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St Ives Medieval Faire

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by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Event: -
Go back in time to knights, fair maidens & court jesters
Go back in time to when when there were no cars, trains and aeroplanes. A time when there were no TV's, radio stations or internet. To a time when warriors covered in steel armour would joust for the hand of a fair maiden, when laughs and smiles came from watching court jesters act like fools, and puppeteers would put on shows for kids and adults. It was a time when the choice of weapons of war were the long and cross bow, sword, lance and trebuchet.

Photo courtesy of event organiser.

In 2014, the inaugural event of the St Ives Medieval Faire[/LINK] was such a resounding success that you once again have the chance to experience it again plus much more at the 2015 St Ives Medieval Faire on Saturday the 19th of September and Sunday the 20th of September from 10am to 4pm.

The St Ives Medieval Faire attracted over 15,000 people in 2014 and was so good that it won the NSW event award for originality, community engagement and its focus on sustainability at the Parks and Leisure Australia NSW Awards and is in the running for the National Award that will be presented in October.

At this year's event, there will once again be an international field of horseman competing for the St Ives Medal. Did you know that Phillip Leitch from Australia is one of only a handful of people in the world who solely makes their income as a professional jouster?

Come & watch Phillip Leitch in action. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

Not only will you get a chance to watch Phillip ply his skills as a jouster, you will also get to see Arne Koets, Bertus Brokamp and Wouter Nicolai from the Netherlands. Plus Rod Walker, Luke Binks and Andrew McKinnon from Australia. It will be like the clash of the titans when their lances crash into each other.

Andrew McKinnon is returning to the St Ives Medieval Faire in 2015 to do battle with the other knights. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

The clash of the knights. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

To check out the other knights who will be jousting for the St Ives Medal Click here.

An event not to be missed.

You will also be able to witness battle scenes re-enacted from history by costumed warriors. Watch as birds of prey swoop and attack on command.

Come along and see the magestic brids of prey at their best. Photo courtesy of event organiser.

There will also be the largest historical village with over 230 people dressed in medieval clothes that you will be able to wander through. Talk to the villages and learn about what it was like to live back in the medieval times. There will be plenty of live demonstrations on how to operate a spinners, hand weavers, blacksmiths and the Leura Bodger - the heritage wood turner - who uses his medieval lathe to create beautiful pieces of art.

Don't forget to check out the stalls in the Medieval village. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

Maybe you will want to get your very own body armour, or a shield and a sword to go with it, and what about an axe, or jewellery for your fair maiden, a horn for the kids or even your own medieval kit? These items can be brought from the many stalls that will be displaying items from the Dark Ages, the 14th and 15th Century.

For the more adventurous of you, how about trying to pull back the string on a long bow and shoot an arrow at a target? No? Well here is your chance to come and try your hand at using a traditional long bow.

Try you hand at archory with a long bow. Photo courtesy of event organiser.

There will also be a live demonstration on how the trebuchet was such an effect weapon. Imagine back in the medieval Times that use to use anything they could to launch over the castle walls at their enemy. Things like boulders, carcasses, rocks and even bee hives.

How far do you think the trebuchet will fling a watermelon? You will need to come to the St Ives Medieval Faire to find out. Photo courtesy of event organiser.

At the St Ives Medieval Faire there will be none of that. They will be using whole water melons and to get a bit of an idea of how far a water melon can be flung through the air you should check out this video.

To get into the swing of things at the Faire, why don't you get dressed up in the theme of things? You may end up getting your photo taken by someone who things you are part of the show and what's more you could win the daily best dressed adult and child prizes.

Go on. Get dressed up for the occassion. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.


Have you ever tried stuffed mushrooms, suckling pig, roasted stuffed onions and roast lamb? I am sure you have. But have you experienced this done in the traditional medieval way? I know that I haven't. Well here is your chance to feast on all these delicious delicacies at the Medieval Feast on Saturday night from 6pm. To book your seat click here.

The Medieval Feast will be hosted in a sumptuously draped hall, where you can eat specially created medieval-style delicacies and quaff drinks while court musicians play and fools entertain. There will also be plenty of entertainment throughout the night including fire juggling, jester, medieval music and more.

How good does this look? Bet you can't wait to get your tickets to the Feast. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

The feast will commence at 6pm till late and is limited to 200 participants only. The feast includes three medieval courses and all entertainment. Drinks are not included but may be purchased. The Medieval Feast is recommended for children over 15 years. The cost is $85 for adults and $65 for children.

If feasting is not your thing, but you would still like to try casual medieval food options for lunch and dinner, you could go to the Tilt and Counter Tavern (an authentic medieval tavern) and wash a meal down with a Sir Andrews Gruit or a Mad Monks Mead, while being entertained in the food court area. You will need to keep an eye out for Feldergast the Jester, who is always acting the fool.


Now the kids haven't been left out. They can be a King or Queen and learn the basics of gallantry, chivalry, honesty and honour through fun activities like swordsmanship and mock combat. The combat workshops use high quality rubber swords and shields, decorative costumes and helmets, and children will be taught how to use swords and shields and then engage in coordinated and supervised mock combat to protect their King and Queen.

They can pretend to be a Knight on horseback or a Queen surveying her subjects on these kid-friendly ponies, or join the Ku-ring-gai Bowmen at their traditional archery range with longbows and realistic targets. Children over 8 years old can come and try traditional bow and arrows while supervised.

There will be the original Punch & Judy puppet show that dates back to the 16th century and if that is not enough, they can listen to stories of days gone by in the Medieval Storey Tent in the authentic Medieval Village or create your own arts and crafts.

You also might be chosen to join into an improvisational comedy and torture, showcasing some of the instruments and methods of medieval punishment.

The puppet show is always a hit with all ages. Photo courtesy of event organiser.

The Stoccata School of Defence will be there with a modern school of historical European martial arts. The Staccata's fencing demonstration has proved to be a crowd favourite. It will include sword and buckler, long sword, short sword, spada, rapier, backsword, two handed sword, quarterstaff and sabres from across Europe.

The kids can be a knight for a day. Photo courtesy of the event organiser.

So get ready for two of the most exciting days you'll ever have and join thousands of other Sydneysiders and a magical world at the second annual Medieval Faire at St Ives Showground. If you are coming from out-of-town and you would like to know where to go and stay, click here for more information.

This two-day festival is unlike anything you will see in New South Wales.This eye-popping event is designed to keep you and your family bedazzled all day and into the night.

To keep up to date with with additional information about the St Ives Medieval Faire, you can go to their web site or like them on Facebook.
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Why? Go back in-time to the dark ages and the 14th &15th centuries.
When: 10am to 4pm
Phone: (02) 9424 0353
Where: St Ives Showground
Cost: Refer to website for costs.
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