I went to the Medieval Fair today which was held at Gumeracha, South Australia. The event is held every year in the first weekend of May and is now in its sixth year. I was very excited to go as I went along two years ago and had an absolute blast. Bad weather prevented me from going last year but fortunately this year the weather was a little overcast but still pleasant.
The Fair is an exhibition of all things Medieval. There are duelling Knights, fair maidens, blacksmith displays, archery, wood work, carving, weaving, traditional housing and ways of living, Medieval food, fun for the kids and so much more! This year there was even the most fantastic Trebuchet which was launching massive watermelons and pumpkins!
There was so much to see and do that I could write forever but the real highlight of my day was bumping into a woman wearing the most AMAZING Tudor costume I have ever seen!
Her name was “Lady Eleanor Terrington” and she made her entire costume herself! I was absolutely blown away! The moment I saw her walk past I thought of Catherine Parr (mostly from the hat!) and I just had to stop her and get a photo. She was so kind to stop and talk to me and answer my millions of questions about her dress.
She had made a true Tudor gown from the petticoat to the corset to the kirtle to the over gown. Everything was just breathtaking. The gown was made of the most beautiful black damask that I had ever seen, the edges lined with very delicate stitching. The crimson underskirt was also of damask with tiny pearls scattered throughout. The frill of her undershirt looked so beautiful and very delicate and definitely showed class. She explained how her corset was made and that it was lined with oak to give it the strength and vertical straightening. She said that it kept her back very straight and was actually rather comfortable.
Lady Eleanor explained that her dress was modelled on the famous photograph of Catherine Parr. You can certainly see the resemblance, especially in the hat. I admit that the moment I saw Lady Eleanor that it was her hat that I noticed and it instantly reminded me of Catherine Parr. She has done such a fantastic job of making her own hat resemble that of Catherine’s.
Lady Eleanor was also kind enough to let me take a photo with her – the poor woman I bugged her endlessly with questions! But she was just so sweet and so amazingly talented! For me meeting Lady Eleanor and being able to speak with her was really the highlight of my day!
I cannot wait to go to the Medieval Fair next year. I had such a blast, getting to meet Lady Eleanor, learning all about how she made her dress, watching brave Knights battle, getting to see the trebuchet fling pumpkins and watermelons off into the distance… what a fantastic day!