Over the weekend we took a trip up to Banff, around an hour north of Aberdeen, we’d been up to Macduff Marine Aquarium on the previous weekend (well worth a visit if your in the North East of Scotland), and seen a couple of posters advertising Banff Medieval Festival. I have never been to a re-enactment before so I was interested to see what it was all about.
Banff Castle is basically a smallish stately home (certainly not what I would consider a castle), the grounds are not large either, so I new this was not going to be on the scale of some of the American Renaissance Fayres, or even some of the bigger events put on across the UK. The event was put on by The Historic Saltire Society, and even with such a small event, they put on a really interesting show.
As it was there were around a dozen tents, the the occupants of each showing off various things from calligraphy, weaving and butter churning to smithing arrowheads, making armour and even demonstrating a few musical instruments.
Both my sons were showing a severe lack of interest in any of this until the older one was handed a falchion and then given a two handed sword to try out!
Now that his interest was rising we awaited a display of the Schiltron (Scheltrum…), which turned out to be a well rehearsed demonstration, that not only educated everyone about this fighting formation, but was also very entertaining.
I recorded most of the demonstration with my compact camera. It was a very cold and windy July day, so excuse the poor sound quality. I think anyone interested in the workings of the medieval battlefield will find it worthwhile watching all the way through…
Part one explains the basics of the formation.
Part two demonstrates a schiltron repelling an attack.
Unfortunately, as it was such a cold day, we were reluctant to hang around for some of the other demonstrations. If we see more of these events coming along, I think we will certainly make an effort to attend them, in future.