Monday, 13 September 2010

Recreating history - roundhouses and battles

We're a funny lot in England; we love to re-enact historical periods, whether it's a famous battle or simply domestic arrangements.  I've always love history, though dropped it at school because I've a lousy memory for dates - pretty important when it comes to exams!

I'm very interested in nature and wildlife, too, and am a member of the WWT, World Wetland Trust.  You can imagine how pleased I was to see that my local WWT site, Martin Mere, was holding a historical weekend, can't you?

We drove over on a typical British summer day, armed with waterproof clothing and sunglasses, along with binoculars and camera.  We optimistically took a picnic lunch, too - we do so enjoy tempting fate!

There was a camp, complete with fire.  Large logs formed the seating.  Roundhouses had been constructed to demonstrate the homes.

The sides of the roundhouses were created from willow branches coated with mud "daub".  This came from a hole dug at the site.

Sadly, health and safety regulations interfered, yet again, with simple enjoyment: although the hardy people re-creating the past were quite prepared to sleep in the dwellings they had built, this was not permitted as the thatch roofs constituted a fire hazard.

A nearby area was cleared for use as a workshop, with logs being sawn here, but no activity took place whilst we were there.
This is the house used by the camp's battle director, you can see his shield propped outside, and he allows a small boy to wear his headpiece.

There were supposed to be various activites taking place, such as flat bread making and mock battles, but, although we were there for a few hours, nothing appeared to take place when it should, so it was quite disappointing.  There were a few things for children to make, at a price, with enough people to man those sections.  How cynical of me not to be surprised at that.

Still, we were glad we went; the weather stayed fine, we ate our picnic amid lush greenery, and it was interesting to see the houses.  Plus we saw the wildlife which is why we joined the organisation in the first place:-)


  1. Still, it was interesting and monumental in its undertakings. That things didn't go as scheduled is a modern expectation of time management. We hope they do the things they say they will do, so that people keep coming back and enjoying the day. We have similar events, re-enactments of our Civil War, for instance, left-overs from all th hullaballoo of that time, North v/s South with military uniforms and various famous battles put on display. It is a spectacle to behold.

  2. I'm impressed that they actually built roundhouses for the occasion! Will those be staying at Martin Mere?

  3. I found this post very interesting. Never gave round houses a thought until today. Intriguing the history and alive too!

  4. seeing the roundhouses was the most interesting aspect of the day, and I imagine they will remain. Martin Mere already had a site with a few bits left over from a previous historical day.


Sadly, I've turned on comment moderation as I recieived a pornographic advert from another country. Unless your comment is particularly unpleasant, rest assured, it will appear on the blog!

Thank you for your understanding :)