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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 available. 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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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.

 

 

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!

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Jouster’s Profiles – Part Two

Second in our Jouster’s Profile series is Vikki Subritzky! Jousting Spectacular introducing Vikki Subritsky

Lady Victoria Subritzky hails from Northland New Zealand.

She is from a distinguished line of noble Polish mounted warriors, and wears light armour very similar to what her fierce ancestor Jan Sobieski wore  in the Great Battle of Grunwald. There, the combined armies of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania decisively defeated the Teutonic Knights in a bloody battle that saw Jan Sobieski taking out many of the enemies warriors and horses.

Back to the present, Lady Victoria is a member of the International Jousting League, and has been jousting for 15 years. This is her sixth visit to the wonderful Abbey Tournament.

She is part of the jousting team Guild of the Hawk along with fellow Kiwiman John King, and together they regularly perform in various events and take part in many fundraisers for charitable organisations.

At home Lady Victoria breeds and trains sport horses, runs beef cattle and also runs a farm stay holiday, where people can enjoy a sample of rural life.

Her motto – Ancora Imparo – Yet I still learn.

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MEDIEVAL MARKETPLACE: Food, Wine, Weapons and Crafts.

Good morrow, good people. The year 2014 carries us to the 25th anniversary of the annual Abbey Medieval Festival. This silver celebration will see the Medieval Marketplace bustling with excitement as Brave Knights, Warriors and Fair Ladies come from across the ages to choose where to spend their hard earned Gold Pieces. Fill your bellies with food from across the Middle Ages. Find the licensed taverns to enjoy medieval brews. Browse rows of markets to adorn yourselves with various medieval crafts and weaponry. All of our exciting markets will be easy to find with a two page spread in the festival program – read on to get to know what to expect from the Medieval Marketplace.

Melt in your mouth Lamb Shanks from Catering with Flair.

Melt in your mouth Lamb Shanks from Catering with Flair.

The Medieval Marketplace will be brimming with foods from the Middle Ages of Western Europe and the Near East. Imagine the scent of hot baking bread, sizzling whole pig on the spit, lamb shanks, venison, beef, chicken legs and fire grilled sausages. Now, think about a bouquet of spiced vegetables and stews cooked over a hot wood fire. Flavours that have been enjoyed for centuries all come to life at the Abbey. Foods that make the cool Abbey days warm. Taste the sweet delights that have been made with ancient recipes, all perfect for a weekend of medieval faire fun. There are options available for all diets – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and those with a nagging sweet tooth. No need to pack a lunch, feast at the festival!

The famous Stag Inn - warm fire, food and company!

The famous Stag Inn – warm fire, food and company!

The famous Stag Inn and Friars Folly Tavern will be helping us all to celebrate in fine medieval style. The Stag Inn, found in the main market area, will be serving their renowned array of hot pies, platters and toasted mulled wine, medieval ciders and cordials in a rustic straw laden encampment, complete with fire and wooden tables. At the Jousting end of the festival you’ll find Friars Folly Tavern, positioned right next door to the musical entertainment, Friars Folly is a prime location for merriness and tasting of premium recipes of herbed beer, and it is only a stone’s throw from the Jousting Arena!

The choice of Craft and Weaponry found at the festival makes holding on to Gold Pieces even more difficult than the smell of fresh food. Be prepared to find quality medieval items ranging from superior clothing, home decor, swords, axes, helms, games, jewellery, museum souvenirs and artwork from specialist merchants with the tricks of the trade.

The Medieval Fightclub - your one stop shop for all things weaponry!

The Medieval Fightclub – one stop shop for all things weaponry.

With all of this in mind, be sure to pick up a program at the gates. All of the stalls will be numbered on an easy to use map. The food, craft and licensed areas will be named and numbered, and speciality stalls with vegan, gluten free and vegetarian options highlighted for ease of enjoyment at the festival. We are looking forward to showcasing the finest medieval merchants at the 2014 Abbey Medieval Festival. Help us celebrate the Middle Ages in all of its glory.

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Abbey Medieval Travel Package…in one’s face!

Huzzar! to have so many people interested in the Abbey Medieval Travel Package, we are receiving lots of great feedback. What better experience to look forward to than a short holiday in SE Queensland this winter with your family.

To help you enjoy this experience to its optimum, the Abbey Medieval Travel package is designed to take the hard work out of the planning, leaving you for more time to think about the important things like costumes and food and fun and….perhaps camel rides! And we have purposely excluded flights, simply because it is so easy for people to book their own preferences online. And besides, this is a perfect opportunity to use up those flight gift vouchers you received for Christmas or all those Frequent Flyer points that have been accumulating.

The package includes a fantastic range of room types to suit all budgets with our two accommodation partners, Mon Komo and Gordon Motor inn. It also includes weekend pass to the festival with return transfers from and to your accommodation and airport return transfers. So all you really have to do is ask!

Find out more now and make haste to save disappointment as the package closes on May 5th! And don’t forget to add Medieval Festival and Uplift Tours and Travel to your contact list or those emails containing information that you have requested may end up there!

KMFD2012-CamelAndPonyRides01-BruceLevy

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Children’s Costume Competition

This week we were unfortunately faced with the difficult decision of cancelling our Kids’ Medieval Fun Day. We know that there are many fans out there who, like us, were disappointed with this situation; we want to thank you all for your understanding and support.

Children’s Costume Competition

Costume competitionWe know there are many dedicated parents out there who worked hard creating costumes for little Knights and Princesses to attend the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day. So after a little shuffling around, we are happy to announce that we will have a Children’s Costume Competition this weekend at the Abbey Medieval Festival! Any young Lords and Ladies between the ages of 3 – 12 are welcome to participate in the competition which will be held on stage outside the Friar’s Folly at 12.45 – 1.15pm, We ask that those interested in participating please contact performance@abbeytournament.com.

Fun for the whole family

The Abbey Medieval Festival is a weekend full of workshops, demonstrations and fun for the whole family and we thought we’d share some ideas for the young Lords and Ladies visiting Abbeystowe:

Plan Your Day: Families with Little Kids (aged 0-5)

Plan Your Day: Families with Primary Age Kids (aged 6-11)

Plan Your Day: Families with Teenagers

And parents, don’t miss out on a great offer from Medieval Fightclub! Present your Medieval Fightclub sponsored jousting ticket when purchasing a Toy Sword & Shield Set and they will give you another set FREE! You can find their stall in the market place all weekend.

 

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Counting your cards!

Your favourite Heores and Heroines from the  Abbey Medieval Festival can now be a collected as trading cards.  The cards are a big hit, with online orders flowing in.

Abbey Medieval Festival Trading Cards

Get your cards before they sell out!

The trading cards which feature heroes like the Knights Templar, Sir Liam Reilly, Alexander de Vos,  Company of the Wolf, Kryal Castle, Sir Blair Martin and many more, are the first of a new range made available  via the website of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology.  And if you order now, you can pick them up at the festival on July 6-7 at the Abbey Museum stall, ensuring you have your a wonderful souvenirs to match your favourite memories of the festival.  There are 40 to collect in total, and numbers are limited.  Next year it is hope the the range will be expanded.  The cards are being sold for $20 per pack of five cards.

http://www.abbeymuseum.com.au/product/heroes-of-the-abbey-medieval-festival-trading-cards/

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Woodland Walkers and Green Men

We often have people asking us what associations our beautiful woodland walkers have with Medieval history and reenactment, and you might be quite surprised at the reply. They represent a historical (fictional) figure known as the Green Man. If you have never encountered them before, our ‘Green Men’ like to walk gracefully around Abbeystowe during the festival, delighting visitors and posing for photographs, like this:

The figure of the Green Man appears to have it’s roots in carvings from the Messapotamic and Roman eras, but has also been seen in temples in India, Borneo and Nepal. He was used to bridge the gap between the old forms of worship and the new introduction of Christianity in the early Medieval period, although his appearances during this time were few.

From the late 11th century onwards his face became a carved decorative feature used on Churches and buildings of great importance. The Green Man is quite often linked the to the use of other decorative ornamentation used in the Gothic and Romanesque styles during the High Middle Ages, such as gargoyles, mythical beasts, demons, mermaids and green ‘women’. ‘Jack the Green Man’ was incorporated into village fetes and festivals which is why our woodland walkers fit right in at the Abbey Medieval Festival (why or how he was named Jack is still a bit of a mystery!)

Guess what this will be?

Visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival 2013 and Kids Medieval Fun Day will notice a few new additions to the site. A team of handy volunteers have been working hard setting up permanent improvements at Abbeystowe. I wonder if you can guess what this one is?

VillageGreen2

Hint: It’s somewhere you can watch Gypsies dancing, listen to stories of old and be entertained by Medieval social interactions.

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Capturing The Moments

 

{Our newest guest blogger is an Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer.  She writes about her day at the Tournament below.}

 

So why I am an Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer?

Like most visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival I became entranced from the moment I entered the gate.    As I was greeted with a “my lady” and a snap of my wristband I was transported to another time, another place.

Photo by David de Groot

Inside the gates so much to see, smell, taste, experience and especially to photograph!  Forget a safari or road trip,  I hardly put my camera down!  I knew I wanted more than anything to photograph inside the second rope.  This was a world of swirling Romani skirts, the clash of sword on armour, the crack of a jousting lance as it shatters, of smiling kids running and playing barefoot.  For photographers capturing each and every moment of the experience is paramount.  I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer as a photographer for 2011, and again in 2012, not just the Medieval Tournament but also other great events at the Abbey Museum.

Blending in with the Crowd

Photo by Cavanagh

We  photographers get funny looks.  Comments about our “medieval Canons” or the contrast between our costume and the hefty gear we carry around.  We try our hardest to keep from blocking others views of the activities.  Many times this means spending the day in wet and sometimes muddy clothing from sitting or laying on the ground. I call it being authentic.

Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick

So how does a photographers day start?  For me it starts months before as I work on my “medieval camouflage”.  By blending  into the rest of the festival as much as possible I can capture the day better, and combined with my official Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer Tunic I’m ready to go as unnoticed as possible.

Ready or Not!

Photo by M Tullet

The night before the tournament begins I set an alarm, and a backup, for early in the morning.  Inevitably, I wake early from the excitement and by four I’ve gotten up to check that I have batteries, backup batteries, flash, monopod, lenses, spare lenses, and the all important memory cards packed.  I also take the time to gather up fingerless gloves, a warm hat, the list goes on!

Before the gates open and the grass is dry, photographers can be seen setting up, getting photos of fellow volunteers, the morning sun setting the castle aglow, glinting off a sword propped against a shield, or trying to plan out how to best capture everything.

And then the day begins!

All in a Day's Work at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Photo by M Tullet

For those who have experienced a tournament you know there’s so much to see and do.  Photographers get assignments to cover, but there’s always more to fit in.  Many times we may forget to eat or stop for more than a quick drink at the fountain because something just happened to catch our eye.   From the chilly morning, to sunny bright afternoon, then back to the brisk evenings we’re there in the grass capturing each moment of the festival.  But our day is hardly over when the gates close.  After driving home we  get all our cards downloaded, backed up, and reformatted.  Batteries charged, a bite to eat and to bed to try and rest.  Meanwhile images flits through our brain, and which ones we want to try and capture the next day!  Even long after the final boom of the cannon on Sunday there is work to do, processing, editing and submitting all the photos to the Abbey Festival for use in promoting this great event.  While this doesn’t seem much to some people, we photographers tend to have thousands of photos each day and that can sometimes take us all the way up to our deadline a month after the festival.

 

Guest Blogger:  Neda Lundie

{Neda Lundie was born in the United States and now a citizen of Australia, Neda Lundie fell in love with photography at an early age.  From the moment she picked up her first 110 camera as a kid in the early 80’s, to buying her first SLR second hand in year 11, the important thing for her has been to capture life to preserve memories.

Neda has covered events at the Abbey Museum since 2011 including Abbey Medieval Festival, Kids Medieval Fun Day, Picnic at Pemberley, Kids Dig it Day and new to 2012. the Birds of Prey Experience.}

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Shields, steel and saddles: The modern sport of jousting explained

Jousting Abbey Medieval Tournament

Yes, many of the best jousters are women.  Photo: Cumberland

On 6 and 7 July Caboolture will host an international tournament for one of most interesting of modern sports – jousting.  You may think jousting was a historic chivalric pursuit, but it thrives today as a modern contact sport.
Picture this: hundreds of kilos of humans, horses and armour charging at each other, intent on landing  the point of their 3 metre lance on the body of their opponent.  There will be wood flying, dents in armour, and if the crowd gets what they want, someone will be knocked off their horse.
No wonder it is popular.  In fact, so popular there is now an International Jousting League, with rankings, and there are annual prestigious jousting events that attract the best from around the world.

 

Horses, jousting, Abbey Medieval Festival

Horses quite enjoy the jousting at the Abbey Museum.  Photo Alex Hinsch

Sounds modern?  It’s the way the sport was organised in the 13th century.  In medieval times, the best knights would travel from tournament to tournament, and were the “sports celebrities” of their day.
Like all the best sports, the rules of jousting are simple and straightforward, but they allow a great deal of subtlety and gamesmanship from the competitors.
The object of jousting is for a knight to land their lance tip on their opponent – that scores points!   A hit is called an “ataint” and an ataint scores if it is a hit on the shield, body or helmet.  But you get even more points if you shatter your lance upon your opponent.  Yes, wince as you picture that.  The lances are designed to shatter on impact, and the tips are replaced after each ataint.  The breaking point is a set distance from the tip, and a lance must break at that point if it the ataint is to count.
And what does the  jousting “stadium” look like?  Like all sports, there are tiers of seatings all around, so the spectators can see every hit, hear every grunt, and all of the action.  Some things are eternal – it was the same for the gladiatorial games in Rome.
In the middle, picture this:  two horses and riders thundering down the line  towards each other, with a flimsy barrier separating them. The barrier, called a “tilt’, was used from the 14th century to prevent collisions between jousters.
Like most equestrian sports, spectators are more worried about the horses than the humans. Fear not, the horses are safe.  Safer than the jousters.  There have always been great protections built into jousting to protect the horses.  Harming or targeting  the horses is dreadfully taboo.  If a horse is hit, the offending knight loses the tournament and traditionally had to surrender his own horse!
In fact, we think the horses rather enjoy the action and attention.  Like the jousting knights, they don’t hold back.  And that is how all elite modern sports should be .

Jousting Abbey Medieval Tournament

Grace, skill, honour … and determination. Photo by G Beard

As a modern sport, jousting  may even be better than many of the ball-chasing events you see on pay TV.
It is a brief, intense one-on-one  contest where you can’t miss the action.  All the drama is distilled down to a single moment, the moment of impact.   There is noise, there is shiny armour, there are the “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.  And sometimes, we see a knight knocked off his horse.
So take your kids to see an international sporting event in July. An event  with no drunken spectators, one where you get to see a result, and one where everyone learns something about the past.  Go to the jousting.

New Benches for Abbeystowe!

We have been busy making improvements to Abbeystowe (the Festival site) for this year and are proud to reveal the new bench seats that have just sprung up across the field!

There are 30 new benches in total, each one is 2.4m long and capable of seating between 4-8 people at a time. They have been dotted all round Abbeystowe, particularly in places where you, our fantastic visitors, have requested them – near the food! Benches2 Benches3 Benches4

“More seating!” has long been a cry of our visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival and we’d like to thank our team of volunteers who put in the time to transform these lovely new seats from raw slabs of timber to backside bliss. We are now on the lookout for large sandstone or granite boulders to dot the site (let us know if you know where we can get some!).

Benches1

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Jousting Tickets – Quick and Easy Online Bookings!

TilIf you have tried to purchase tickets online for this year’s upcoming Abbey Medieval Jousting you may have noticed it was a little fiddly. Well, no more! We have just implemented a simpler, faster booking system so you can get your tickets for the joust of your choosing in a matter of clicks, right here 🙂

*** Please make sure you have purchased your festival entry tickets. Joust tickets only give access to the Joust session you have booked. Joust tickets are NOT festival entry tickets.

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Have Abbey Medieval Festival Package….will travel!

Hello readers,

Abbey Medieval Festival, travel to brisbane

Making Abbey Medieval Festival travel plans easier for Baby and Me!

It has been a while since I last posted on this page and I am currently working on the perfect excuse to contact you all again.  Today I’m going to give you a fantastic reason to visit Brisbane this winter.  Today I’m going to tell you all about the ‘Abbey Medieval Festival Travel Package’!

We had a lot of feed back last year that people found it hard to get to regional Brisbane festivals and in particular to our corner of the world for the Abbey Medieval Festival  Your travel arrangements were complicated and you found it difficult to find a place to stay……  simply put..you needed some help!  And yes we recognise while its wonderful to have a medieval festival like this with more than 37,000 visitors, the logistics involved for our visitors were challenging.

So this year, we have the perfect solution for you!

The Abbey Medieval Festival has teamed up with a number of partners to bring you ‘The Abbey Medieval Festival Package‘.  Three clicks and your travel is sorted! This package is like a pilll to take away your travel pain!  Flights, accommodation, breakfast, transfers to and from the airport and transfers to and from the festival, all sorted!

Here’s how it works!

Simply click on the link below, complete the form and our awesome ‘Travel Experience Partner’ – Uplift Tours and Travel will contact you within twenty-four hours. (Usually sooner!)

Travel to Brisbane this Winter

Uplift Tours and Travel wll take care of all your Medieval Festival travel needs!

You will see also that the landing page features our two Accommodation Partners.

We present the RendezVous Hotel and Suites and the Econolodge, both based in Brisbane CBD.  These properties are great value and have a great range of rooms and suites allocated for visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival. Just pick your choice, and Uplift Tours and Travel will arrange the rest.

So this is a perfect solution for all those Abbey Medieval Festival visiting families and traveling groups out there to make life easier.  Give us your travelling challenges and we will make it happen for you!

We look forward to your feedback and we especially look forward to hearing about your travel experience – we know you are going to love this!

Watch out for our posts on Facebook and Twitter!

Abbey Medieval Festival Package