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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Furness Abbey goes medieval

WITH people huddled round the fire, tools being sharpened and sword fighting taking place, you would be forgiven for thinking you had taken a step back in time at Furness Abbey.

A medieval re-enactment day was held near the grounds of the old monastery on Sunday at the Abbey Mill cafe.

In chilly conditions, fires were lit with traditional cooking carried out by the members of the Iron Shepherds Living History Group.

The group is newly formed and Sunday was the first time members have carried out an enactment.

The event was organised by Stuart Appley, of Comely Media. He said: “It was a living history display, to give people a bit of a taste of medieval life.

“We had different people doing different crafts. We did a bit of cooking, with lots of vegetables and breads, and had a fire going to cook on.”

Attractions included woodwork crafts being made, sharpening of tools, weaving, leather work and a sword fighting demonstration.

Mr Appley said re-enactments help people to learn about the past and the history of the area.

He said: “It is always great for people to know about the past as it can help them in the future.

“It shows the different skills and crafts that are not used now as much as they used to be.”

Furness Abbey was founded by Stephen, Count of Boulogne and Mortain (later King of England from 1135 to 1154) in 1127.

Medieval monks lived at the abbey for 412 years and it was once the second wealthiest and most powerful Cistercian monastery in the country.

Last month, the grounds of the Abbey were flooded following heavy rain however English Heritage said no lasting damage was caused to the structure.

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