Battle Reenactments are where a large group of people dress up in period costume and armour and act out famous battles from history. this involves fighting, horses, seige weapons and cannons!
Skills – Strength: 5, Balance: 4, Flexibility: 1, Agility: 7, Coordination: 6
Time needed: a day, Cost to try: £Free, but you may have to pay to watch at an event.
The Medieval Siege Society
Have you ever imagined what life was like in medieval times? Or wondered how people lived during sieges or what it was like to fight in a battle? Do you enjoy camping and the outdoors? If so, then the Medieval Siege Society offers all this and more.
The Medieval Experience
The MSS re-enacts at various sites and castles, mainly around the South-East of England including Hedingham Castle, Herstmonceaux and Edgecote. It has members from all over the country, of all ages, from babies to OAPs; with many families having three generations involved!
The society is divided into the armies of Lancaster and York, both of which consist of households based on those who took part in the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. Everyone can be involved; from a child on the battlefield before fighting commences; a water carrier providing much needed refreshments to men-at-arms; a soldier aiming to win glory for their side or an archer trying to defeat enemy soldiers from a distance. Each of these skills requires training and competency testing, but once this has been passed, the world, or field, is your oyster.
For many, joining the MSS means you will be able take part in some of the displays we offer to the public, which are both entertaining and authentic.
Men at arms display
You might want to train to take part in the historical fighting displays showing fighting skills in long sword, sword and buckler, daggers and pole arm, all based on C15th manuscripts.
Arming of the Knight
Or perhaps once trained, you might want to take part in, or just enjoy watching the arming of the knight where a squire dresses a knight for battle.
Perhaps you would like to train to take part in the gunnery demonstration of C15th hand guns, pole guns and cannon.
Archery is a favourite for many, especially as training can start at a young age. Once trained in the Medieval longbow, you can shoot at targets, compete in archery tournaments and take part in battle!
The centre of most medieval weekends are the battles and skirmishes which are based on historical events and linked to the venue we are performing at if possible. As swords clash and arrows fly though the air, crowds cheer as soldiers fight for their cause. It is impossible not to be caught up in the excitement of fighting for your household under the banner of Lancaster or York.
Despite having so many options for displays and battles, The Medieval Siege Society isn’t just about the military aspect of camp life. The society caters for those who enjoy re-enacting medieval camp life, which is a window to the past where you can recreate the lifestyle of people over five centuries ago while the public can observe and learn what conditions were like.
Re-enactors wear authentic clothing, dressing in different styles and materials dependant on their status. For new recruits the Membership Secretary has a supply of clothing that can be borrowed until you have made or bought your own C15th attire. Many members cook as medieval peasants would have cooked, using authentic ingredients in their cauldrons on fires. You can also find enjoyment learning new, authentic crafts; with many re-enactors sewing clothes, fletching arrows or even making armour! The whole experience will open up a whole array of possibilities for learning and creating, and once you feel confident in whatever area or areas you wish to pursue, you can, if you choose, share your skills and knowledge with the public.
Membership can be obtained through downloading the relevant forms from the MSS website at www.medieval –siege-society.co.uk. Fees are £17.50 per person per year for 18+, £8.50 per junior or £35 for a family membership. Also available from the website are the dates and venues of the events running throughout the year.
Once you have joined, our membership secretary will help you integrate by introducing you to people and households until you find your niche. It is an extremely enjoyable hobby for anyone who has an interest in history, the outdoors or learning new skills.