Thursday, 27 September 2012

Event - Sherwood Through The Ages (Edwinstowe)

The glorious setting of Sherwood Forest once again comes to life with our annual Ancient to modern era multi-period event. Visitors can stroll around the circular Major Oak path and en route enjoy displays and meet some the people and characters who lived in or helped to shape the history of this famous forest from ancient times. The event is organised in conjunction with and on behalf of the Sherwood Forest Rangers and Visitor Centre. As usual the hugely attractive woodland will prove an ideal backdrop for timed displays and ongoing living history to enjoy. Children can also enjoy have-a-go medieval archery (a small charge applies).

From ancient settlement, Sherwood became a medieval Royal forest (and, of course, one of the possible homes of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood). The Great North Road ran through the forest and during the Civil War, control of this became vital to both sides. Highwaymen lurked in the trees awaiting travellers in the C18th and later on, much of the forest became a military training ground (and part still is). Today the visitor centre offers a fascinating insight into the history of the forest, as well as an ideal base for a great day out.

Wood smoke from cooking fires and the sound of C18th music will drift on the breeze, the clash of steel on steel will ring through the trees as armoured Noman knights fight the Saxons (and occasionally, each other!), whilst volleys of musket fire will crash out as civil war Parliamentarian soldiers demonstrate their martial prowess. See Romans mingle with Britons, meet WWI “Tommies”, a secret “Auxiliary” from 1940 (ready to fight a guerilla war if the Germans invade), and some soldiers who trained prior to D-Day in 1944, watched by British land army girls as they busily chop fire wood for the war effort. Sherwood is still used for military training today, and this will be reflected by some British soldiers of the 1980s and their equipment.

At the Major Oak, arena displays form a centre piece to the event whilst opposite, there’s a bustling C15th medieval camp with archers, camp followers and craftsmen, including some selling their wares. At the same time, the famous order of military monks, the Knights Hospitallers, will offer have a go archery lessons for adults and children alike…and also showing the amazing amount of food they ate to eat to maintain their strength, equivalent to 5,000 calories per day each! But visitors must beware of the Normans, definitely not the most pleasant of conquerors, they'll certainly give anyone a hard time if they show any sympathy for the downtrodden conquered Saxons! Visiting their encampments is at visitors' peril (with wallets hidden), as the King’s henchmen are as always looking at new ways to extort taxes!

Sherwood’s circular one-mile long Major Oak Path is the ideal setting for this hugely enjoyable walk through history, with the colourful encampments and displays arranged in chronological order - and extremely photogenic too. In addition there are modern day conservation and other displays at the visitor centre.

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire NG21 9HG

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September 2012 11.00am to 4.30pm

Free admission (a modest visitor car parking charge applies)


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