Village travels back to medieval times for fete

Villagers will celebrate the 900th anniversary of their church with a medieval fair and market.

St Peter’s Church, in Mill Lane, Alvescot, West Oxfordshire, will be saluted at a birthday bash on Saturday.

Villagers will wear 15th-century costumes to set the scene of medieval times.

From noon to 4pm, the Medieval Free Company, a living history group, will recreate the lifestyle of 15th century England with a tented village, while other Alvescot organisations will organise a market, craft stalls, demonstrations, games and feasting.

The fair is the culmination of anniversary events held every month this year.

James Gervers, chairman of the Alvescot 900 fete committee, said: “Alvescot, as far as we know, has never staged a medieval fete before, except in medieval times of course.

“When we suggested it, a sudden air of excitement and involvement seemed to spread through the village.

“The fete is to be one of the key features of our 900-year church celebrations.”

Other events held so far to mark the 900th year include a flower festival, quizzes and history walks and talks.

On the day of the fete, visitors will see craftspeople working to produce everyday items, a cook and a herbalist making soothing ointment.

They will also hear about the defence of king and country from men at arms.

There will be music, a jester, falconry and archery displays.

Villagers, many of whom will be in costume, will be selling their wares and treasures at the medieval market stalls.

There will also be farm animals, heraldry, a tented tavern selling beer and a set of stocks.

Mr Gervers said: “Home-made medieval costumes for schoolchildren and adults are being tried on, stocks are being built, arrows are being sharpened and birds of prey are being made ready for the big day.

“It certainly should be an event of many surprises and we hope to see up to 800 or more visitors with luck.”

He added: “Martin Way, our local historian and medieval lookalike, will be opening the fete in his own full costume, no doubt with choice words from times gone by.

“We have been working hard and put a great deal of thought and planning into this event and everyone’s support and enjoyment on the day will make for a great occasion.”

Source: Oxford Mail

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