30th Year Recap! HUZZAH!

This year’s 30th Abbey Medieval Festival was everything it was anticipated to be and more. By now you may know certain facts about the Abbey Medieval Festival.  At the top of list, are the one thousand re-enactors from a variety of groups who come to Abbeystowe to bring to life a time period representing 600AD to 1600AD.  There was everything from the five medieval tournaments, including the highly anticipated Joust tournament, to presentations, demonstrations and workshops. There were re-enacted historical battles, birds of prey & incredible animals, live music & entertainers, and a traditional Viking boat burning honouring well known re-enactor “Visti the Viking”.  There were 89 food and craft stall holders, and something for every interest imaginable. There was so much “medieval” it was hard to realise you weren’t actually in another place in time.

What you might not know is that there were over 30,000 visitors at Abbeystowe over the course of two days. It is the largest ‘living history’ event in Australia and even the Southern Hemisphere!  We’d like to thank each involved in helping us achieve our mission in creating the ultimate medieval experience.  It is our hope that everyone who experienced this tournament and festival milestone will have felt inspired to live a more enriched life, through this unique and immersive experience.  Continue below to see a photographic journey from this spectacular 30th year! All photos by Brett Croese.

But first, we honour the 2019 tournament champions.

Joust: David Williamson

Archery: John Pettigrew

Oil Wrestling: Murat Sebat

Strength and Skill: Lady Heather and her proxy, Squire Gareth

Holmgang: N/A this year

David Williamson – 2019 Joust Tournament Champion!

Archery champion, John Pettigrew, honoured by the Lord and Lady of Abbeystowe!

Murat Sebat – Turkish Oil Wrestling Champ!

Lady Heather and her proxy, Squire Gareth – Strength and Skill!

The crowd was guided by none other than Lord Herald Sir Blair Martin!

It’s always so special to see the Birds of Prey!

The incredible Lady Amanda Challen during the parade…

…and head to head during the Joust Tournament!

No pressure!

Defending the castle during the seige!

‘Terry The Great’ from All Star Fish!

Prima Spada!

Familiar site at the Abbey for years, the Plague Doctor!

Burial site of the ‘”Fafnir” at the Norviks encampment!

Swaying in the breeze at over 3 meters tall!

Major blow during ground combat!

The Norviks and Saga Viking groups enter for the boat burning ceremony…

…and it was set ablaze!

Beautiful dancers from the Janissary Barracks!

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Animals of the Festival

The significance of animals in the Middle Ages

In comparison to our lives today, life in the dark and middle ages was not easy.  Peoples’ routines revolved around the seasons – which would signify whether or not they had food – but hand-in-hand for the people that lived during those centuries were the animals that served them.  Animals served as transport, hunters, food and companions and played a very important role.

We think that this year the animals deserve homage! All of the critters including the monstrous and mighty right down to the meek and minuscule.

From the animals essential to life and survival such as chicken, bees, sheep, goats, swine and cattle; the hunting and herding dogs, the draft animals that carried food and supplies  and then on to the horses that carried people on their travels and into the hunt and to war…. Animals served a huge role in the lives of their owners.

The Abbey Medieval Festival attracts over 30,000 people across Australia who make the annual pilgrimage to Caboolture, Queensland for two-days of non-stop feasting, music, dancing and drama of Medieval era. And this year – we honour the Animals too! 

Honour the horses and hounds

The bloody hand-to-hand warfare that raged across continents throughout the dark and middle ages is owed just as much to the horses as it does to the men that fought in them.   Arabs outmanoeuvred their enemies in the desert on camels and horses, Vikings knew to make a beeline for the stables during raids in order to maintain their mobility on land  and European warfare owed much to the horses, mules and donkeys that carried them into battle and carried their supplies.

Medieval Greyhounds“We’ve got dogs, horses, goats and even chickens from the Dark ages and the Middle ages; we have animals that hark back to the Viking age; we’ve got Arabic dogs and horses that have changed little over time and we have a wide range of Medieval dogs, horses and chickens found during those times. We even have some of the oldest documented types of dogs represented, the Irish wolfhound, the greyhound and the Saluki” says Joust co-ordinator,  Paula Winkel.

Two Irish wolfhounds will feature at this year’s festival. Paula says there were depictions of this type of dog in manuscripts dating back to the pre-Christian era and historical accounts of “large rough coated hairy dogs  guarding houses and hunting wolves that had a close resemblance to the Irish wolfhound”.  Irish wolfhounds were highly valued for their large size and strength, and ownership of the swift Greyhound was restricted to nobility.

Unlike today, when breed and look are all-important factors, animals were usually differentiated by their use, their region of origin or their type and rather than by breed.  For example, Horses in the Middle Ages were described as “chargers or Destriers” (war horses), Courser (fast  racing horses) “Palfreys” (riding horses),  and “Sumpters” (packhorses).  And dogs that hunted by scent were called “Lymers” and Dogs that hunted by sight were called “Greyhounds”, “Aulants” were hounds that went after bigger game, and the “Mastiff” was a heavy set dog for really big game and for guarding,  and the “Kennet” were the smaller hunting dogs.

Birds and beasts and bees……

Falcons and hawks will feature at this year’s festival along with a range of dogs, horses and poultry that will see festival-goers having the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the birds and beasts. And look out for the bee-keepers, the humble buzzing bee makes an inaugural appearance this year.

Medieval Bee Keeping

Medieval Apiary (Image from Pinterest)

Paula says the key to hosting Australia’s most authentic re-enactment festival is fastidious attention to detail.
“We’re purists, we want this to look, sound, smell and feel as much like the Middle and Dark Ages as possible,” she says.

“Animals are key to that and a whole lot of detail and research into designing the Medieval costumes  for their handlers,  the type for fencing and cages, right down to the leather gear for the horses and dogs.

“Yes it’s slightly obsessive referring to manuscripts to make sure we get every detail correct; but there’s also a lot of satisfaction that goes behind making the attire to fit us and the animals perfectly.

“The festival is all about fun, adventure and history. So, travel back in time and have a blast.”  Located in Caboolture, The Abbey Medieval Festival, run by the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, will be held on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July at 1-63 The Abbey Place, Caboolture.

Get you tickets online here!

(Blog in conjunction with Paula Winkel, Abbey Medieval Festival Joust Co-ordinator and  Moreton Life magazine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

HORSES, HOUNDS, HUNTERS AND FARMERS

Meet the Reenactors 2016

HORSES, HOUNDS, HUNTERS AND FARMERS

 

Horses, Hounds, Hunters and Farmers is a brand  new multi period reenactment group that has been established to show the animals and people in non warfare roles in the dark and middle ages. Horses, Hounds, Hunters and Farmer (HHHAF) gleefully borrow people and their animals from many of the fine re-enactment groups that attend the Abbey medieval festival to join us in showcasing kit, knowledge and, of course, awesome animals!

HHHAF strive to have a range of friendly and safe animals (though just horses and hounds this year!) that people can ask questions about, and gain an education on the animals roles and their equipment in medieval and dark ages. Visitors to the Abbey Festival this year can touch and feed their animals, and people too… but ask permission first!

You may see the HHHAF group members riding around Abbeystowe with their horses, or going on a hunt with their hounds around the Festival grounds. At their camp site this year, there will be horses to see, and hounds to marvel at! Hunters will prepare a rabbit for the dinner pot, horse equipment, saddles and bridles from different periods, a hunter talking about setting some snares, a chat about what medieval horses ate, and even a Noble Lord talking about on the medieval farming practices on the high middle ages. Please come over and say hello – they would love to meet you!

“HHHAF – we got Game” (and we ‘HHHAF’ terrible puns!)

Meet Horses, Hounds Hunters and Farmers, and their wonderful animals this year. Buy your tickets now!

Check back soon for another Reenactor group.

MEET THE JOUSTERS – PART 3 2016

Meet the final 2 Jousters for the 2016 lineup!

As we are all getting ready and very excited for this years Medieval Festival, the Jousters are training and readying themselves for the ferocious combat that is the Jousting Tournament! The final 2 Jousters have been named, get to know them before you witness them live at the Festival!

 

The Lady Elizabeth – Australia

jousters liz

Lady Elizabeth has been in the jousting world more, behind the scenes and Head Marshall, for nearly 10 years, and has previous Jousted in the 2009 Abbey Tournament. Lady Elizabeth may be more recognized through her horse Flash who carried many an international rider to victory.

Lady Elizabeth has been riding for over 23 years now. She has been competing and training in dressage, show jumping and cross country. She is the founder & head instructor at Moonlight Manor Horse Riding, and teaches horses and riders of all ages & disciplines.

The 2016 Abbey Tournament will be the Lady Elizabeth’s return to the field after many years of training.

Motto:  “Victoria venit in” – “Victory comes from within”

 

Jouster Amanda Challen – Australia 

jousters amanda

Amanda has been working with horses since her early teenage years. She started by simply trail riding, and then into trail guiding and droving. She then became a riding instructor and now works in the racing industry. Amanda trains horses for all sorts of disciplines which includes Jousting. She will be astride ‘Nyx’ – the black daughter of the mighty war horse ‘Fenris’ – a well renowned Jousting horse for many years in the Abbey Tournament.

Amanda has been training under Talisien Bleechmore, Luke Binks, and Sasha Buchmann – all well regarded Jousters within Jousting circles. This will be ‘Nyx’s’ second Joust at the Medieval Festival, this time carrying her breeder and trainer!

Buy your tickets to the Festival and Joust Tournament now!

KNIGHTS OF THE LONGDOG

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

 

KNIGHTS OF THE LONGDOG

 

 

The Knights of the Longdog 
are on a noble quest to educate people about the important role greyhounds (sight hounds) played in medieval times, and about what wonderful pets they make. The group represents a new generation of champions – we don’t wear chain mail, joust, or win sword fights…but we are brave, fearless and loyal, much like our hounds. We show the public and other re-enactors the lives sight hounds would have had, and portray the individuals who would have owned or cared for them during the 12th – 14th centuries in England.

In modern times/the real world, we are a mix of dog lovers who enjoy history and their hounds. We have greyhounds (generally rescued racing dogs), Borzoi (Russian Wolfhounds), and Irish Wolfhounds – all whom would have been called “greyhounds” in the medieval period. We also have an Alaunt who has just joined the group, and brings with her a number of trained rats who help us teach people about the role rats played in the medieval period!

We do a lot of training with our dogs and their owners to ensure the dogs are very comfortable with huge crowds and people of all ages. We do performances at the Abbey Medieval Festival that showcase their skills, and also give people an opportunity to feed the hounds! We give people lots of information on how they lived (they had awesome kennels), what they wore (harnesses, decadent collars, capes), how they were trained (which was mainly food based, just like it is today), who looked after them…you name it, you can learn about it so make sure you visit us this year at the Abbey Medieval Festival!

 

To meet Knights of the Longdog and their amazing hounds, buy your tickets now!

For more on the Reenactors, check back here

Order of the Horse

Meet the Reenactor Groups

 

ORDER OF THE HORSE

order of the horse

In the Year of the Horse came the ‘Order of the Horse’, a group of elite Medieval horse warriors.

Order of the Horse is a historical re-enactment group of elite riders and mounted/foot combat, who work along side many other groups. Order of the Horse conducts displays on 12th, early 13th and 14th century horses, cavalry, archery, armour and cooking. They also focus on the history of the 12th, early 13th and 14th century knights and their horses, clothing, etc, with a particular focus on the 2nd and 3rd crusades including Saracens.

The members of the group are veterans of the Abbey Medieval Festival and Tournament for last 15 years, that once belonged to other Abbey groups. This group is well respected by QLHF and ALHF and performs at other interstate events as well as the Festival. The members and horses are also internationally prized as one of Australia’s top Napoleonic equestrians. The head and founder of the group was also on the Abbey build board 2015 and is one of the key knights and performers that has been bringing trained horses to the Abbey for the last 10 years.

Meet the Jousters – Part 2 2016

Meet some more exciting new faces for the Jousting Tournament this year! Please welcome Jousters new and old:

Jouster Anthony Hodges – Australia

tony hodges jousters

Anthony is a full time horse trainer. He has been competitively Jousting since 2014, and is a member of the Kryal Castles Mounted Knights. He is regular participant in Jousting and Skill At Arms Tournaments, and was the 2015 Timeline Skill At Arms Champion.

Motto: “Ad vincere honorem – To conquer with honour”

 

Jouster Kimberly Belcher AKA Lady Freya Erynn – Australia 

lady freya jousters

Lady Freya (Kimberley Belcher) is a 25 year old from Queensland. She made her debut at the 2015 Abbey Medieval Tournament, where she got to test her skills against some of the best. Returning this year, she is keen to compete again.

Kimberly has been immersed in jousting and medieval culture from the beginning of her riding. Training alongside the legendary pair, the Lady Elizabeth and her partner ‘Shanks’ and all the wonderful horses at Moonlight Manor, Kimberly has completed her joust training upon the horse Strider .

Descendant of a light horseman, she is ready to do her heritage proud and compete with honour, as she competes on home turf. The 2016 Abbey Medieval Tournament will be her second competitive joust. Competing in 15th Century German Gothic armour she’s sure to make an impression, and will be easy to spot in her green (Viridis) and blue (Caeruleus) colours, under the banner of the white stag. She’s confident for a great result from this year’s joust.

Motto: “per prudentiam, non virtutem – by wisdom, not power”

Jouster Luke Binks – Australia 

luke binks jousters

Luke Binks is Australian born and bred, with a lifelong passion for knights and the chivalric culture of the middle ages.

Luke started to make armour, learn to fight and ride horses in 2001. The next year, Luke was competing in his first international joust. Since then Luke has competed in tournaments in roughly a dozen countries across the globe and lived on three different continents, all in search of like-minded people making “the ultimate pass with a lance, or a skilled clash of a sword.”

 

Stay tuned for part 3 of “Meet the Jousters 2016!”

Buy  your tickets NOW!! 

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Meet the Jousters – Part 1 2016

The Jousts at the Abbey Medieval Festival are one of the main attractions, and draw in people with a love of that Era, as well as the general public alike. We welcome the Jousters from previous years, as well as the new faces (and horses) to our 2016 Abbey Medieval Festival!

Please meet some of the Jousters for 2016

 Jouster Alison Mercer – Canada

Riding since childhood, Alison took up jousting in 2010 and rode her first international tournament in 2012. Since then she has ridden extensively throughout Canada and the USA. In 2014, she was the first western Canadian to joust in the southern hemisphere, winning Tournament Australis of the Southern Cross series, and making her debut at Abbey Medieval Festival. Alison is thrilled to return to Abbey in 2016 and counts Australia as one of her favourite countries to visit, even with the deadly wildlife.

Motto: Fortiter et Fideliter (Boldly and Faithfully)

Heraldry: Representing her family and her affinity for the Holy Roman Empire. The dexter side of the shield represents the Mercer coat-of-arms and the sinister side portrays the triband of the Archduchy of Austria as a homage to Kaiser Maximilian.

Jouster Justin Holland – Australia

One of the progenitors of the modern sport of jousting, Justin has been jousting since 1996, and since then has jousted in most states of Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France and Poland. He was hired to set up and train the joust team for the new Kryal Castle, Ballarat, in 2012. Justin now runs Nova Hollandia Entertainment, a historical education and entertainment company in NSW, has been runner up at the Abbey Tournament 7 times, and Champion 3 times!

Motto: Invictus in animo (Unconquered in spirit)

Heraldry: Trois argent fleur de lys, gules ( 3 white fleur de lys on a red field).

Jouster Marc Hamel – Canada

Marc is a Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, armourer and sculptor. He has been a Jouster since 2006, and has participated in over 20 International tournaments in Belgium, France, England, Poland, Italy, USA and Canada. He was the Team Champion of the Lys d’Argent in Canada in 2012, has the Honor of Chivalry of the King John III (Poland 2013) and was Champion of the Revel (California,USA, 2014).

Motto: “Allons-y” meaning let’s go

Check back again soon for more on our Jousters for 2016!

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