Medieval Festival

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The 2005 Festival

Staged in conjunction with the Irish Country Lifestyle Festival, the Medieval Festival in its very atmospheric location in the old Castle ruins in their magical setting on the banks of Lough Neagh. Lough Neagh is situated at the heart of Northern Ireland and is not only the UK's largest inland waterway but the subject of many myths and legends. As such there can be no finer Irish setting for what has rapidly become Ireland's premier medieval event and a major event in its own right.

However the combination of the Medieval Festival with the Country Lifestyle Festival (undoubtedly Ireland's premier Game and Country Fair and the water based Lough Neagh Festival makes the overall event a really fantastic and unsurpassed day out for the whole family.

Arena Crowd

In 2005 the massive crowds who thronged round the castle and the main site were treated to a veritable feast of spectacular entertainment including some of the very best professional performers and re-enactment groups from the four nations of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales in an exhilarating mix of authenticity and showmanship.

Castle Crowds

The highly skilled and diverse team of experts included specialists in Medieval combat and weaponry, actors, circus performers, musicians, stuntmen, specially trained horses and birds of prey. All are experienced public performers and most have worked in the film & TV industry, movie credits include Braveheart, Gladiator, Reign of Fire and King Arthur. Their unique historical interpretations and spectacular action packed arena shows bring the past to life as few others can.

From Ireland - Claiomh - this highly respected Irish Living History and Heritage group covers the period from 795 to 1653. Claiomh only uses natural and authentic fibres such as linen and wool in its reconstructed clothing, likewise all weapons are thoroughly researched, with most based on the unique originals kept in the national museums of Ireland & the UK. Their dramatic swordplay is based upon the writings of the 15th century master Hans Talhoffer and upon the instincts and insights that can only be gained by practising swordsmen.


From Scotland - SAOR PATROL - the unique sound of Scotland in the 21st century brought the sounds of the past into the future. Those that have heard this Edinburgh based band live never forget the visual image and the vibrant energy they send out to their audience during aperformance.


From England - Destrier - the Knights and ladies of Destrier returned to Shanes Castle. Regarded as one of the most authentic medieval groups in Europe because of their attention to detail in their portrayal of medieval sport and life, their "Knights Tournament encampment" formed a very colourful and informative part of the medieval village.


The Warwick Bowman - In 2004 and 2005 he enthralled crowds at Shanes Castle with stunning archery displays and tales of the life of a medieval archer at the Battle of Agincourt. Undoubtedly one of the finest longbow archers in Europe

The Warwick Bowman

Grunal Moneta - endorsed by the British Museum HSBC Money Gallery this was Dave Greenhalgh's first visit to Shanes Castle. Making coins for all periods from Celtic to Tudor in the original way - hand struck, not cast - visitors were able to strike their own coin at this interactive and entertaining display. Dave was also been instrumental in helping with a Schools Competition to design a Medieval commemorative coin.

Grunal Moneta

Charisma Fashions - - Charisma specialised in authentic historical costumes, from pre-Romano Celtic to the end of the War of the Roses. They will put on fashion shows with a selection of outfits from the 14th & 15th centuries giving the public a glimpse of what people in the Middle Ages would have worn, some of the traditions associated with fashion and its place in society of the time.

Charisma Fashions

Company of Ordinance - - after an absence of a few hundred years the sound of cannon fire returned to the ramparts of Shanes Castle. Portraying a group of 15th century Burgundian Mercenary Gunners, Soldiers and followers from the Town of Auxerre, the Company brought with them a selection of medieval Hand guns, Pole guns and Cannon.

Company of Ordinance

From Wales - Drudion - Drudion translates as "warriors" in old Welsh or "reckless ones" in new Welsh and members of the group represent Welsh mercenaries from the 13th Century, the time of the three Plantagenet Kings; Richard I, John, Henry III and also of the Welsh Prince - Llyweln ab Iorwerth. Drudion's relaxed , friendly and interactive living history encampment made up yet another part of the medieval village with demonstrations of dyeing, weaving, spinning, cooking, story telling, herbal cures, chain mail making, fletching and games. Weapons and warfare also form part of the encampment (well they are Welsh mercenaries!) with displays of the fighting techniques of the era including single combat.


This was a real Medieval Festival and should not be confused with medieval sideshows advertised at other events. It is a major attraction in its own right and when organised in conjunction with the many other attractions of the IRISH COUNTRY LIFESTYLE provides unrivalled value for money family entertainment!

For the full list of Irish Country Lifestyle Festival attractions see or the Summer edition of the Irish Countrysports and Country Life magazine (in your newsagents 22nd of May).