Punch and Judy Show
Meet Mr. Punch and his lovely wife Judy, a ridiculous pair of puppets that pummel their way from mishap to mishap. With a small cast of characters almost unchanged since medieval times, the story of the bumbling Mr. Punch is like a cartoon that talks back (and isn’t particularly polite, either). Slapstick, silly and at times utterly random, this high-energy, hilarious show will have kids of all ages in stitches. Constantly updated and improvised since its inception over 400 years ago, each performance at St Ives promises something different. The Punch and Judy story has lasted as long as any of Shakespeare’s. Come and find out why.
Blackgrail Comedy Show
Ever wondered what they used to do to criminals a few hundred years ago? Medieval times are known for nasty torture devices and cruel methods of punishment. So why not laugh about it? The Blackgrail Comedy Show explains just how horrible history was with detailed explanations and demonstrations, all mixed up with a bit of fun and laughter.
Note for parents: Some aspects of this show may not be suitable for children under six years of age.
Stocatta School of Defence
In the medieval age, learning how to defend yourself was far more important than learning how to read or write. Knowing how to wield a sword, block an attack and protect yourself was an absolute necessity. Now, the skills perfected by those people long ago have been updated and modernised by the practitioners in the Stocatta School of Defence. Come and watch skilled demonstrations of a huge range of weapons, including the sword and buckler, long sword, short sword, spada, rapier, backsword, two handed sword, quarterstaff and sabres from across Europe.
Dane Law Knights Academy
Pull back the string, search out your target and let your arrow fly! The traditional archery range gives you the chance to try out real longbows – used in both battle and hunting. Experts will supervise you as you perfect your pull and release. Can you hit the bullseye?
Note for parents: Children must be eight years of age or older to use a bow and arrow.
What better way to complete your knight training than to hop on the back of your very own horse? Jump on a Pony and wave down to your loyal subjects. But there’ll be no jousting on these horses. These ponies are safe and friendly, and are free for everyone at the Faire.
Spice and steam assail you from all sides. Wild meat roasts over open coals and baking bread blooms in woodfire ovens. You’re spoiled for choice when it come to medieval-style food. But for you fussy eaters, worry not! There’s no berry-sweetened beef or long-dead pheasant here. You’ll find all manner of modern and international foods in the two food court areas at the Faire.
Just like the feasts of old, you’ll be entertained while you eat. Circus trapeze artists, Irish dancers, live music and medieval dance classes are all happening in the Castle food court area. Keep an eye out for Feldergast the Jester as he fools his way through the crowds!
The Middle Ages are a thirsty time. Toiling in the fields, hunting through the wilderness, jousting for fame and glory. Whether you’re a knight, a queen or a peasant, we’re all equal when it comes to thirst. Luckily, The Tilt and Counter Tavern accepts all kinds. Rub shoulders with archers and knights, falconers and Crusaders as you sample authentic medieval beverages and watch the bustle of medieval life pass you by.
Located adjacent to the Medieval Village, close enough to hear the gallop and crunch of the nearby jousting tournaments, the Tilt and Counter Tavern will be open both days. Featuring live music and a late close on Saturday night, the revelry will sing on into the evening.
Feast from a beast on the spit, drink to those brave ancestors, and watch the brew team work through the exact process of brewing from scratch, medieval-style. Nothing comes closer to drinking with your ancestors.
Already medieval-mad? Do sword and armour hang above your hearth? Would your wardrobe look not so out-of-place a few hundred years ago? Add to the fun and atmosphere by becoming part of the world we’re creating.
Competitions will run on both days for best-dressed adult and child, with great prizes up for grabs and the chance to be part of the parade. So don your heraldry, pull on that peasant dress, lace your bodice and look the part at the St Ives Medieval Faire this year.
When your king demands you fight for honour and glory, will you be ready? Will you have the finest armour, custom-fit? Will your sword gleam and bite? Will your shield bear your heraldry, so your king knows to whose family you bring such honour?
Ready yourself. Wander the stalls of authentic crafters and artisan weapon makers. Find jewellery, drinking horns, and other medieval necessities to build up your inventory for your next adventure into unknown lands.
Stallholders will hold demonstrations for those willing to learn a new, old skill. Watch spinners and weavers work magic with nothing but their hands and strands of textiles. Experience the spark and clang of a blacksmith’s forge. Watch the Leura Bodger create masterpieces with a medieval lathe.
Step into a place where time is folded. Let bands of minstrels sing you their tales as you seek warmth by a blacksmith’s forge. Dance with a fool, watch the progress of craft and architecture, or discuss daily life and customs with the denizens you encounter.
The Medieval Villages are a stroll through the centuries, from the mysterious Dark Ages to the enlightenment of the High Middle Ages. Each village has been faithfully reconstructed from historical manuscripts, illustrations and paintings to create an authentic, immersive experience for you.
In this cluster of hamlets you will find moments in time captured and given the breath of life by our skilled actors and educators. Find out what’s being boiled in that cauldron? What’s that wooden contraption for? Why are people wearing those?
In which village will you feel at home? Are you more at home in the unchartered and magical Dark Ages? Or are you more of a Renaissance person, wanting to witness the economic and intellectual upheaval of the High Middle Ages?
Spectators on both sides stomp and cheer until the confident snort of a warhorse demands silence. Two knights peer through their helms at each other, awaiting the signal to charge. All that can be heard is the flap of standards in the wind. You are about to witness one of the most dangerous sports in history.
Over two days, The St Ives Jousting Tournament will see jousters of the New World pitted against Old World challengers to claim the glory of the St Ives Medallion.
This is no stunt. There is neither papier mâché nor balsawood in the construction of these lances. The steel is real, the wood solid. When the combined weight of a charging warhorse and an armour-clad warrior are concentrated down to the fist-sized coronel on the end of a twelve-foot jousting lance, the impact is no special effect. Each collision will shatter the air as your champion attempts to break his lance upon his opponent’s shoulder guard, dehorse him, and send him flying to the woodchips in shame.
The Jousting Tournament will take place at 11am and 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with the coveted St Ives Medallion awarded to the victor on the Sunday afternoon.
You too can share in their glory by picking your knight from below and being there to witness the making of a champion. Will you back the New World innovators from Australia? Or will you trust in the traditions of the Old World giants from the Netherlands? Which knight’s name will you scream out? Whose lance do you demand to see split, and who deserves to crumple to the ground?
A chorus of sliding armour plates cuts through the bellows of warriors swinging axe and sword. Their strikes bounce from shields emblazoned with the colours and patterns of their coats of arms. At the St Ives Medieval Faire, Knights will meet on the battleground in a display of skill and might in this fourteenth-century-style foot tournament.
But you must not fear not for their safety, gentle faire-goer! These knights thirst only for glory. And though their swords may be blunted, you will witness the sharp artistry of the sword at work as each warrior tries to dominate their opponent.
With knights wearing the heraldry of their noble houses, it is honour on the line, not mere lives. Their pride is fed by the esteem that can only come from a roaring crowd. You must not only attend this contest of finesse and savagery, you must also contribute. The knights come to impress you. You are to judge with your cheers who among them are the heroic, the gallant, and ultimately, the victorious.
Tired of waiting for that besieged warlord to give up and hand over lands and fortune that are rightfully yours? Why not use a trebuchet? Able to fling huge chunks of masonry (or anything else you can find) hundreds of feet, and with the ability to crush the defences and spirits of even the most fearsome foe, this marvel of medieval engineering will have your enemies surrendering in no time.
Still not convinced? The Juvenis of Accendo Sarcolagos re-enactment group invite you to witness this violently simple war machine at work, offering demonstrations and explanations throughout the two days of the festival.
We are amidst the melee of the the Demetria Fair in Thessalonica. Merchants, local and foreign, have flocked here to trade materials, share industry secrets, and build fortunes. It is a 12th Century economic and cultural hotpot. Tensions are high, and the promise of money is not always enough to keep swords sheathed.
Into this throng enter a band of Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Normans. Enemies in the past, these adventurers have travelled many hostile miles together, and now seek the comfort of the familiar in this strange land. With their families by their side, they are oppressed by the strict rule of the Emperor, and targeted all too often by the violent and too-powerful Varangian Guard.
The city is a jewel of the Byzantine Empire, and the Emperor is anxious to keep the peace. He knows too well how fickle the tempers of these foreigners are, and will do anything to make them toe the line, even if it means allowing his mercenaries to break a few rules. Order must be kept at all costs. Of particular concern are these travellers from the Western Lands.
When the first blow is struck and the fighting begins, will the travel-weary Westerners successfully defend themselves and their families, or will the mighty Varangian Guard squash their rebellion?
Pike and Musket Drill
Once men who pledged allegiance to their country, the Routiers are now a band of mercenaries. Made up of highly skilled pikemen and musketeers, these soldiers of fortune bend their knee to the highest bidder, lending their dangerous experience in whichever battle their employer sees fit to place them.
The Routiers care not for honour, and they fight twice as fierce for lack of it. It is 17th Century Europe, and keeping abreast of the most effective battle tactics means the difference between payday and death. The pike and shot formation demands a strict order and discipline. A tight band of pikemen are flanked and supported by crack-shot musketeers. An effective strategy, but the Routiers must practice in order to earn their bread. Come and find out why these men-of-no-land were so feared and respected.
With proper training, the pike and shot formation was a fearsome combat unit, but without regular drill, the unwieldy weapons became more of a liability to friend than foe. See the Routiers demonstrate the precise and effective pike and shot drill that made them such valuable mercenaries.
Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom of Heaven
It is 1229. A time of peace – at least for some. The Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Jerusalem is about to receive its new heir. Frederick II’s political path to the throne has been fairly standard: bloody and underhanded. A Crusader himself, Frederick II values all Christian Knights of the Holy Lands, and invites them to a Round Table and foot joust in his honour.
Symbolic of legendary King Arthur’s round table, the tournament will see knights compete in both single combat and mass melee. Some may be irreversibly injured, some may die. All will fight for the honour of being seated in the presence of their new lord at the celebratory feast.
Birds of Prey Show
The rabbit is fast, and hides in the brush. You’ve already lost sight of it. Alone, you have no chance of catching it. Your family waits at home, hungry. You cannot return without food. Luckily, you’ve got a secret weapon. Take the blind from the eyes of your hunting falcon and cast her into the sky. She soars and loops, scanning the area until she spots the rabbit. An easy target. Silent, she folds her wings and swoops. The rabbit, pausing to clean its ears, knows nothing until the talons are already clasping shut.
The partnership between birds and humans has an important and fascinating history. Beginning as a necessity, this unique hunting technique has grown into an artform. Full Flight will offer demonstrations throughout the two days of the festival. This interactive show will include many different birds of prey, from owls to vultures, and a recreation of a 15th Century mounted hunt, where birds will be flown from horseback to catch a very 21st Century prey – a robot rabbit.
RETURNING 23/24 SEPTEMBER 2017
We are excited to announce that the St Ives Medieval Faire will be returning in 2017! Early bird tickets and program info will be available soon, but until then, revisit your favourite memories of 2016. If you had a great time, think about rating us on Facebook or Google. Be sure to join the mailing list below to get access to early bird prices and special offers.
This year’s historical village was populated by 350 of Australia’s highest quality re-enactors from 23 clubs from around Australia and New Zealand. A viking battle, crusader tournament and knightly deed of arms wowed crowds with displays of courage and valour. The mighty trebuchet catapult flung watermelons across a field to explode on impact. Full Flight Birds of Prey Centre demonstrated hawking with their trained birds while the whistle of warbow arrows and the fire and smoke of muskets and cannon filled the air.
The St Ives Tournament joust was contested with historical solid lances with sharp coronel tips. Eight of the world’s top jousters, on specially trained Australian horses, vied for the champion’s medal. Riders from Norway, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand jousted their way into the finals with Australian Cliff Mirasma winning the final in a heavy-hitting clash against Arne Koets. Cliff is a relative newcomer, jousting for only 2 years, but he has charged onto the scene to top a world class field at St Ives. Demonstrating the emerging interest in the sport the Joust was shown live on Fox Sports.
Over 300 people came to a feast the night before the faire to experience medieval cuisine in a candlelit hall with their host, Lord Herald Blair Martin, and a dazzling array of musician, jugglers, acrobats and entertainers.