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Medieval fair this bank holiday

Posted onPosted on 29th Apr
Medieval fair this bank holiday

Crime and punishment in Robin Hood’s day will be explored at Sherwood Forest this Bank Holiday weekend at the Crime And Punishment – Medieval Fair on 4th and 5th May.

Plantagenet Events are the event. There promises to be medieval mayhem and living history performances showing how people were brought to justice for crimes in the 1300s and 1400s.

Fox Turner, from Plantagenet Events, said: “There will be all sorts of displays of crime and punishment from the era. For instance, we will have a trial by combat, where disputes were settled by a fight – which didn’t always mean that it was fair, just that the better fighter was the victor.

“We will also have a trial by outlaw – and being in Sherwood, the tale will have a twist!”

The two-day event at the country park, owned by Nottinghamshire County Council, will also feature a manorial court where peasants will be tried for poaching. Punishments could range from a fine for killing a rabbit to being tried for treason if someone killed a deer owned by the king or his noblemen.

Stocks and pillories will play their part during the weekend with some volunteers happy to be in the firing line!

The display team explain how the stocks and pillories were used in medieval times as punishment for deception by deceitful market traders who may have deliberately left corks off wine to sour it, or sell a bag of fruit or potatoes – but with rotten ones at the bottom of a bag. Such crimes could ruin the reputation of a market – and lessons had to be given to the offending traders.

Fox added: “It’s where people make the link to rotten fruit and the stocks. But it was often far from fun and could be brutal. Some rogue traders who may have enraged the rest of the market community may have faired even worse in the stocks – it is known that there were some fatalities in medieval times.”

There will be a range of living history demonstrations and market stalls.

Coun John Knight, committee chairman for culture at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Bestwood, Sherwood Forest and Rufford Abbey all have some exciting and varied events taking place in May and with many of the events free, there should be something of interest for everyone.”

For details about events organised by Nottinghamshire County Council go to