Bodium Castle Grand medieval Weekend 10-11 August
Report by intrepid reporter Loki Lane.
The Harrington Companye was pleased to attend what is undoubtedly a yearly highlight in the events calendar; the Grand Medieval Weekend at Bodium castle.
Alongside us, the spacious grounds of this still impressive moated castle played host to an array of other households within the Medieval Siege Society and the fantastic Destrier jousting group.
The public were able to wander around the Living History encampment, with Kathleen Davies at the Harrington camp demonstrating traditional finger braiding techniques to any keen to learn.
Our first display of the Saturday was the Commission of Array, where troops submit to combat trials to test their worthiness to gain employment by the Lord. This day, Sir Robert was looking for the finest men at Arms to serve him, and the Harrington Companye were pleased to present a fine block of men. With the bold black and white of the Harrington banner fluttering above in the wind, Philip Davies stepped forward to display his skill with sword and buckler in combat with Sir Robert himself. Needless to say, he was well pleased with the combat, and if the expressions on the audience’s faces were anything to go by they were somewhat impressed too!
On the Sunday morning, at the rather early hour of eight o clock, we were lucky enough to be invited to take part in a clout shout from the very top of the castle. Each man was allowed eight arrows, and the task was to shoot up over the moat and onto a flag set in the lawn beyond. This was no easy feat as the trick was not only to get as near to the flag as possible, but also not to lose any arrows in the moat, not damage the ornamental flower pots in front of the Information Centre and furthermore not to attempt entry to the beer tent before opening hours by piercing the canvas with arrows. Helen Bruce did well, landing a neat cluster of arrows near to the flag and the flower pots, at least, were untouched.
In the afternoon battle we were joined by a famous face; Warwick Davies (of Harry Potter and Willow fame) was being filmed for a documentary featuring events to attend with children throughout the summer. He not only gathered a gaggle of admirers posing for photos, but also managed to single handedly bring down Sir Robert on the battlefield; and all of this after sustaining a traditional arrow-tucked-under-the-arm wound!
Warren Mills joined his fellow Harringtons on the field and helped to put on an engaging display for the gathered public. They were impressed by the skilful flat shooting at pavaises and striking boar snout formations being utilised.
As well as this, a determined effort was of course made to feature the Harrington banner in as much of the footage as possible, and for the purpose it was casually move around the field to suit. Even more importantly, it was not captured and remained flying proudly as all on the field were called forward to take a bow for the camera.
All in all, a well supported and relaxed weekend, with the benefit of an archery competition running over both days and the fortune of favourable weather and great public attendance.
Now to shine our armour, dig out our best kit and ready ourselves for three days at Herstmonceux!