Sir William Harrington’s Companye is frequently contracted to perform at heritage sites around the United Kingdom. Events can be staged at any venue large enough to accommodate an arena and living history encampment for our members. Please note that bookings are subject to our Standard Terms and Conditions
LIVING HISTORY EXPERIENCE
The Companye has over twenty years experience staging re-enactment events, which is reflected in the quality of our performances and can be of considerable benefit to Organisers when planning an event. Many event organisers and historic locations have realised the benefit from engaging our society, including The National Trust, English Heritage, Essex Country Parks and The Battlefields Trust.
Our Events Co-ordinator will work closely with you to ensure the event is as successful as possible. This page will detail what we can bring to your venue and how we can work with you to help make your event successful.
WHAT THE COMPANYE CAN BRING TO YOUR EVENT
A medieval living history event can transform a castle into a bustling medieval community, and a country park into a historic location.
We recognise that each event location is very different, and our Events Co-ordinator will work closely with you to design the best event for your venue.
“The feedback we had from customers was all positive and they had a great time. As a personal thanks you made my nieces day’s by one of the knights kissing their hands!!! Thanks for your considerate set up and take down of this event.” – Goodrich Castle for English Heritage
“The Harrington Companye (along with the cannon!) were fabulous as always – professional and engaging at the same time and a joy to work with – please pass on my thanks to all involved and mention that we are really looking forward to next year! Thanks to all of you who came along and helped out in the marquees with the children’s activities or just talking to the public. Once again – many thanks to you all and hope to work with you again next year!” – Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust
“We would like to thank you all for all your superb support given to us on our County/St Crispin Day. We were all amazed at how good you all looked in your costumes and especially Henry how you fitted into your armour. It was interesting to know about the history of the items that you wore and used including the chain of office, which the Mayor found most interesting, and why the archer’s fingers were cut off and how it became a sign for victory. It made for a very unique and special event for our town and to have the St Crispin Day speech on St Crispin’s Day, with him being the Patron Saint of Shoemakers was wonderful as Wellingborough is a shoemaking town. Thank you all for coming and giving us a very professional performance.” – Royal British Legion
OUR DISPLAYS – A GREAT DAY OUT FOR ALL THE FAMILY
Within our membership there is outstanding knowledge of medieval life, tournaments and warfare. All aspects of late medieval campaign life can be covered.
These are just some of the displays we can provide:
Our Companye will draw together multiple displays into an authentic recreation of a medieval foot tournament (tournee a pied). Complete with pagentry, and brutal combat which will leave your public cheering and wanting more.
The centrepiece of our display is the Tournament gallery, where our ladies in their finery will watch the display.
For more information, take a look at the separate TOURNAMENT section on this site.
Other displays are possible – here are some more popular ones
Audience participation at its best. An opportunity for the younger members of the crowd to enter the arena and take part in a grand melee against our Knights. Foam swords are provided, and the activity has appropriate risk assessments.
Note: We recommend this display to immediately follow the men at arms display as the crowd are normally “up for it”. We are also told it works great for tiring out kids before the parents leave for home..!!
MEN AT ARMS DISPLAY
Demonstration of authentic historical fighting techniques using swords, daggers and poleaxes based on 15th century manuscripts.
ARMING THE KNIGHT
A detailed demonstration of medieval armour based around a squire dressing a fully armed knight for battle.
A display of the famous medieval longbow! This includes target shooting using sharp arrows, and a comparison to the crossbow. Where sites allow we can also organise an archery tournament, where spectators can watch the competition unfold and cheer on their favourite!
Although we are unable to provide “have-a-go” archery for public participation due to insurance constraints, we are happy to recommend a number of third parties who could provide this if required.
For these, we partner with our umbrella organisation The Medieval Siege Society, and can help plan these with you.
Smaller handgun displays can be arranged. For larger cannon displays we partner with our great friends the Company of St Barbara – in our opinion the best 15th Century gunnery group in the United Kingdom today.
But it’s not just about the combat…
The Living History Encampment is the window into the past where the public observe life as it was over 500 years ago
Our members will recreate the flavour, smells and substance of a vanished age of chivalry, combat and intrigue – to educate, illuminate and entertain visitors of all ages.
While arena demonstrations are not taking place the public can walk through the medieval camp to learn about campaign life.
Members are available to talk to the public and answer questions.
Discover what they wore in the 15th Century and step back in time with our Fashion Parade as nobles, merchants, artisans and peasants parade in their fine – and not so fine – daily attire.
Learn about medieval crafts and skills from the craftspeople in the society. See how arrows were made by skilled fletchers, and medieval tailors will assemble clothes before your very eyes!
Our colourful encampment of pavilion and burgundian tents complete with banners, musicians, cooking fires & soldiers’ families provide a continuous backdrop to the day’s events.
WHY CHOOSE US…?
Public Relations Support
The Companye can work with your venue to plan and execute the promotional activity essential to arouse interest in the event and ensure the attendance of a large audience.
Advertising will be the responsibility of the venue or Event promoter, and we can support you with large number of high quality photographs and other promotional media that can aid in publicity to help make the event a success.
Health & Safety
Sir William Harrington’s Companye is committed to the safety of both the public and our members. To this end we have a team dedicated to continuously updating safety standards. Each event is carefully assessed for all Health and safety matters and a copy of our risk assessments and safety methods will be provided upon request.
All our members are trained to carry out their duties safely. We run a series of tests for the use of weapons, and only members with the appropriate certificates are allowed to participate. All statutory requirements are enforced and licenses are regularly inspected.
Insurance & Legal Requirements
We carry comprehensive £5 million public liability insurance to cover our own activities at the site. Event Organisers & landowners are advised to obtain their own Public Liability Insurance to supplement this (if they have not already).
The Companye complies with the Law on our use of black powder & the National Association of Re-enactment Societies (N.A.Re.S) guidelines in respect to all aspects of our events.
Event Promoters are ultimately responsible for ensuring the event complies with the law of the land, including Health and Safety legislation for the attending public and local licensing regulations.
Please note that collecting entrance fees, operation of gates and directing public car parking is the responsibility of the venue or Event Organiser, as well as providing facilities for the public such as toilets, water and first aid.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN STAGING AN EVENT
The following information is designed as a guide to organising a living history event with the Companye.
Living History Encampment
This can be tailored to fit the venue and spread across different areas if needed. Enough space should be available so that the individual encampments are accessible, with access and egress for the members of the public is ensured and space is left for wheelchair access.
Tournament and display areas
A tournament arena of a 25m x 25m is required for our tournaments. Note that regretfully archery cannot take place in an arena for public viewing unless a hard stop or roped off 20m overshoot is also available at the end. The arena must be cordoned off with a double rope barrier, which can be provided and set up by our members before the event.
For more intimate displays, these can take play within the Living History Encampment.
Members require camping facilities at the venue with full toilet and water facilities, and we must abide by fire regulations.. Our Companye includes members with young children so these facilities are required 24 hours a day. The majority of our members participate in living history camping though ideally a small space for modern tents/campervans is required (though we can work around this if there is truly nowhere suitable on site). Hard standing should ideally be made available for our cars and trailers to avoid any remote possibility of damage to the turf, but is not mandatory.
Public Access & facilities
We recommend that care must be taken to ensure that all members of the public have an unobstructed view of the tournament arena and display area whilst remaining safe. Our Events Co-ordinator can advise on this as part of the site visit.
It is recommended that public car parking is not situated directly adjacent to the tournament arena and public viewing areas to maintain the historical atmosphere of the event.
For safety reasons it will be necessary to obtain temporary closure orders for any footpaths or bridle paths that cross the venue, including the camping area, for the duration of the event.
Once an event is agreed our Event Co-ordinator will contact you to arrange a site inspection to discuss and agree the exact detail of the event.
Letter of Engagement
Once all details & a fee has been agreed the we will send a letter of engagement detailing our commitment to the event.
If you would like to engage the services of Sir William Harrington’s Companye please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org