Step back in time for a Medieval Weekend

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Historical re-enactments, a medieval village featuring authentic cooking, combat demonstrations and travelling players performing a series of rambunctious plays will help bring the past to life in a FREE weekend of entertainment for all the family.

Presented by the Road To Agincourt, a project supported by Eastleigh Borough Council, the Medieval Weekend will take place at River Hamble Country Park on the weekend of July 15 and 16. It follows on from last year’s popular event that saw more than 2,000 people attend.

The special festival will celebrate the launch of The Virtual Museum of the Grace Dieu – a new digital portal exploring the history of Henry V’s ‘great ships’ – the Grace Dieu and Holigost.

Designed and created by members of Tec Hub Eastleigh, the museum will be going live in July, with visitors to the event having the first chance to explore the virtual exhibitions via a set of on-site computers.

The Virtual Museum can be explored by anyone with a computer or smartphone, and is home to an array of information documenting the region’s connections to the Battle of Agincourt; including how the Grace Dieu, once the ‘biggest ship in the world’, was constructed in Southampton Docks and how both she and Holigost ended up as wrecks at the bottom of the River Hamble.

The museum also features a link to an actual size virtual reality Grace Dieu that visitors to the Medieval Festival, using a smartphone, will be able to see “emerge” as a complete warship from the site of the wreck in the River Hamble.

Other attractions at this year’s Medieval Weekend include demonstrations of authentic medieval crafts such as leather working, pole turning, felting and herbology, themed children’s activities, guided walks along the interactive King’s Great Ships Trail, and the opportunity to take part in medieval sports and dancing. On Saturday (July 15) there will also be a series of special talks by leading historians including the world expert on Holigost, Dr Ian Friel.

The Road To Agincourt is a two-year project linked to the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, run by Eastleigh Borough Council and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. The battle was an iconic moment in English history and has a lasting impact on the local landscape of Hampshire.

Eastleigh Borough Council Drama Development Manager Daniel Hill said:

‘Last year’s Medieval Weekend was a roaring success, with thousands turning out to experience such delights as the Melford Hys Companie medieval theatre, Medieval Village, and of course the interactive King’s Great Ships Trail.

‘This year will see the launch of the all new Virtual Museum of the Grace Dieu which, along with a whole raft of new and updated activities, will mean that the weekend is even bigger, better and more medieval than before.’

 Medieval Weekend: – The Virtual Museum of the Grace Dieu takes place on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16 from 11am to 4pm at River Hamble Country Park, Bursledon SO31 1BH. The event is FREE but car parking fees may apply.