Here’s a snippet of what living with a Viking reenactor is like and spends most of his weekends travelling the country for living history events…
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Greg and I both have an interest in Vikings (him more so than me) as we both studied archaeology at university and did our dissertations on them. Greg is also a Viking reenactor which I believe I may have mentioned before? Anyway, because of this it means I get dragged to living history events, so read below to find out more!
What is a reenactor?
This may sound a bit patronising and I’m sorry if it does but considering I’ve studied history and archaeology for a large chunk of my life, it’s sometimes hard to know what other people do and do not know.
“Reeactors recreate history by portraying the look, actions and lives of a person from a particular time period of history.” – Source
As this quote suggests it is the recreating of historical events and figures and the beauty of it is that you can reenact any event in history! Obviously Greg’s reenactment group are Viking and occasionally Saxon based, more information on them here.
Did Vikings fight at Corfe Castle?
The battle reenacted by the Vikings is not historically based at Corfe Castle so everything is not exactly accurate as it is all based on archaeological evidence and evidence we are unsure of is based on theories. I believe they hold it here (from word of mouth by Greg who’s their Authenticity & Training Officer) is because they are reenacting The Battle of Wareham and there is no known location of this due to no evidence having been found. The event being held at Corfe Castle not only attracts visitors to Corfe itself but to the event as well – it’s a win win situation for both
the society and the National Trust!
People often think it’s a weird thing to be in to reenactment and I remember Greg asking me this once when we started going out. My honest answer is no because as you may have gathered I am very much a history geek and learn visually. I wouldn’t join in myself (You should see all the bruises he comes home with after training with the weapons every week!) but I’ve always enjoyed living history events since I was young. Growing up in Somerset we had a lot of Civil War reenactment events around.
A day at Corfe with the Vikings
Despite having gone to camp for the whole weekend with Greg previously, I decided camping’s not really for me anymore and that I’d just go just for the day. I met up with one of my sisters’, brother and my Nan too which was nice as I don’t see them that often.
Before I explain any further, I’m going to be honest here and say that these photos are not from this day as the weather wasn’t particularly great and then it got worse by have a torrential downpour! However, these photos are from when I went a couple of years ago where the whole weekend was lovely!
The event is held inside the actual castle grounds, once you enter the gate the Vikings group had set up a living history village with which you were able to freely wander round and have a look at Viking day to day life. The only times you couldn’t wander freely were when the warriors were fighting which is understandable for health and safety reasons.
Once we had had a nosey around the village, we decided to wander up to the castle remains. It was incredibly windy up here so we found one of the outer castle walls to be slightly sheltered and decided to stop there for lunch.
You could feel in the air it was going to rain but we hoped for the best it wouldn’t. Unfortunately as soon as the warriors started the battle the rain came down. It just got heavier and heavier so my Nan and I decided to shelter under one of the tents. We couldn’t really see much due to tall people being stood in front of us so I have no idea who won and lost or how it went. My brother and sister were keen to watch so braved the rain!
After the battle finished, we decided it was time to head home as it was the end of the show and very wet from the rain! Sadly, living history is an outdoor event so isn’t really something to enjoy in the rain.
As you can probably gather, there’s no sign of Greg stopping his hobby anytime soon and I fear that our future life together is mirrored in the film Faintheart. As Greg pointed out to me this is basically what being a reenactor is like. If you’ve not seen it, it’s pretty funny and I’ve linked the trailer below:
Do you like going to historical events or days out? Where would you recommend?
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