Beorgwic 2012 gallery

After an initial – and by now obligatory – rain shower on Friday afternoon, Beorgwic (pronounced Be-your’d wick) enjoyed three days of clear skies and balmy weather, at ‘The Danelaw’, a property located in the hills behind Mongarlowe in southern NSW. More than 180 re-enactors attended from locations across Australian, making Beorgwic 2012 the best attended in the event’s ten year history.

Participants of all ages enjoyed activities such as archery, armoured battle re-enactments and workshops including introductions to the forge, jewellery making, tablet weaving, nailbinding, embroidery, rope-making, leather working and much more. Children at Beorgwic enjoyed the freedom of a 120 acre European pine forest, with ferny glens and bushland aplenty to explore under the shared supervision of a close-nit and nurturing community of re-enactors.

Beorgwic’s focus is the period between 900 and 1100 ad., but the expert eye could pick-out representatives from eras between 800 and 1400 ad. Many different cultures were represented in a colourful and diverse array of costumes, period tents and the equipment of day-to-day life in the medieval period. Sunset heralded the time to don one’s feasting garb, in which people turned out at the Tavern to take their evening meals by candlelight. Evening meals included such authentic culinary marvels as Venison pie & honey-glazed vegetables, Swedish meatballs & sauce, Lamb stew & bread, Mushroom pasties, Cockerel in Civy, and Brie tart followed by a dessert of Pear tart & cream, all taken with much conversation and merriment.

Fine mead and conversation was also partaken of while gathering around Danelaw’s many open fire-pits which offer warmth against the chill night air. In this relaxed environment, lit only by fire and moonlight, impromptu performances from the gathering’s many fine bards were enjoyed.

Of course no medieval scene could be complete without a marketplace. Beorgwic’s marketplace opened for business each day when the sun was high, and there goods as diverse as costumes, swords, feasting knives (forks would not be invented for another 700 years), drinking horns and feasting bowls, broadaxes, helms, hats, shields, leather gear and traditional woven goods could all be swapped or purchased for a few gold coins.

Beorgwic 2012 included such notable Bega Valley attendees as Brother Codpiece of the Little Friars or Perpetual Indulgence representing the most Unlikely Inquisition, and Bill Wagadagger, a bard of great renown from whose many works William Shakespeare would eventually draw both inspiration and an enduring nom de plume.

Beorgwic under Munt is the annual camping event of the Ancient Arts Fellowship, with the generous support of The Danelaw, the living history group that owns the site where Beorgwic takes place in October each year. For more information about Beorgwic under Munt (Gathering under the Mountain) visit the Ancient Arts Fellowship website here

Please note: Any enthusiasm you may have to attend a future Beorgwic under Munt must include a sincere commitment to honouring the spirit of historical re-enactment, including period dress and the accoutrements of daily life.  This need not be a process that is onerous in either time or expense. With a little long-term planning, and with the advice of organisations such as the Ancient Arts Fellowship, you too could be preparing for Beorgwic 2013.

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