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Your ultimate family fun guide to this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival

Posted: 4pm 23 Jun 2022

From cheering on the knights at the Joust to watching a live castle siege re-enactment, history is set to come to life in a fun and interactive way at this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival.

The two-day spectacular, held on July 9 and 10, will give visitors of all ages the chance to experience what life was life in the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East from 600 to 1600AD.

Abbey Medieval Festival director, Edith Cuffe, is encouraging families to head along and enjoy the pageantry, excitement, colour, sounds, and drama of the Middle Ages.

“The Medieval Festival offers lots of fun and enjoyment for people of all ages," Edith says. 

"There is the Kids' Kingdom where young squires and maids can paint and decorate their own shield or play medieval games such as quiots or skittles. 

"Visitors can wander the many medieval encampments where re-enactors will be demonstrating the arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. 

There will be jousting, fighting displays, music, dance and street performers. So much to see and do, it is a great day out for all the family."

All the fun will be held at ‘Abbeystowe’ - an open field near the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, located a 1-63 The Abbey Place, Caboolture.

Here are some of the top highlights for families to enjoy at this year’s event. 

Kids Dig It!

If your kids are already bouncing off the walls in excitement about the festival, you can take them to the Abbey Museum during the school holidays from Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1 for a week of medieval-themed activities.

They can try their hand at archery, battle like a knight, design their own coat of armour (heraldry), uncover medieval artefacts, meet a knight and handle replica medieval armour, and eat a meal at the Abbey Café.

Kids’ Kingdom

The Kids’ Kingdom will be a chill zone where kids can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the festival and let their creativity shine.

Here they can design their own heraldry and paint it on a shield or try their hand at Archery, both for a small fee and even make some new friends by playing medieval games like skittles, stilts, quoits and kubb.

Learn from the re-enactors

Over the course of the weekend, 38 re-enactment groups from across the country will portray the life, arts and traditions of the Middle Ages for the crowds to revel in.

Some of the groups at this year’s event include the Blackpool Vikings, the New England Medieval Arts Society, Staraya Ladoga (Stray Dogs), Order of the Golden Wheel, Order of the Horse, Company of the Phoenix, Order of Artisans and Kindred Spirits and the Knights of the Empire Germanica.

Dancing

Wandering the grounds of ‘Abbeystowe’, you might be drawn to the sound of music in an encampment or one of the performance areas where re-enactors will be demonstrating all manner of medieval dance.

From Turkish folk dances performed by members of the Janissary Barracks to the medieval Farandole or the Horses Brawl presented by Pastance, there will be plenty of opportunities for families to watch or join in.

Animals

If you visit the encampment of the Horses, Hounds, Hunters and Farmers re-enactment group, you will see many animals common in the Middle Ages including horses, donkeys, chickens, roosters, quails, dogs and more!

Next door you will get to meet a falconer and his Birds of Prey, who can be seen performing in the castle arena.

For the youngsters, there are pony rides to enjoy for a small fee.

Crafts

There will be numerous demonstrations and workshops for people to take part in over the course of the weekend.

If you visit some of the re-enactors in their encampments, you will be able to see them in action.

Also, in the markets, several demonstrators will be making and selling their wares. These include woodturning on a pole lathe, pottery on a kick wheel, felt making, illumination and calligraphy and inkle loom weaving, to name a few.

This might even inspire you to unleash your own creativity and try your hand at one of the workshops on offer.

Games

Just like today, playing games was a big part of fun and recreation in the Middle Ages.

Watch out for Viking re-enactors who might be playing games with exotic names such as Hnefatafl, Kubb, Nitau, and Halatafl.

In the encampment of Historia, you will see Persian board and card games being played.

The Order of Artisans and Kindred Spirits will be presenting children’s games, including Chicken in a basket, Paddle walking (requires two people), and Frog toss (not really a frog – it’s a bean bag).

Markets

If you are looking to take something unique home to remember your time at the Abbey Medieval Festival, a visit to the markets is a must, with traders selling everything from costumes to jewellery, candles and more.

Weapons of war

The mighty siege weapons of the Middle Ages, such as the trebuchet, were used in many battles to bring down castle walls.

You will see them on display and in action at the Abbey Medieval Festival if you visit the encampment of Cottereaux – Company of the Dagger.

The Re-enactment group Condottieri will also be firing off the cannon throughout the weekend.

Tournaments

Over the weekend, re-enactors will compete in a bid to be crowned an Abbey Medieval Festival tournament champion.

There are three tournaments – Jousting, Archery, and Turkish Oil Wrestling.

Jousting

One of the most popular attractions of the Abbey Medieval Festival is, without a doubt, the Moreton Bay Medieval Joust Championship.

Australia’s top jousters will face off in a round robin format each day of the festival. There are three sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.

Points are accumulated to the scoring criteria, then the four highest scoring jousters will battle in the grand final on Sunday at 3pm to crown the new 2022 Moreton Bay Medieval Joust Championship champion!

Turkish Oil Wrestling

Carried out with traditional rituals and customs of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish Oil Wrestling has been a star attraction of the Abbey Medieval Festival for over 10 years.

The Janissary Barracks take great measures to ensure the authenticity of this great sport of medieval Ottoman Turkish culture, even the tight short leather trousers, called Kispet, are imported from Turkey!

Archery

The Archery Tournament is a long-running event as part of the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Hosted by Make Your Own Medieval, the Archery Tournament sees skilled archers from re-enactment groups compete for the Abbey Tournament Archery Champion title.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about this year’s Abbey Medieval Festival, log onto the website, or search and like Abbey Medieval Festival on Facebook and Instagram.

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