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
www.irishcountrylifestyle.com) and the water based Lough Neagh Festival
makes the overall event a really fantastic and unsurpassed day out for the
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
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
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
- 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
- - 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.
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.
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
www.irishcountrylifestyle.com or the Summer edition of the Irish
Countrysports and Country Life magazine (in your newsagents 22nd of May).