Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published April 4th 2020
Simple & sustainable living in medieval times at Riverbend
Set in the bushland west of Tiaro in Queensland is the medieval Victory Village at Riverbend. Owners Lord Terence and Lady Tonya were brought together from a love of history and medieval castles. After a honeymoon touring Southern France, visiting castles and the like, they came across the land near Tiaro, where their dream of building their own medieval village became a reality.
Village Knight Guards the Fortress Gate on Entry (Author's Photo)
Walking through the tall wooden fortress gates, you could be forgiven for thinking you were no longer in 2020, but back in the 1400s. Small wooden cottages with hidden closets and attics as sleeping quarters surround the village, which incorporates others such as Osborne Stables, Herald Draco's Herbal Cottage, and Crinklebottom's Inn, where Dagger the Dangerous will serve you a nice cold beer and the Village Meeting Hall. A few yards outside the Village, young townsfolk practise their skills with the bow and arrow at the Archery Range and the others can be found tending the Village's Vegetable Patch and Farm Animals.
Young Townsfolk Hone Their Skills at Archery (Author's Photo)
On the day I visited, the Village Markets, which were located at the lower end of town, were abuzz with ready buyers, craftsmen sharing their knowledge, merchants showcasing their wares and the Village Seer ready for fortune-telling. I was particularly interested in the crafter who was making bows ready for the archer; the bows crafted from timber on the village property. A painstaking task by hand but a great achievement for the maker. The market merchants sold all types of olden days – embroidery, leatherwork, medieval costumes and fur hats, crystals and jewellery etc.
During your visit to the Village, you may like to enrol in one of the sewing classes to learn the skill of Nalbindning or neddlebinding, which is a Scandinavian form of needlework that involves the use of a needle and yarn, or watch Lady Tonya use her spinning wheel making fleece into yarn, try your hand at archery or partake in fortnightly training sessions in the skill of medieval fighting with the Riverbend Medieval Society. Tours of the Village are available on open days.
Although not compulsory, visitors are encouraged to wear medieval dress when visiting and from the enthusiasm of everyone I spoke to, this is something the locals and associated societies love to do. It creates an atmosphere, however, in Queensland's hot summer weather, it is hard to imagine anyone would want to wear wool or heavy clothing.
Another feature of the day's event was the Combat Demonstration in the main ring. Complete with chain-mail armour, great helm, hauberk and large swords, the Knights fought against their opponents, encouraged by the roar of the crowd sitting around the arena. Each set of armour can weigh up to thirty pounds, so it is quite incredible to realise these Knights fought in battle long ago.
Roar From The Crowd Encouraged The Combat in the Arena (Author's Photo)
Unless otherwise stated, Village Fayre Event Days have an entry fee of $5.00 for Adults and Secondary School Students, $2.00 for Primary Students and under 5 years are free. Entry fees are paid at the gates on arrival. There is plenty of off-street bush parking at the front of the property.
The Victory Village at Riverbend have special event days observing Pagan ceremonies, which include Sabbats, Cross Quarter Festivals, Sun and Moon Events as well as the Turning of the Wheel of the Year, where you can join others in spiritual refreshments, meditation, religious and pagan traditions. Information on these events can be sourced from the Village's Facebook, Website or by email – email@example.com
There are several events scheduled for this year, however, due to the current circumstances of the Coronavirus, all events are postponed until safe to proceed with large gatherings. Keep an eye out on the Facebook and website for updates.
The Victory Pillory, for punishment (Author's Photo)
Victory Village is part of the You Camp group, where travellers can stop for a period when travelling around Australia. Although all campsites have been closed since the Coronavirus, the fee is approximately $6.00 a night with bookings made through the You Camp Website.
While the self-isolation is occurring, the owners of Victory Village will still continue with the erection of new buildings, fences and the like with the vision in mind of stepping out into the light once the virus and contamination periods are over.
Victory Village at Riverbend is located at Lot 1, Riverbend Drive (off Glenbar Road), Tiaro. There are plenty of signs posted on trees so you will not get lost. There are eight kilometres of dirt road, however, I took my sedan over the road and as long as you adhere to the road conditions, you will be fine. This is one destination you do not want to miss.