St Margaret’s Medieval Fair was a great and unusual free day out for people of all
ages. The Church and surrounding area was transformed into a medieval village, with
events, activities and re-enactments giving a sense of life in Crossgate in the middle
Katy Marchant and Stephen Tyler of Daughters of Elvin and Caliban’s Dream (but best
known from Misericordia of Brancepeth Castle) played bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, recorder,
cittern, pipe and salterio, percussion to give us a taste of medieval music.
Misericordia they had two performances on the stage and in between were wandering
minstrels demonstrating their various instruments
St. Cuthbert's Land is a re-enactment group based in County Durham which portrays
life in Anglo-Saxon and Viking times. It operates throughout the North-East of England;
clients include Bamburgh Castle, Bede's World and Tyne & Wear Museums. It is part
of the leading re-enactment society, Regia Anglorum.
St Cuthbert's Land brought a team to display daily life as it would have been in
the early Norman years of Durham when St Margaret's church was founded. They undertook
the daily chores of cooking, craft work, weapons preparation and practice. There
was archery, calligraphy, battle scenes and the bishop’s robes...
Durham Clayport Matters promote traditional proggy and hooky mat making. In the North-east
we are proud of our heritage of traditional rag rug making- born out of necessity
and now continuing as a creative pastime and art form. Items are still made in the
traditional manner of years ago, we still use recycled materials but we also use
modern fabrics' brighter and more varied colours and more innovative design ideas.
St Margaret's Primary School performed a specially written pageant for St Margaret's
850th anniversary telling the story of St Margaret of Antioch. Pageants provided
entertainment and education in the middle ages.
The initial building at Crook Hall was started 50 years after the founding of St
Margaret's and was in St Margaret's parish. Crook Hall displayed something of their
medieval heritage. You can visit their medieval hall and gardens and enjoy their
extensive programme of activities.
Alan Mace, local farmer,fed us with the ever popular hog roast.
St Margaret's Caterers
St Margaret's loyal band of caterers kept us refreshed with samples of medieval food
- vegetarian pottage, gyngerbrede and other medieval recipes and, as a concession
to the 21st century, the necessary teas and coffees - how did they manage in the
middle ages without their coffee?
Want to see what has been dug up from the middle ages in Durham? Then head for the
Fulling Mill Museum after the Fair. The Museum brought its medieval activity box
with medieval clothing for the children to wear and stained glass windows to make.
Chris Helliwell is a master craftsman in the art of working wood with tools that
would have been used by our ancestors. He demonstrates regularly at the Botanic Gardens
and there was a chance to have a go yourself.
Philip Niall is a falconer with many years experience who is now based as an instructor
at Houghall Farm. There was a chance to see the birds close up,hold them and learn
of the medieval art of falconry.
Your local brewer brought a wide selection of bottle-conditioned and cask beers.
Traditional methods marry with modern practice to give the best of past and present
Has someone in the family been naughty recently? Then there was space in the village
stocks for them. LOL Youth Ministry and the St Margaret’s Guides ran the stocks,
for anyone caught misbehaving at the Fair. For a donation to our charity you could
pelt the culprits with wet sponges.
St Margaret’s Church was founded by the Monastery that is now the Cathedral, on lands
that were originally the Monk’s fishponds. The Cathedral remains the church’s Patron.
The Cathedral created a display including beautiful copies of pages from its medieval
Adrian Wood uses traditional blacksmithing techniques to create contemporary and
innovative designs. The blacksmith’s forge provided many of the essentials for cooking,
fighting and daily living .
Jo Anne Bolton of Abundant Earth a local natural food co-operative demonstratied
traditional willow weaving skills such as would have been used in the middle ages
to make baskets and bowls and also on a larger scale to make fences known as hurdles.