Black Plague Doctor

 Have you ever wondered who/what the person dressed in black with a white long beaked mask is? Or do you know a little about this person/character, but would love some more info?

Meet

The Black Plague Doctor!

plague

History:

Typically donned head to toe in black, with a white, long-beaked mask, the Black Plague Doctor is one of many iconic figures from the middle ages, largely due to the unique and often terrifying mask. Fully covering the face with glass openings for their eyes, the mask’s prominent feature is the long curved beak shaped nose that typically held dried flowers, herbs and spices to keep away the bad and evil smell of their patients. Although this character has a foreboding presence, seen as the bringer of death, they were instructed to treat patients in a friendly and kind manner.

It was believed that the Plague was spread by smell, hence the stuffed beak and clothing designed to basically cocoon the doctor. A shining example of the archaic medical practice and understanding of medicine and disease at the time.

Today:plague

The Black Plague Doctor is a fascinating character and one we love to profile at the Abbey Medieval Festival. Since 2013, the role of resident Plague Physician has been filled by Murray, a volunteer with the Abbey Medieval House Troupe, who, every year, travels from Victoria to rid Abbeystowe of the deadly Plague. To show that he is not to be feared, Murray has been seen playing ring-around-the-rosy and soccer with patrons at the Abbey. Treating patients is his first priority, and he always likes to lend a helping hand to clear out the dead at the end of the day.

If you spot our wonderful plague doctor at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year, feel free to stop and say hello, ask for a photograph, or treatment advice* – his plague pillows are highly effective!

*Disclaimer: Murray is only qualified to assist with medieval treatment of the black plague.

To meet Murray, whoops I mean, The Black Plague Doctor this year, buy your tickets now!

Join the Abbey Medieval Festival House Troupe!

New Banquet Bowls!

A lovely new handmade addition to our Medieval Banquets..!

banquets bowls

Expertly handmade by the lovely Bribie Island local Potter Bev Porter (as shown above), these new Banquet bowls have been made to specifications required for a medieval feast!

These bowls will be used for the salads, and will stay on the tables throughout the Medieval Banquet nights, so our guests can ‘pick’ throughout the evening, taking second and maybe even third helpings!

banquets bowls

Some more things you can expect to see and experience at the Medieval Banquets 2016:

  • Trenchers – 10 points if you know what these are 😉
  • Blazing fire
  • Rich, authentic Medieval costumes
  • Full platters, bursting with delicious Medieval foods, and mulled wine
  • Dancing, and authentic Medieval entertainment
  • Courtesies and manners, gallant words and gaudy tales of old!
  • Delight your sense of smell with the aroma of baked lamb shanks, veggies and much more
  • Taste the essence of medieval herbs and spices which make this a feast like no other
  • The touch of rose water to cleanse your hands in preparation for your night ahead.
  • Leave with full stomach and possibly wake up with a sore head!

Whether you have never been to a Medieval Banquet before, or if you are a regular guest, don’t miss this years Medieval Banquets – a true feast for all your senses!

Buy your tickets now as we are almost ALL SOLD OUT!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with all things Banquet and Festival!

 

CONDOTTIERI

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

CONDOTTIERI

condottieri

By the early 15th century, the coffers of the Italian city states were overflowing with gold from their trade with the east. Cities like Milan, Florence and Venice had grown in size, prestige and affluence, however their dependence on peasants to fill the ranks of their armies made them prime targets for attack by foreigners and neighbours alike.

 In order to defend their territories, the city states hired large groups of mercenaries called “Condotta”, which were lead by captains called Condottieri.

 Unlike the Knights of other European countries, Condottieri were not necessarily nobles. Many were low born and more than a few were foreigners. Anyone with the skills and determination could become Condottieri; for this they were rewarded with wealth, land, recognition and fame.

However, some were little more than bandits and thieves and it was not uncommon for them to change sides, for the right price, and many of them receiving bribes from towns to avoid being attacked.

The Condottieri attracted all those in society who aspired for greatness; some were adventurers, great captains, statesmen, patrons of the arts, patriots and others, like Hawkwood, Sforza, Malatesta, Federico Da Montefeltro and the Medici’s, were powerful political figures who left their mark on history.

Condottieri

The Condottieri living history group is a group dedicated to recreating the look and feel of an Italian mercenary encampment in the late 15th century. Various aspects of the lives of the nobility, knights, soldiers, craftsmen and camp followers are brought to life for the entertainment and enjoyment of all. This includes the clothes they wore, the foods they ate, the games and entertainment they enjoyed, their arts and crafts and their military and martial skills. All this and much more will be on display at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year.

 

To see these amazing displays by the Condottieri group this year, buy your tickets now!

Check back here for more on other Reenactor groups.

COTTEREAUX

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

COTTEREAUX

cottereaux

Cottereaux (1189 – 1202)- Company of the Dagger is a 45 member strong reenactment group portraying life on the road for a group of travelling knights, their men-at-arms and their squires.

Cottereaux, derived from a French word meaning ‘dagger’, have a predominantly European background with a smattering of mercenaries from far and wide. The group used to be a mercenary company but with the Papal decree of 1187, in which the use of mercenaries were outlawed, the group, under Baron Ulric de Tracey, have settled in Acre having been awarded a barony.

This group also has a church element represented by Warrior Priests from the Order of St John. With the Company settling down in a Barony, the Company actively seeks artisans and merchants to build on town atmosphere.

Cottereaux

The Company specializes in Siege equipment having built several scale models of counter weights Trebuchets, traction trebuchets, Onagers, Siege Ladder trucks, Battering Rams and sappers penthouse. The Company is currently working on a 7 metre counter weight trebuchet and also have plans for a full size Siege Tower.

Cottereaux will be at the Abbey Medieval Festival again this year, so drop by and see some their amazing equipment!

To meet the Cottereaux group this year, buy your tickets now!

Check back for more on other reenactment groups soon!

COMPANY OF THE DOVE

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

 

COMPANY OF THE DOVE

 

 

 

Company of the Dove was a free company, a late medieval army of mercenaries acting independently of any government, and thus “free”. They regularly made a living by plunder when they were not employed. They were based in Brittany, France, at the start of the Hundred Years War, a series of conflicts waging from 1337 to 1453 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France, and their various allies, for control of the French throne.

Starting out initially as a traditional archery group, Company of the Dove are mostly English archers, with some men at arms, and their families, and encourage all interests in the medieval way of life. They have been a loyal visit to the Abbey Medieval Festival for many years, and continue to draw public interest not only in the period of time, but in their individual group’s activities and encampment.

Company of the Dove

Company of the Dove is a family based medieval re-enactment group who adhere to Qld Living History Federation standards, and are involved with weapons training, traditional archery, clothing, furniture, music, encampments, medieval cooking and feasts, as well as studying and re-enacting all facets of medieval life in the mid 14th century (1348-1361).

They run workshops to help their members get more involved in medieval tasks and equipment and they make a lot of our own equipment.

 

To meet Company of the Dove this year, buy your tickets now!

Get to know some of the other Reenactors groups here.

KNIGHTS OF THE EMPIRE GERMANICA

Meet the Reenactors 2016

 

KNIGHTS OF THE EMPIRE GERMANICA

germanica

Knights of the Empire Germanica is a Medieval German re-enactment group in the High Middle Ages period.
They are a Brisbane based re-enactment group depicting the Germanic nobility of the Holy Roman Empire. They practice armoured combat and try to recreate the colour, traditions and day-to-day life of the nobility and their retainers.

A family orientated group, their aim is to create an environment that enables learning about medieval life. Medieval re-enactment is a way of bringing history to life in an exciting and hands-on way. The members of Knights of the Empire Germanica get to actively create and use their equipment, and find out how it all works in a real-life setting. It is especially rewarding to members to be able to engage in a hobby which can include the whole family.

Knights of the Empire Germanica is a group with many years of activity in Brisbane. ‘KEG’ has close ties with other re-enactment groups with whom they share combat training, public appearances such as attending the Abbey Medieval Festival, and other demonstrations. As a group they share research, cook and share medieval food at feasts, create medieval clothing, armour and equipment, and train warriors to be formidable but entertaining fighters.

Knights of the Empire Germanica are a friendly group and are always happy to interact with the public for discussion or photo opportunities. Come and see them at the Medieval Festival this year!

Knights of the Empire Germanica encampment activities

 

To meet Knights of the Empire Germanica, buy your tickets now!

Read more on other Reenactor groups here.

COMPANIE OF KNIGHTS BACHELOR

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

 

COMPANIE OF KNIGHTS BACHELOR

Companie

Companie of Knights Bachelor is one of Brisbane’s oldest re-enactment groups. Established in 1989, this group re-enacts the splendor of the 12th century and early 13th century, and the heroism of the Crusades. Companie members travel across Queensland as well as interstate to attend events such as the Abbey Medieval Festival, and other living history events, to live out life as a member of the 12th century nobility, either fighting in melees and tournaments, or showing off other medieval skills to the public.

The Companie also runs private Medieval Feasts and Living History weekends, to recreate the society and culture of the 12th and early 13th century with artisan craft displays and heroic swordplay.

At the Abbey Medieval Festival each year, Companie of Knights Bachelor reenact the pageantry and excitement of a medieval tournament. Knights join battle in a test of martial strength. Ladies cheer encouragement for their favorite Knight and partake of the gentler art of courtly love. After the Tournaments, the knights and ladies retire to their authentic encampment at Abbeystowe for some feasting, gaming, singing and dancing.

Companie of Knights Bachelor

Members of the Companie take keen interest in medieval arts and crafts, and study the historical background surrounding the Crusades. They employ a high standard of historical accuracy, encouraging every member to do much historical research. All the gear they use at shows and displays has to be documented, to encourage the highest degree of realism that twentieth-century society can produce. Companie of Knights Bachelor and its members are looking forward to returning to the Abbey Medieval Festival this year and educating and entertaining the public one again!

To come and meet the Companie of Knights Bachelor, buy your tickets now!

Check back here for more on Meet The Reenactors 2016

Blackwolf

Meet the Re-enactor Groups 2016

BLACKWOLF

 

It was a feature of medieval warfare that armies tended to live off the invaded land, foraging wherever they could. In Outremer, the Middle East as we know it today, crops were grown and gathered around the water sources. Controlling the water sources and supply routes meant that you controlled the land.

Invading forces attempted to set up supply lines but often in Crusader times, supplies from overseas failed to arrive and often was too little, too late. Supplies had to be easily transported, not spoil and all fresh meat herded “on the hoof”. To alleviate this, Blackwolf – a 12th-13th century Crusader group – traversed the caravan routes, posing as Bedouin Traders, trading where they could, often preying on opposition caravans for vital supplies.

 

Blackwolf were a mixture of European nationalities, local Armenian, Christian Arab, and mercenaries from the plains of the Danube, the Magyars and Kipchak. Any who would join Blackwolf to further Christian interests. This mix of nationalities demonstrated differing garb and customs, and, they use this to reflect a variety of cultures and traditions for the public interest. Some Blackwolf members are combatants, whose principal function is the crash and bash of medieval combat. They are also finding ways to enhance their camp each year expanding crafts and skills such as medieval medicine, Bedouin coffee ceremony, Bedouin cooking and cheese-making. Also adding bone carving and linen production from growing flax. The Bedouin tended to rob wild bee colonies where honey was used as a “currency” and the wax was used to make candles.

Black Wolf

Blackwolf have chosen to portray these Middle Eastern and Eastern cultures in their encampment because this was a little known and unexplored aspect of medieval life. The 12th-13th centuries is a fascinating time of social upheaval, progress and changes in thinking, trade goods and textiles. If nothing else, exposure to eastern trade, medicine and foodstuffs, even the game of chess, did much to renovate Western Europe. There is a great interest in medieval life, what they ate, what they wore and what were their customs so Blackwolf seek to present this to the public in an authentic and enjoyable manner.

 

Check back for more on “Meet the Reenactors 2016”

Buy your tickets now to meet these groups in person!

The story of Antonio Del Rosa and Annelise von Blau

The year is 1400 and you are welcomed to the the celebration that marks the marriage of Antonio Del Rosa to the Lady Annelise von Blau.

 

Antonio Del Rosa is the eldest son of the Del Rosa family, a noble household from the southern Tyrol region of northern Italy. Much to the dismay of his family, the handsome Antonio fell in love with the young and beautiful Lady Annelise of the von Blau family. The von Blau estate is located on the northern side of the Tryols.

These two families have a long and tumultuous history. An ancient feud, whose beginnings have long been forgotten in the mists of time, has seen these families on either side of wars and even today, continues to keep these families at odds.

An age old and somewhat tragic story which you might say echoes the writing of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Tyrol, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge breaks no new mutiny,

Where civil blood past made hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these foes

A pair of star-cross’s lovers made their life

Whose plighted troth the past o’erthrows

Do with their love bury their parents’ strife.

Fortunately for Antonio and Annelise, their story has not had the tragic end of Shakespeare’s characters. And so, we’re to gather here to participate in the Jousting Spectacular in honour of their nuptials.

Jealous of their honour and ever mindful of former glories and defeats, both families and their partisans will no doubt try to prove their superiority in the joust and foot tournament over their former enemies, without the event degenerating into a civil war.

The Italian speaking Della Rossa family can be identified by their red livery and the German speaking von Blau family will be clothed in a cool pallet of blues and greens.

The happy couple will sit separately from their respective families. Determined to enjoy this most sumptuous event, they refuse to have the celebrations of their love marred by the ongoing tensions between their families. Truthfully, they hope that these feelings will make for a more exciting and spectacular joust.

Written by Damien Fegan

Book now to ensure you don’t miss out on the Medieval experience of a lifetime!