thrones?

It’s epic, it’s awesome, it’s…everywhere! But, do you have to love it to enjoy the Abbey Medieval Festival? Of course not!

The festival celebrates many of the things in life we enjoy today. Fine food, beer, wine, expert jewellery making and exquisite art works, music and dancing are just a few of the perks of visiting the festival.

There are delicious cooking classes for the Master Chef in all of us, stained glass window tours and lots of hands-on demonstrations that allow you to try new things that have been perfected over hundreds of years. And who doesn’t love watching Turkish wrestling, sword fights or jousting?!

And unlike Game of Thrones, you can be assured that it’s family friendly! The festival offers families the opportunity to watch and participate in fun, authentic, time honoured activities that every little Lord and Lady will love.

So whether you are a huge fan and love Game of Thrones or not, or roll your eyes at your friends who declare ‘I read the books first’ you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time at the festival!

Make haste and book your tickets now!

What to wear to the Abbey Medieval Festival

What to wear to the Abbey Medieval Festival

One of the best parts of the Abbey Medieval Festival is being able to immerse yourself in the culture and costumes of the day. We encourage all of our visitors to join in with the fun and dress up! Have fun dressing as Lords, Ladies, Kings, Queens, knights, peasants, jesters, wenches, soldiers or a loyal squire!

Whether or not you choose to dress up when attending the Abbey Medieval Festival, we suggest wearing comfortable clothing and footwear. Please be mindful that you may be in the sun for a good deal of the day and ensure that you Slip, Slop, Slap. Likewise, ensure you wear comfortable shoes. Watching the carnival, browsing through the markets and taking part in activities are all the more enjoyable in supportive footwear.

Enjoying yourself is the priority when attending the Abbey Medieval Festival, so dress up or dress down, it’s your choice……just don’t forget your tickets!

How to host your own Medieval Banquet


When planning to host your very own Medieval Banquet there are a few essential ingredients that are not difficult to do and yet will create an experience out-of-time that will wow your guests.

Firstly, the table setting…. What “goes” and what are the “nos”?

When setting a table for a medieval banquet here are a few ideas to enhance the look:

  • Use a plain white table cloth.
  • Candles! Candles are a must because they create a wonderful ambience. Cream coloured candles (sometimes called “church” candles) are available from many discount shops.
  • Wrought iron candlesticks or candelabras look fabulous.
  • Knife – steak knives with wooden handles work well
  • Spoon – an essential (remember there were no forks in Medieval Europe)
  • Plate – now for a plate you may wish to use a simple terracotta platter or even better why not use a trencher. “A what??,” you say! A trencher is a large flat plate made out of bread, like a large flat bread roll cut in half.
  • Don’t forget a LARGE cloth serviette… there is a lot of use of fingers when eating a medieval banquet, so a large serviette is essential.
  • And finally small dishes (pottery) for pepper and salt.

Now the table is set and looking impressively medieval we need to turn our attention to the menu. Foods that should not have a place on a medieval menu are POTATOES… also corn (maize), tomatoes and pumpkins. All these foods were products of the Americas and were not introduced to the European table until the very end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.

So what can be included in your menu to make it uniquely medieval? Why not try venison pies, or baked lamb shanks in a rich red wine gravy, or spiced roast pork with pomegranate gravy. Or you could try baked fish with a white wine parsley sauce…

For vegetables you could include candied carrots with cinnamon and honey, baked stuffed mushrooms, buttered cauliflower, green peas cooked in a broth or honeyed parsnips or turnips.

Other suggestions include mushroom and cheese pies, vegetable pastries, asparagus egg tart and assorted cheeses, nuts and fruit.

Forsooth! I forgot the sweets! What delicacies did they eat in the Middle Ages? How about treacle tarts with rose water? You may wish to try pears cooked in honey, wine and spices or baked apple and custard pies.

And finally, what do you drink? There are all sorts of drinks for a banquet – wine, beer, ales, mead, elder wine and cider.

But firstly, before they’re sold out, why not book yourself a ticket to the medieval banquet for the real experience, and then have fun recreating the scene in your own home!


Red Gargoyle and the Abbey Medieval Festival

This year the Abbey Medieval Festival will be welcoming Red Gargoyle for the 9th Year running

I thought it would be very fitting to write an article on my Mother’s business that has been renowned for it’s Abbey support and presence, which I have also been an active part in.

My mother Linda first attended the Abbey Medieval Festival in the 1990’s when she lived at the Glasshouse Mountains. She started Red Gargoyle in 2007, a one-woman grass roots Australian business and became a stallholder at the Abbey the very same year.

Linda has been fascinated by medieval history ever since watching Errol Flynn in Robin Hood as a child to picking up a book on the Celts in her early 20’s. Our ancestry is Celtic on both sides of the family tree and she has always felt it in her very soul. Recently my mother Linda returned from a month in Ireland where she explored many a castle ruin and graveyard in preparation for painting a series on Celtic mythology.


Linda started the business because of her passion for Medieval, Celtic and Norse history and the lack of any jewellery and gifts that weren’t tacky or clichéd. She acquires antique and vintage brooches from Scotland, Ireland etc and has them copied and cast in Australia in high quality pewter to then make them into necklaces, brooches, kilt-pins and earrings. Another part of her business is stained glass sun-catchers featuring these pewter pieces as well usually in the form of a medieval shield or Celtic cross one of the most popular pieces at the Abbey that customers return yearly for. Other popular items Red Gargoyle sells are hand-painted banners, flags and original art on canvas. The most popular pendant pieces are the Knights Templar, Tuetonic Knights, Viking Longships, Thor’s Hammers and Celtic Knotwork. In the stained glass it would be the Templar Knights Shield and Celtic Cross Shield. Linda has proudly donated her stained glass shields as prizes for the Knights since 2007.

The Abbey Medieval Festival is the highlight of Linda’s year professionally and socially. She talks of the love of the vibe, the entertainers, other stalls and food. It is eye candy and a sensory overload for 2 glorious days. Preparation starts the week after the last one has finished by working out what was the most popular and least popular, customer’s feedback and requirements. The serious prep starts six months prior with planning and making of the stained glass and banners. Linda works full-time as well running the Red Gargoyle online business so it takes careful planning. Home of Red Gargoyle is very hectic especially six months prior, Linda is up by 7am, manufactures till noon, off to work, back home at 9pm, manufactures till 11pm then off to bed, over and over six months prior to the Abbey Medieval Festival.

My Mum Linda often speaks of The Abbey Medieval Festival staff and volunteers every year and how they do an awesome job encompassing support for stall holders, entertainers and the general public and their level of achieving excellence is second to none.

I’d love for you to support Red Gargoyle by liking their Facebook Page 

If you just can’t wait for the Abbey Medieval Festival to see the Red Gargoyle range head on over to the website 

We hope to see you at the next Abbey Medieval Festival.

Melanie Sparkes

Owner At Green Bubz

Abbey Medieval Festival

These are the top 3 reasons why you should buy Abbey Medieval Festival tickets online.

1) Be an early bird!

Everybody loves to save a few gold coins! By booking your Abbey Medieval Festival tickets online between the 1st February 2015 and the 30th April 2015 you can take advantage of our early bird prices. Why not do a group booking for your friends and family and enjoy the savings!

2) Fast track through the ticket booth

With so many awesome things to explore inside the Abbey Medieval Festival grounds, you want to be able to get your day off and running as quickly as possible! Enjoy the ease and speed of the pre-paid purchase queue like a King!

3) Secure your seat at a medieval banquet

Our famous banquets are well known across the land and as such, we have limited numbers. By purchasing your ticket online you can relax and ready your feasting skills knowing that we have a seat reserved just for you!

Top three reasons to buy your festival tickets online

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Book your tickets online for a speedy entrance!

So to avoid disappointment, book your Abbey Medieval Festival tickets online here!

New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet in 2015

What’s New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet in 2015?

• The banquet is being held in celebration of a gift of an important relic from the King to the people of Abbeystowe
• The relic has been brought back from the Holy Land. And is of such great importance that it is expected that many thousands of pilgrims will flock to the Abbey
• The king is expecting that his gift will bring great wealth to the people of Abbeystowe and in return the King will charge an appropriate levy….
• The King’s Envoy will present the relic within a beautiful, gilded reliquary at the banquet and it will also be carried in the opening parade at the Festival on display for all to view with the appropriate awe.
• A parchment, detailing the gift of the relic to the Abbey will be read at the banquet and available on display thereafter..


New to the Abbey Medieval Banquet? Check out the menu to get a taste of what is on offer..

New to the banquet and not sure about how to get your ticket? Check out page for info on banquet tickets still available …..

New to the Banquet and not sure what to wear? Check out our costuming page ….


Live Jousting – Sunday 3.15pm

July 12, 2015 – July 12, 2015

View Map | Register


This is a ticketed venue inside the gates of the Abbey Medieval Festival, patrons pay $4 for a seat at the joust in addition to the Festival entry. There are 4 jousts a day each one lasting about 30 minutes. Considered by many to be the highlight of the Festival Experience.

We’re sorry. Either an error occurred or the event(s) you were attempting to register for may no longer be open for registration.


Jousting Profiles Part Three: Clifford Formosa

Clifford Formosa is a professional equestrian with a lifetime of experience. Born in Malta, he moved to Australia more than 30 years ago and, since settling here, has become a rider and trainer of National renown.

Clifford has studied classical horsemanship with Fernando Elveras, competed as a rodeo bull rider and for the past twelve years he has indulged his passion for the vaquero method of training at his stud, Marisma, in Snake Valley, Victoria.  It is this experience and his professionalism that has resulted in clients from all over the country seeking out Clifford to train their prized mounts.

For the past year he has turned his hand to jousting at Kryal Castle, Ballarat where he and his Andalusian gelding, Paco, have become firm favourites with visitors to the theme park.

This is his first appearance at The Abbey Medieval Festival where he is sure to be a formidable opponent.

Jousting Profile Part Four: Sarah Hay

Sarah started jousting in 2008 after seeing a tournament at a festival in NSW.  Having always been attracted to all things medieval, jousting immediately caught her attention and instantly became her passion….it remains her passion seven years later.

In 2010 she made my first trip to Europe to joust in Belgium.  Since then, she has travelled internationally at least once or twice every year in New Zealand, USA, Canada, Belgium, France, Poland and Denmark.  Her most recent trip was to the World Invitational Grail of Chivalry Tournament in New Zealand in February, where she became the first woman ever to win the Grail of Chivalry.

In Australia she hosts four jousting tournaments each year.  These include ‘Tournament Australis’ in July and the ‘Southern Cross Tournament Series’ – three tournaments over three weekends in November.  These events include mounted games, jousting and mounted archery.

When she’s not jousting, Sarah works as a full time deputy principal in a large primary school in South Western Sydney.  She’s also passionate about educating children to enable them to grow up to the best they can be.

Her goal is to continue competing successfully as an international jouster into the future. She never thought that her sport would take me around the world each year.  Sarah believes it is a privilege to have this opportunity and she looks forward to seeing her friends at the Abbey Festival in 2015!