Joust another glorious day of medieval fun at Stansted

DUN 27 Stansted Medieval Fayre

DUN 27 Stansted Medieval Fayre - Credit: Archant

Jousting with knights and princesses, a medieval pageant, the ringing of St Mary’s Church Bells, maypole dancing and traditional children’s games entertained over 2,000 people in Stansted Mountfitchet on Saturday.

The event included a combat arena where the Stampede Stunt Company staged jousts on horseback as well as archery, sword fighting and spear throwing. The event, at the Arthur Findlay College, a world centre for spiritualism, took people of all ages back through time.

The medieval fayre was organised by the present day Barons of Stansted Mountfitchet founded to mark 800 years since 24 barons forced King John to put his seal on the Magna Carta on June 15 1215. The original barons included Richard de Montfichet, the youngest baron, aged 14 and the only one to survive King’s John’s wrath after the event.

Tanya Smith, the college’s general manager said: “What a fantastic day it was. Thousands of people packed into the grounds to experience a thrilling day of medieval madness.”

“The event exceeded all our expectations. The weather was perfect, sunny without being too hot. The Findlays used to host medieval fayres at the hall and we were delighted to repeat history some 50 years after the last one.”

The day began with church bells ringing out from St Mary’s and as the crowds walked across the lawns they heard musicians playing authentic medieval music and saw a pageant of performers and horses dressed in medieval costumes and drapes. Pupils from the Forest Hall School led the procession.

The ancient games for people to try included stilt walking and blat the rat.

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The First Stansted Scout Group made a wooden trebuchet which they demonstrated and helped other children to hurl slingshots from. The scouts also displayed stilt walking, medieval gaming and wielded their swords at imaginary peasants and knights on horses.

Among the other entertainments were Fens Falconry with their birds of prey, Thaxted Morris Dancers and the Bishops Stortford Archery Club encouraging people to try using longbows.

There were craft stalls, an observational bee-hive and herbalists as well as music from Bishops Stortford Wind Band. Also on display was the Stansted Magna Carta Embroidery sewn by 50 volunteers under the guidance of tapestry artist Leila Riddell.

The Embroidery is currently on display in St Mary’s Church, Stansted.