This post is for Jacqueline’s Echoes of my Neighbourhood. This week I’m sharing pictures from one of my favourite places – the home of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest.
Growing up in Nottinghamshire, Sherwood was a place we visited regularly, on both school trips and family days out. Tales of Robin Hood were instrumental in developing my love of the medieval period, something that I later studied at university. On this occasion, however, I don’t plan to merely share pictures of the forest (although I do plan to do so at some point). Last weekend was the yearly ‘Sherwood Through the Ages’ event, a gathering of reenactment troops depicting life from various points in the history of the forest. On the day we visited the groups were all from times during the last 1000 years. Their camps were set up all along the Major Oak path.
First were the many medieval groups, all focussing on different centuries. These included King John and his Knights from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, a group of the Knights of St John, the Bowden Retinue and also a group from during the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century.
Each reenactor played their part with great energy and enthusiasm, whether they were royalty, knight, peasant or even one of the dreadfully diseased lepers, whose jangling bells informed people of their presence.
Next we encountered Scots from the seventeenth century Jacobite Rebellion and some highwaymen of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, looking for travellers on the Great North Road as it passed through the heart of Sherwood.
At the end of the trail were a final two more recent groups – one from World War One and a second from the Falklands War of the 1980s.
The camps and the characters within them were not the only attractions of the day. During the afternoon, in a clearing by the Major Oak, several groups put on displays. These were quite hard to photograph as the participants were moving around the area so quickly, but I did my best. 🙂 First we watched a duel between two of the Jacobite soldiers – a ‘gentleman’s disagreement’ as it was called.
Next was a tournament hosted by King John. Even one of the lepers joined in, hoping the be granted the healing touch of the monarch.
The tournament was won by a mysterious knight in green – yes, Robin Hood also made an appearance! After the tournament the Jacobites returned to the arena where they battled with their enemies, the Scottish supporters of English rule.
To finish off I thought I’d share one of my favourte shots of the day. Whilst most of the reenactors tried to stay in character (and period) as much as possible, a few anachronisms could be found. I doubt medieval Arabian knights would have eaten ice creams!
I hope you all enjoyed the post. If you’d like to know mkre about and its history, check t Millie Thom’s post, here.
Unfortunately I’m unlikely to be back on the blog for a little while as I’m off on holiday tomorrow and we’ve been warned that the internet is unreliable where we’re staying.
I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get back!
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
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