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Sponsor Blog North harbour – medieval to modern living

North Harbour living

Medieval Cities

Living in the medieval ages, it’s fair to say that the role of the rich, powerful and godly was, unfortunately somewhat egotistical.  Little thought or care was given when the peasants or serfs were involved. This is not only reflected in the literature of the time but even in the way the cities were constructed and planned, or more accurately unplanned.  We have come a long way from thatched rooves and dirt floors.

Most medieval cities were created through impromptu building decisions made on the resources availability. Cobbled streets twisted through narrow walkways creating a maze of backstreets filled with the poorest of the poor.

Anyone who has been to European medieval cities will understand the real threat of ending up trapped in the inexplicably tight alley with no room for a u-turn.  The walls covered in strange lines that you eventually realise are the thin strips of rental car paint from now folded inside mirrors.

These tourist traps came about for many reasons one being only certain areas of medieval cities were planned – predominantly the homes of the aristocrats, clergy or royalty. The other aspect of medieval cities that were not haphazardly thrown together were, of course, the defences – moats, walls, battlements and even the classic spike pit were all planned out.  Another reason that many of these tightly packed streets exist is because cities were not planned for the people; they were created to meet the needs of the people in charge and nothing more. The third and most powerful reason is medieval peasants, building their homes, didn’t care that one day you and your steel dragon wouldn’t fit.

The ideals of city planning, among many other things began to change during the renaissance, becoming more comprehensively inclusive to not only the powerful but also the people.

Renaissance living and city building

Many of the great minds of the renaissance envisaged cities designed from scratch with purpose, sewage, water and ventilation.  Leonardo Da Vinci – one of the great minds of the renaissance, designed cities with specific pathways for people, local marketplaces to reduce travel time and designated freight routes to ease congestion.  Although many of these ideas were not implemented they were the first step towards contemporary town planning and residential standards.

The importance of these ideals was most duly noted on September 2nd, 1666 during the Great Fire of London. The medieval city was a sprawling network of inter-joining alleyways, tightly packed hovels and limited drainage and water sources.  These elements strung together to create one of the biggest metropolitan disasters in the last 500 years.  The fire started on Pudding Lane in a local bakery and from there got very out of hand.

An estimated 70,000 homes were engulfed in flames over the 3 days the fire raged. Firefighters could do nothing to stop the spread as wooden shacks built practically on top of each other created the biggest bonfire the city had ever seen.  The fire was eventually brought under control through the use of black powder, with the Tower of London Guards demolishing entire blocks to create fire breaks.  Not a strategy that many (or any) modern cities would use today.

Living in Australia today

Australian cities were built much later than those in European countries and benefitted from the hindsight of their structural disasters. Because of this knowledge, the importance of town planning had become clear to the Australian leaders and builders.  As society grew, so did the demand for curated suburbs with many aspects being at the forefront of planners minds including  – local amenities, shopping, education centres and entertainment venues.

These responsibilities to society have been adopted both within the government and private sector. For example, our sponsor, North Harbour doesn’t simply build homes but rather understand its ethical obligations to society to create high standards of community living. The creation of communities rather than just homes is what separates contemporary city planning from that of the medieval ages. Homes are built with access to amenities, schools, playing fields and entertainment hubs in order to provide people with the tools they need to live life to the fullest.

The role organisations like North Harbour play in creating an ideal living for not just one family, but an entire community are the building blocks of contemporary city development.

North Harbour is a new development in Burpengary East. North Harbour has a special history and contains the heritage listed “Moray Fields” homestead site, which was the first European settlement in the area and dates from 1861. These remains contain significant areas of cultural heritage, which are proposed to become a publicly accessible interpretive centre. The Abbey Museum is working in partnership with North Harbour to facilitate the creation of this centre.
In return, we are very pleased to welcome North Harbour as a major sponsor of The Abbey Medieval Festival.

To learn more about land for sale at North Harbour please visit www.northharbour.com.au.

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Sponsor Post: North Harbour – Communication from Criers to Fibre Optics

North Harbour communication

In our lifetime, telecommunications have progressed exponentially from indestructible brick-like devices to smart phones that can translate languages. Worldwide nearly 900 million people cannot read or write – but that was normal in the Middle Ages when communication was for the most part oral with only the wealthy aristocrats and nobles taught to read and write. It’s very easy to take for granted the communication tools today such as online cloud storage that seems like magic, but North Harbour makes life easy with fibre optic broadband connectivity for every neighbour.

Hear ye, hear ye!

For the average person to send a message in the Middle Ages, a scribe had to be involved to write the message and more than likely was required on the receiving end in order to read it for the recipient. Written letters were considered formal correspondence mostly between the wealthy, especially taking into account the need for an expensive courier to travel great distances on some occasions. Because of this, town criers became a primary means of communication for public announcements. They often dressed elaborately and used bells to attract attention as they announced royal decrees, local bylaws, market days and adverts. Many say this is where the expression “don’t shoot the messenger” came from as they often delivered bad news on behalf of the monarch and thus required protection. The position of town crier even persisted into the early 19th century, and in some areas criers are still around although only with ceremonially purposes.

Pigeon Post

At the time of the crusades, messenger pigeons became a means of communication that medieval Europe likely adopted from the East considering they were known to be used as far back as ancient Egypt. During the Middle Ages, they were the fastest method of long-distance communication all the way until Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in 1844. However, the use of homing pigeons continues to this day.

Digital Age

These days communication has evolved drastically. 1996 saw the introduction of the World Wide Web that revolutionised communication and kick-started e-commerce. From there it didn’t take long for the world to become what it is today with instant messaging, social media and sites such as reddit becoming a hub for information.

Now fibre optic broadband is the next must-have and is rapidly growing in coverage thanks to the speeds at which it can provide internet access. This is thanks to the use of plastic or glass tubes rather than the traditional copper wiring used in standard broadband connections. While landlines and mobile phones send information through wires and radio waves respectively, fibre optics sends information coded in a beam of light down these glass or plastic pipes.

North Harbour provides the fastest fibre optic broadband in Australia, capable of speeds up to 100mb per second so there is no connection delay. These high speeds allow residents to tackle work with ease or relax with their smart TV completely buffer-free. Free Wi-Fi is also available in the first of two village parks for those that want to stay connected. North Harbour boasts a vibrant village atmosphere with an emphasis on lifestyle to ensure that all those little things in life are made easy especially connectivity.

 

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Sponsor Post: North Harbour – To market, to market

 

North Harbour marketWho doesn’t love a market stall?  The Abbey Medieval Festival is host to a myriad of stores selling medieval wares from all around South East Queensland. Peddlers travel from far and wide via many forms of transport across dangerous countryside littered with bandits and wild wolves.  (Well, not so much the latter,  but that’s the benefit of progress!)

And what progress it has been! The Abbey Medieval Festival is a recreation of the hubble and bubble of medieval life right down to the food vendors and stalls. Many of the amazing rustic wares we see at the festival are sourced locally and created with rustic techniques and ingredients. However, chances are the rustic meal you’re looking forward to was, to some extent, sourced from a grocery or department store.

Roll into town

While contemporary medieval merchants and vendors have the luxury of local shops, their ancient market-counterparts were less lucky.  Medieval towns and cities did have some of their own shops and stalls but the real shopping was done when the merchants rolled into town – literally rolled with wagons.  Merchants would travel the land searching for wares they could sell for a profit – trading spices for silks and chickens for apples. Their wares were limited to their ability to carry them across dangerous countryside littered with bandits and wild wolves – this time it’s for real!  Some medieval merchants had such a dangerous jobs they would hire mercenaries to protect their wares and wagons, to ensure they arrived safely to market.

That was only half the battle if the merchants made it into your local town you had to have something worth trading. Currency, although in circulation through most of Europe during the medieval ages, was not widely available to serfs or peasants. These groups used a barter system to purchase wares. For example, two chickens for half a goat – bargain!

Now as we all know the world has gotten a lot ‘smaller’ since the medieval ages and the chances of you having to go 4 hours to the closest shops are a lot slimmer.

No need to travel great distances for your wares

Within all new high quality housing developments, the growth of localised shopping facilities and services is important and instrumental in creating high standards of living. Localised communities such as North Harbour provide residents with more opportunities to access local market products than ever before.

North Harbour residents have access to shops and local small businesses including bakeries hairdressers, cafes and grocery stores right at their front doors and thankfully no need to bring any chickens to barter with. The growth of local shops is not the only thing contemporary living has to offer but the growth of the shopping centre revolutionised the weekly shop. North Harbour is 10-15 minutes away from a few of the Moreton Bay Regions biggest shopping centres and just 5 minutes from the revamped Burpengary Plaza.

 

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Sponsor Post: North Harbour and the Healthy habits of knights

North Harbour helps you stay healthy

Healthy habits of olden days

As winter approaches, are you finding it difficulty to keep healthy?

With the cooling weather, the countdown to Abbey Medieval Festival is drawing nearer and nearer. By now the jousters and re-enactors are deep in their training in order to be able to wear armour and hold lances in their battles for glory. The members of the Abbey Medieval House Troupe are preparing their abundance of costumes including a plague doctor, along with staged scenes, storytelling and short cycle plays. But the rapidly approaching festival also provides a chance to appreciate just how far society has come since the middle ages. Technology has undeniably made life more convenient but exercise and diet were a demanding priority to the knights of old, and their lives depended on staying fit and healthy.

While often presented as chivalrous and benign, the knights of the middle ages were one of the fiercest fighting cultures of all time. As imagined, medieval peasants did not need to work out as they were engaged in farming and trades while those of higher social class trained by riding, hunting wrestling and even lifting large stones. Knights were the premier fighters of their time having been trained since they were boys and constantly testing themselves in full armour – especially at tournaments. There are no books to accurately explain how knights kept fit and although the training regimes were vastly different, the premise of the training is the same between the fighters of the Middle Ages and today – to stay in peak physical and mental condition. Since general survival is not as demanding, people today are fortunate that exercise is recreational and in a lot of cases are purely aesthetical and for stress relief.

Keeping healthy at North Harbour

Although there is plenty of room for it in the heart of the Northern corridor, jousting is unfortunately not a viable exercise option at North Harbour. However, the featured open spaces of North Harbour which add up to 1000 acres, serve as suitable areas to train. This huge area includes parkland, children’s playgrounds and exercise equipment amongst the proposed six parks (one is already open with another to be opened later this year). Extensive cycling and walking tracks will also be available to utilize for residents to keep up their cardio regime.

Furthermore, plans to build a sports complex with fields for various sports are currently underway. In the meantime, the Narangba Sporting Complex is ten minutes away and the Caboolture Aquatic Centre is only five minutes away. For water lovers, various canoe platforms are proposed in the area as well as a boat ramp within a ten-minute drive. The vision is for North Harbour to become one of the most vibrant recreational marina hubs nationwide and a new marina village is in development to become the social hub of North Harbour boasting world-class facilities as well as shopping centres, public spaces, cafes and much more (subject to government approval). North Harbour offers potential residents a place to feel right at home and over the next fifteen years it will become a social (and physical) hotspot in the Moreton Bay Region.

by MBRIT

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Jouster Blog Series – Lady Eliza Jane

Jouster

 

Name:  Elizabeth Jennings riding as Lady Eliza-Jane

 

Heraldry:   Lady Eliza-Jane’s heraldry is made up of three red poppies to pay tribute to the past, present and future Veterans of War.  The red poppies are  positioned above the “black dog” in the centre of the shield which is representative of depression and/or PTSD.

Jouster

Did you know?  Lady Eliza Jane is new to the world of Medieval Jousting, marking the 2017 Abbey Medieval Festival as her first major tournament. Lady Eliza-Jane is an active member of the Order of the Gryphon led by Sir Luke Binks and trains primarily under the watchful eye of Sir Anthony Hodges. Spending most of her life with horses, Lady Eliza-Jane’s love of horseback adventure begun in the Tasmanian High Country alongside skilled mountain cattleman. She has a diverse background in competitive equestrian pursuits including dressage, showing, eventing, mustering, polocrosse, side-saddle and in 2015 representing the Queensland Mounted Infantry Historical Troop in New Zealand for an Anzac Tent-Pegging Challenge.

 

And there’s more:   Lady Eliza-Jane owns and operates Redgum Walers Equine Facilitated Learning Centre in Calvert Queensland.  Here she  she continues her family tradition of breeding, training and competing Waler horses.  And in addition to horsemanship, team building and empowerment workshops, Lady Eliza-Jane provides  equine therapy based programs to individuals including foster children and veterans suffering from PTSD.

With every hard hit received from a lance, Lady Eliza-Jane will be reminding herself it is just another hit to the “black dog”.

 

To see Lady Eliza-Jane jousting  at the Abbey Medieval Festival 2017, along with our other amazing jousters, book your tickets here.

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Sponor Blog: ERMS Group taking care of your safety

A Perilous Period for Personal Safety Part 3/3

ERMS Group is taking care of the 2017 Abbey Medieval Festival

Hygiene and personal care: surprising Information on Medieval Period

The widely-held belief that cleanliness and hygiene was of no concern to medieval people is not quite true.

Though unsanitary living conditions contributing to disease often originated from lack of plumbing which meant human waste was discarded outside, not too far from one’s home and waste deposited in open street sewers was removed and often dumped into the nearest river (if it was removed at all), personal hygiene was not entirely neglected.

The Roman practice of communal bathing continued into the Medieval Period, along with personal hygiene practices such as cleaning one’s hands and face.

Despite bathing not being as frequently practiced as it is today, Vikings did bathe once a week and most German villages and towns featured communal baths frequented by craftsmen. By the 13th century Paris was home to over 32 bathhouses and Southwark, London was equipped with 18 hot baths!

Fire Safety Information on Medieval Period

Did you know the origins of our modern building codes can be traced back to the Medieval Period?

After the extinguishing of the 2nd Great Fire of London (aka the Great Fire of Suthwark), Mayor Henry Fitz-Ailwin banned thatched roofs. Yet, as timber framing remained popular in construction and city populations grew, housing storeys continued to pile upwards. By the end of the period timber houses overhung tight streets, leading to the 1666 Great Fire of London, an inferno which ravaged 80% of the city 3 decades after the Suthwark blaze. The tragedy prompted the instigation of the London Building Act of 1667 which prescribed using stone in housing construction as a fire-safety precaution in an attempt to curb the chance of another devastating blaze scourging the city.

These new medieval building regulations produced a raft of laws, such as distinguishing between commercial, industrial and residential zones, which to this day remain inherent to our cities. 

How Times have Changed…

Fast forward to the 21st Century and safety is a key watch-word of our times. The Abbey Medieval Festival 2017 brings all the rollicking action and mayhem of the Middle Ages to the modern era with great authenticity, save for one aspect – the lack of safety.

Today, care of public and personal safety is considered enormously important in all aspects of daily living.

Luckily for us modern day festival-goers, ERMS Group have been taking care of our safety on the Abbey site since 2005. Event operations are their forte, so you and your family can enjoy peace of mind when immersing yourselves into the medieval spirit and festival excitement of this unique event.

 

Want to read more?

Click the links below to read parts 1 and 2 on safety in medieval times and see how well we are taken care of at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

ERMS Group – Blog 1/3

ERMS Group – Blog 2/3

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Sponsor Blog: ERMS Group managing health and safety at our festival

A Perilous Period for Personal Safety Part 2/3

ERMS Group keeping managing health and safety

#5 Childbirth & Life Expectancy –

Safety during childbirth was very perilous during the Medieval Period. What we would now class as risky or unsafe birthing, in medieval times people simply didn’t know and a difficult labour could last several days. Some expectant mothers eventually succumbed to exhaustion, dying during the ordeal. Attempting to birth a baby in breech position often proved fatal to both the infant and mother-to-be. 

When a new mother did survive labour, she still risked a distinct chance of dying from various postnatal infections and complications. 

Infant mortality rates were very high as the immune system was still becoming accustomed to the threats of its disease-riddled environment.  About 20% of would-be mothers and 5% of babies died during childbirth, with an additional 10% to 12% dying during the first month according to statistics information on Medieval Period mother and infant mortality rates.

By the 2nd half of the 14th century, peasants were living 5 to 7 years longer than in the 50 years previous. However, average life expectancy for English ducal families between 1330 and 1479 was usually just 33 years of age for women and 24 for men. Laypeople in late 1420s Florence, Italy, could expect to make it to just 29.5 years (women) and 28.5 years (men)!

However, if a 13th-Century person made it to 30 they had a good chance of making it into their 50s and even 60s.

#6 Violence – and lack of safety

Daily life incurred the omnipresent danger of violence no matter whether you were high born or low born.  Staying safe was a big challenge for both rich and poor alike.

Violence abounded in many forms – from the not uncommon street and tavern brawls, assault, murder, accidental homicide, through to blood feuds, domestic violence, local and regional land disputes, urban unrest, revolts against lords by their vassals, and citizenry uprisings (such as England’s 1381 Peasants’ Revolt), amongst other violent incidents (not to mention warfare violence and larger-scale crusades).

Even trials were not free from violence with combat ordeals often thrust upon the accused to reach a verdict of guilt or innocence.

#7 Heresy

Heaven forbid you disagreed with the Christian Church! Those who held theological or religious opinions/beliefs which didn’t fit the Christian narrative were considered unorthodox – posing a threat to the Christian Church’s stranglehold and a danger to the established status-quo. Any perceived threat to Christendom was ruthlessly dealt with for to deny Christianity was to blaspheme it, and blasphemy was a crime against God.

Heretics/dissenters (Muslims, Jews, Cathar’s, and freethinkers, amongst others) were persecuted and killed, or silenced through threat of death. It was not until the flourishing of humanism during the Renaissance which brought about more temperate conditions in which these voices could begin to be heard. 

#8 Safety while hunting

Hunting was a favoured pastime amongst the aristocracy and royalty of the period, but it came with great risks to personal safety. Accidents such as falls from horseback, friendly fire from arrows, mauling and bear attacks could easily be fatal. 

 

Interested to read more about Safety in Medieval Times? Stay Tuned for Part 3.

Thanks to ERMS Group for their support of the Abbey Medieval Festival 2017.

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Sponsor Blog: ERMS Group – keeping you safe at our festival

A Perilous Period for Personal Safety Part 1/3

ERMS Sponsor keeping people safe Unlike the innumerable protocols, laws, rules and regulations and standard practices revolving around ‘safety’ of all kinds which we follow and practice across the globe today, by and large, keeping people safe was of little concern to the people of Medieval Europe and Britain.

On average, a person’s life was lived perpetually on a knife’s edge, regardless of their station and staying safe was not easy. Danger lurked around every corner, risk lay in wait during every waking and sleeping hour, for there was no rest and no reprieve from the many abundant threats and risks which plagued people of these perilous times.  

Information on Medieval Period Threats to Survival, Personal Safety and Health

#1 Famine

Famine was an ever-present risk for peasants. Anything from bad weather to poor harvests could spell disaster for ill-equipped families and even whole populations. Meagre rations could only stretch so far. Malnutrition rendered people more susceptible to disease, and those who did not starve to death often succumbed to the repercussions of famine – the aftermath of tuberculosis, typhoid, sweating sickness, smallpox, dysentery, influenza, mumps and gastrointestinal infection epidemics.

Famine statistics information on Medieval Period points to 15% of European deaths during the early 14th century’s Great Famine.

#2 Staying safe in bad weather

As most medieval people lived rurally, bad weather could kill and poor weather could result in famine. For example, a wet and cold summer could destroy grain crops entirely, and as grain was the period’s main food source, hunger, starvation and disease were all serious and probable eventualities of such a scenario. 

By 1550, there was an expansion of glaciers worldwide as the ice pack grew between the 14th and 16th centuries, bringing with it devastating wetter and colder weather than had ever been experienced by the people of medieval times.

#3 Staying safe during ‘The Plague’ (aka Black Death)

The Plague was one of the biggest killers of the period, arriving in Europe in 1348 it decimated between a third, to half the European population of the 14th and 15th centuries. Caused by bacterium and carried by fleas most often found on rats, the Black Death wiped out thousands – from Italy, France and Germany to Scandinavia, Spain, Russia, England, and Wales, nowhere and no one was safe.

In England, out of every 100 people, about 35 to 40 died from The Plague!

#4 Staying safe while travelling

A warm bed to sleep was often hard to come by for the average person when traveling. In winter, freezing to death was not uncommon, as was the possibility of being robbed, and/or murdered by strangers, or if you were unlucky enough, by fellow travellers.   

Food poisoning caught from unscrupulous inns, monastery or other lodgings was also a possibility, as was becoming unwittingly caught up in regional or local disputes, or even full-blown warfare which could result in injury or prison time (amongst other travel risks).

 

Interested to read more about Safety in Medieval Times? Stay Tuned for Part 2.

Thanks to ERMS Group for their support of the Abbey Medieval Festival 2017.

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Sponsor Blog: Travel with Black & White Cabs

Travel in Medieval Times compared to today

Black & White Cabs LogoMany people wouldn’t think twice about travelling over 50kms for work or for fun things to do on the weekend (like driving from Brisbane CBD to Abbey Museum). But for those in the Middle Ages, travel was an arduous task and only undertaken out of necessity.

So what was it like travelling back then?

It was not unusual for people of all classes to travel in the Middle Ages. The Romans had built a network of roads across their empire, but these were the only roads and by the Middle Ages they were in poor condition and unusable in inclement weather. They were useful for walking – especially for marching soldiers, but the decay of the stone paths made it difficult for wagons pulled by oxen and mules to traverse. Buying these animals was also relatively expensive and it was costly to keep them well fed along with maintaining the carts and wagons too.

How far did people travel?

Because of this even travelling up to 10 kilometres in a day was demanding although on some occasions people were known to have travelled on average 25 kilometres a day and messengers up to 60. However the majority of people at the time were not likely to travel any further than 100 kilometres from their home. With most of the Roman roads being damaged until their eventual repair in the 13th century many messengers and envoys travelled long distances by horse back. Kings travelled frequently as they were required to showcase their power and wealth especially in feudal times they often travelled in order to make their presence known.

Why all the effort?

Aside from royalty and military, most travellers at the time were merchants, messengers, tax collectors and pilgrims. Politics, religion and trade were the main reasons anyone travelled and it was as expensive as it was difficult. Most of the travelling was religious such as pilgrimages and crusades. Along with carts and wagons, saddlebags were commonplace using horses, donkeys or mules to avoid fatigue. Farmers also travelled to markets in the closest villages to sell their products and peasants often undertook pilgrimages to holy places as it was believed praying at these sites meant a greater chance of going to heaven. Nobles often arranged hospitality amongst each other making sure to send messengers to announce their impending arrival while inns became more common for travellers that could afford it.

Grab a lift

Thanks to modern roads and technologies, travelling between locations is more accessible than ever. Travelling to and from Abbey is easy with taxi services like Black & White Cabs to drop you right on the medieval doorstep. Head to their website, app or give the team a call on 133 222 to book your pre and post Abbey Medieval Festival ride.

 

 

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Hans Electrical Services Sponsor Blog: Medieval Ladies and Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships at Hans Electrical Services, Bribie Island

Hans and electrical apprentice Cassie, at Hans Electrical Services, Bribie Island.

Did apprenticeships exist during medieval times?

And if so were apprenticeships they freely available to all?  During times of war and plague all throughout history women have pulled up their socks and kept society trudging along. A common misconception about women’s roles during these times is that they mainly functioned in supportive roles like housekeeping and child rearing – but their roles were more varied than that.

Being a woman in the Middle Ages

Letters, wills, legal documents and consensus records indicate medieval women’s working role mostly focused on domestic needs. Peasant women were expected to take care of housework as well as help with field work and have a general understanding of medicine to care for the children as well. Servanthood was a common means for women to acquire money for their dowries. In the Middle Ages women were generally maids, merchants or engaged in farm work for those living in rural areas. Their main role in society was to take care of their family including noble women having no choice in a marriage that was based on the family gain.

Medieval apprenticeships for women

In any case skilled trade options for women were available but not to the same freedom as men and most jobs involved living situations with their master as was the custom. Most did not place themselves into apprenticeships without the involvement of a relative and the authorization of a male was common. There were at least three levels in the artisan industry consisting of apprentice, journeyman and master and there is little to no evidence of medieval women reaching a master level. Women often worked in haberdasheries and were hat makers, cobblers, tanners and even silk weavers often training under the master’s wife. In fact, most women were able to work with, and sometimes at the same level as their husbands but some cities and towns excluded women from guilds even the widowers that continued their late husband’s trade work.

Changes in medieval society onward…

Historical research shows that women were not the ‘damsels in distress’ of the Middle Ages that many believed often stepping into to fill gaps in the workforce and that continues to today. They provided the core of the workforce in many trades such as clothing and in the late Middle Ages when the Black Death came, women were predominantly the ones to care for people. Researchers argue that the Black Death held women in their social positions while others claim it advantaged women with more job work opportunities and widows prospered bringing fortune into new marriages which established better treatment for them. In times of war, women are often called upon to fill gaps in manual trade in the absence of enlisted men and in most cases were told to leave their jobs when the men returned.

Ladies in Trade

In 21st Century Australia the number of females learning a trade is steadily on the rise. Bribie Island based, Abbey Medieval Festival sponsors, Hans Electrical, are one of many nationwide businesses encouraging today’s youth to forge a career in the various trade industries.

The Hans Electrical wife and husband team of Petra and Hans Krumbholz are proud to have trained and mentored one of many bright and eager, young female Australian tradies who have gone on to become an example to other young women aspiring to pursue trade career goals. 21 year old Cassandra – the ‘2016 Best Electrical Apprentice’ award winner in her year first joined Hans Electrical as a work experience student. Having completed her 4 year apprenticeship, Cassie  now works alongside her mentor Hans with future plans to begin a Master’s degree and travel.

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Volunteering – for your own benefit!

volunteer

Abbey Museum volunteers at The Abbey Medieval Banquet

 

5 ways that volunteering can benefit you!

 

Some people might argue that you dont’ get anything out of volunteering and it’s only for people who have nothing to do!

Well that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Who’s looking for a fun way to add a new layer (yes, like the onion description in  Shrek) to your life, build up resilience and get feel like to you that you really want to feel like.

Get active!  Get alive!   and get that awesome happy Seratonin feeling that you may have been missing for a while for whatever reason.

We have some wonderful volunteers at the Abbey Medieval Festival, some of whom come back to us year after year.  This might explain why!

 

What contributing to your community can do for you!

  • Are you between jobs? – use your time to volunteer and keep your skills up to date.
  • Are you recovering from illness? If you can’t commit to a full time job yet, use your time to volunteer and build up strength and stamina until you are fully fit again
  • Are you new to the area? Consider volunteering to make friends and contacts to help you feel connected with your community
  • Put that  smile on your dial – where it belongs! – There’s nothing like giving to make you feel better
  • Oh and here’s one, if you are fed up on on-line dating……why not give volunteering a go to see if you can meet some ‘real’ people.

 

Volunteering for the  Abbey Medieval Festival is and incredible experience.  It’s not just fun, it’s educational.  Applications are now open – apply here!

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Archery Skirmish! This will get them away from their screens!

Medieval Archery – with a modern twist!

 

archeryArchery has been a tool and skill humans have been using since the Stone Age.  By the Middle Ages it was extremely important for all men to be practiced in archery. This is shown by a Law passed in England in 1252 stating that all men aged between 15 and 60 must have a bow and arrows of their own.  And not only in England, who remembers the story of William Tell!  William Tell

 

While archery may not be the force (pardon the pun) today as it was back then,  what child (big and little) doesn’t want to have a go.   And if I was a betting person I’d wager there may even be  subliminal Physics Class lurking in the background too!     Parents, think of this as hands-on-learning.  Don’t worry, they’ll be safe!

New to this year’s ‘Kids Dig it’ Medieval Family Fun Week.

That is why we are introducing a new element of archery to our ‘Kids Dig It’ Medieval Family Fun Week in 2017.  We are very excited to introduce XFire Games’ Archery Skirmish.  Yes, its Skirmish, but with arrows!!
Archery Skirmish is the latest in XFire Games’ Next Gen sports, lending itself to people who need to “feel” the true sense of a battle.   So in the Spirt of all things experiential, we just had to have it!  Appropriate for children aged from 12 and up, this high-adrenaline sport which helps encourage team work, hand/eye coordination, fitness and achievement is sure to be a winner!  So tell your kids its out with the Sedentary Screen Time and in with the Bows and Arrows!
XFire Games equipment is cutting edge when it comes to Archery Skirmish, the bows are strung to 30 pounds  (no metric when it comes to the laws of Force with archery)  so you know when you’ve been hit.  But, guess what, you wont’ have the bruising like in paintball.  The face masks not only look cool but keep your  face out of reach from those pesky arrows.

And the arrows, with their patent foam patent tip, are able to travel over a 35m distance with precision accuracy… so if you find yourself staring down the stems of an opponent’s arrow, get ready to move quickly!

We know your kids are going to love this event, so book now!

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Planning and preparation for your festival weekend

Planning your festival weekend

We are receiving lots of great questions about specific festival details which we are very happy that you are asking as it means you are planning ahead for a fantastic weekend.  Naturally, we in turn are  also very happy to answer your queries to the best of our ability and experience.  Be sure to read our FAQ’s which may have the information you need already.    Remember hats and sunscreen are a must, so don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap!  In addition, here’ are a few more tips to keep in mind in your planning process

  • Bring Cash – Anyone who has been to our festival before will know that every year we struggle with connectivity.  Unfortunately this is our reality!  We are not on NBN – although it is 2017 – therefore our IT connectivity is medium-to-poor-non existent.  For our wonderful volunteers this is a huge difficulty, particularly at the gates when people want to pay by EFTPOS, or standing in lines at ATM machines.  So that is why we strongly encourage you to pre-book your tickets online.  Our world today is so dependent on technology that ironically we sometimes really feel that we are still in the middle ages in this respect.  So please, make arrangement to bring some extra cash to avoid those lines and make the very best of your medieval weekend.
  • Did you know that you may need a weapon’s permit for some of your children’s toy weapons or for weapons purchased at the festival.  See this list below.  Please remember that these guidelines comply with Australian Standards of Health and Safety, so we don’t  just make them up!  And if you decide you need a permit, apply here!  Permits will also be available from ‘The Sheriff of Abbeystowe’ during the weekend, located near to the main gates.
Item Permitted? Permit Required?
Latex foam rubber sword YES YES
Latex foam rubber sword (metal bar inside) YES YES
Foam LARP sword YES YES
Plastic sword YES NO
Dagger YES YES
Blunt re-enactment sword in a loop attached to belt YES YES
Cardboard or plastic look alike axe/ sword YES NO
Unsharpened axe in holder YES YES
Toy crossbow (wooden with rubber tips) On approval by the Sheriff YES
Toy bow (wooden with rubber tips) On approval by Sheriff YES
Blunt metal knife YES YES
Purchasing a weapon on the day and adding to their outfit YES YES
Unsharpened spear NO N/A
Bow and arrows together NO N/A

 

  • Water – Keeping our festival green – In the interest of our beautiful environment, we strongly encourage you to bring your own re-fillable water bottles.  Water will be available freely at water stations throughout the festival.  However, we understand that bottles are lost and forgotten and the weather can be hot.  Therefore, water will be on sale from a number of water peddlers, including St. Michael’s school stall.
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Jouster Blog Series – Katherine McWade

Jouster Katherine McWade heraldryName:  Lady Katherine McWade

Motto:  ‘I can, I will, Watch Me!

Heraldry:  Lady Katherine’s  symbol of the Phoenix rising from the ashes shows her determination to succeed no matter what obstacles are  before her. She jousts in 14th centurKatherineMcWade-Shieldy armour. Her motto is “I Can, I Will, Watch Me”

Career highlights:  During a recent skill at arms competition,  she was awarded the “Herald’s Choice for Best Rider.  Lady Katherine’s combat experience spans the ages including both the valiant Australian Light Horse of the 20th Century and the gritty determination of the 14th Century medieval warrior.

Did you know:  Lady Katherine is a genuine ‘Chevalerie‘, personifying the virtues and true horsemanship that became chivalry as we know it today

And there’s more…Lady Katherine is trained as a Equine Myofunctional Therapist (horse masseuse) and has  ridden and trained horses all her life.  She has competed to the highest levels in many disciplines including show jumping at World Cup shows and Equestrian Australia Eventing.

Lady Katherine’s horse:  Lady Katherine will be riding Kit, a very quirky thoroughbred–stock horse cross.  When not jousting Kit and Lady Katherine are training high school classical dressage, competing in HRCAV, working equitation, show-jumping, skill at arms and marching through the streets of Melbourne as part of the Light Horse.

So why don’t you book your tickets here to see Lady Katherine fulfill her motto at the Abbey Medieval Festival!

Katherine McWade riding

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Jouster Blog Series – Sir David Williamson

Name:  Sir David Williamson,

Jouster David Williamson

Motto:   Adapt and Overcome

Did you know: Sir David is a full time dairy farmer and also a member of Kryal Castles mounted Knights. He is also one of the world’s youngest serving knights, having first jousted at the age of 17. Sir David has competed and been successful in various tournaments since beginning his career in 2015 at Kryal castle, including winning the Victorian goldfields medieval faire 2016 and runner up in the 2017 fair, runner up in the Keith Ryal memorial joust 2016 and 2017.

And there’s more….Sir David has recently returned from his first international tournaments, where he travelled to the far kingdom of America to compete with Sir Charlie Andrews and the “Knights of Mayhem”. While jousting in the USA, he did not miss a single lance pass over six shows in three weekends. Sir David has will travel over 1000km from the Victorian town of Ballarat to be at the Abbey Medieval Festival, and along for the journey, his war horse “Buster”, a 6 year old purebred Quarter horse David has owned for 3 years now.

In September,  Sir David will travel back to America to compete it the annual Estes Park  international “Heavy Armour” solid lance style joust tournament.

Career Highlights:   Sir David won the Victorian Goldfields Medieval Faire, and was runner-up in Keith Ryal memorial joust.  2017 will mark his first international tournament, when he travels to America to compete in solid jousting.

Heraldry: DW heraldry

 

 

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Jouster Blog Series – Sir Anthony Hodges

Jouster Tony Hodges-photo

Name:   Sir Anthony (Tony Hodges)

Motto:  ‘non ad iniuriam facere ius’  ‘It’s never wrong to do right’

Heraldry: 

Jouster Sir Anthony heraldry

 

 

 

 

Did you know:   Sir Anthony, a skilled Jouster,  has a lifetime of competing and training horses in  several different disciplines.  He is a member of the Kryal Castle Mounted Knights team in Australia since 2014, where Sir Anthony trains with the accomplished and well known knights  Sir Phillip Leitch, Sir Cliff Marisma, Sir David Williamson and Sir Justin Holland.

And there’s more:   Sir Anthony also  runs training days for riders and their horses in skill-at arms, joust, general horsemanship and other disciplines.  He has now added International status to his achievements due to a recent invite from Sir Charlie Andrews to Sonora Celtic Faire in the United States.  This  style of jousting is known as ‘heavy jousting’ with solid lances.  His aim is to ride that perfect pass and feel the perfect break of the lance.

Career Highlights:  

Winner: 2015  Skill at Arms Timeline festival

Winner:  2016  Iron Fest Joust

4th place: Sonora Celtic Faire USA 2017Jouster Sir Anthony

Top 5: Goldfields Medieval Faire 2016

3rd place:  Abbey Medieval Festival Australia  2016

 

So to see Sir Anthony’s skill as a jouster live at the Abbey Medieval Festival, book here!

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Abbey Medieval Festival Sponsor MBRIT examines Medieval Tourism

MBRIT Tourism

 

 

 

 

JOUSTING TOURNAMENTS WERE A FORM OF TOURISM IN MEDIEVAL TIMES 

Noblemen and noblewomen, the most exciting season of the year has almost arrived – tournament season that is! Spectators from lands near and far will be travelling from their castles and villages to Moreton Bay Region this July to relive history and witness one of the greatest sporting tournaments to ever exist – the Abbey Medieval Festival jousting tournament! Jousting tournaments were the most prestigious events on the medieval social calendar throughout the Middle Ages and medieval people would often flock to every tournament to watch the knights battle and show off their combat skills to the crowd. Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism is a proud sponsor of the Abbey Medieval Festival, and is very excited about the tourism that events like Abbey provide to the region. The jousting sessions are one of the draw cards for Abbey Medieval Festival and are events you definitely do not want to miss! Jousting sessions are ticketed events that will draw many other nobles to the Abbey Medieval Festival on July 8 and 9. Make sure you and your friends secure a spot in the Jousting Tournament grandstand so you can cheer on your favourite knight in shining armour and tell them to ‘break a lance’!

 

 Jousting as a tourism experienceJousting and the significance of jousting tournaments

 

Jousting was a medieval sport that involved knights charging at each other on horseback. Participating in the tournaments was often their way of earning respect and admiration from the crowd. Crowds would travel from great distances to the tournaments to watch the knights for entertainment purposes – as winning or losing a jousting tournament would often affect a knight’s social status and be a popular topic of conversation after the tournament. Tournaments were a great way for boosting tourism through medieval towns and villages as many people would travel far distances to witness these spectacles.

 Who attended jousting tournaments?

Jousting tournaments in the medieval era were attended by many people of varying social status. Considered to be one of the most important events to attend, many people of royalty would travel to jousting tournaments. Their appearance at such an event was a sign of support to knights, some of whom they may have entered into the tournament to represent their families. Merchants and families predominantly from the noble class would also travel to jousting tournaments to watch the thrilling action unfold. Because of the number of people in attendance, these events helped to support local merchants sell their wares and the greater local economy.

Even more jousting from the Abbey Medieval Festival

So because jousting tournaments were a well loved feature in medieval times, Queensland is proud to bring even more  jousting to you in 2017!  New on the program for this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival,  is the additional Friday afternoon joust tourney.  So you not only have a chance to see jousting on the Saturday and Sunday, but now on Friday 7th July,  gates open at 1.30pm  for as special behind the scenes view of a pre-constructed  Abbey Medieval Festival.  With limited seating, this event will offer patrons – in the spirit of a truly personal tourism experience –  a unique chance to get up close and personal with medieval  jousters.  The rest of the grounds will be off-limits, so prepare a list of questions that you’ve always wanted to ask a Jouster and make this tourism experience your opportunity to interact with a Medieval Knight.  Huzzah!  Get tickets here!

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Jouster Blog Series – Lady Elizabeth Brown

Liz Brown JoustJousters competing at the 2017 Abbey Medieval Festival 

Welcome again to our Jouster blog series.  Every week,we feature the wonderful Jousters competing at this year’s festival.  This is a great opportunity for you to get to know our participants,  a little about their background, skill and abilities.  Keep posted!

 

Name:  Lady Elizabeth Brown

 

Heraldry:  Lady Elizabeth’s colours are magenta and blue and her shield bears the Cross of St Columb, Cornwall, England

Did you know:  Lady Elizabeth has been involved with the Abbey Medieval Tournament for over 10 years, supplying and training  the amazing horses that we see each year.    She is more well known for being the Head Marshall.   Lady Elizabeth first took to the field in 2009 and then returned in 2016, when she was the highest hitting female jouster.  She is the owner of Moonlight Manor Horse Riding.

And there’s more:  Lady Elizabeth is also a horse riding instructor, riding in Equestrian disciplines, teaching in Greenbank, South Brisbane.   The Lady Elizabeth hails from England, Canada and Australia and could in fact, represent all three countries.

 

To see the Lady Elizabeth and our other fantastic jousters, don’t forget to book you tickets here.