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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Fighting talk excites Barrow medieval fair crowds

SWORD fighting thrilled visitors at a festival which brought an ancient heritage site to life.

A medieval fair at Furness Abbey drew in crowds who learned more about the period from the Iron Shepherds’ Living History group’s displays and re-enactments of life in medieval England.

Wearing authentic costumes, the group demonstrated weaponry, stone masonry, weaving and even cooked a stew with foods typically used during the Middle Ages.

While children ran among the arches of the Cistercian ruins in Barrow, there were also history talks about the monument, storytelling and crafts.

Visitors from Furness and further afield marvelled at the rare medieval silver-gilt abbot’s crozier and bejewelled ring that were discovered during emergency repairs to the ruins. Fundraising led by Furness Abbey Fellowship meant that the crozier could be permanently exhibited at the site, which is run by English Heritage.

Cathie Jones attended with her daughter Edie, aged three-and-a-half. The 44-year-old, of Ulverston, said: “I haven’t been into the abbey grounds before. It’s amazing and this is a lovely event.”

Furness Abbey Fellowship organised the event with the support of English Heritage. Gill Jepson, of the fellowship said: “It’s our second medieval fair so it’s now an annual event which is a big move forward. We’ve had lots of good local support. This event gives a focus to the abbey, certainly for younger people. We want to capture their imagination and we want local families to come back. We also want to put the abbey on the visitor map nationally.”

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