Welcome to the

Shire of Flintheath

We are the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A)  The general geographical coverage expands most of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and a bit of Bedfordshire, get in touch for further information.

The shire is comprised of medieval enthusiasts with interests in armoured & rapier combat, archery, arts & sciences and much more, feel free to contact us for more.

The S.C.A is a non-profit, educational society dedicated to researching and recreating the Middle Ages in the present.

Saturday Practice

Please check our Facebook Page for the latest news regarding Saturday Fighter practice.
You can also attend to know more about Flintheath and the SCA.

The location is Waterbeach Recreation Ground, CB25 9NJ
Link to Google Maps

Click on the image to view the entrance to the Rec (red arrow) as it can be hard to find.
The car park is to the left, mind the height barrier.

News & Updates

Join us on Saturday from 1pm for an afternoon of medieval craft and combat on Waterbeach Recreation Ground (CB25 9NJ). If you want to have a go at fighting, please wear trainers/boots and long sleeves/trousers. You may wish to bring your own cup/box/groin protection if you do not wish to use the one in the group kit. We have loaner kit that will cover the rest of your needs. There is no charge for attending.We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV516th September is the birthday of Elizabeth de Clare, the youngest daughter of Joan of Acre, second and most rebellious daughter of Edward I. Elizabeth was Joan's daughter with her first husband Gilbert de Clare, but very little is known of her childhood. After her father's death her mother was officially made her guardian - this was not always done - and Edward I assigned Bristol Castle as a home for her and her brother and sisters. Later, she and her sisters were put into the care of her aunt Mary, a nun at Amesbury Priory.Joan died while Elizabeth was still young, leaving her in the care of her uncle, now Edward II. He married her to John de Burgh, the heir to the earldom of Ulster, in place of her sister, who he married to his friend Piers Gaveston instead. John would be the first of Elizabeth's three husbands through the tumultous years of Edward II's reign. Mary remained a steady point for all her nieces, though Elizabeth's family life was otherwise miserable, especially given her sister Eleanor's marriage to Hugh Despenser, Edward II's avaricious and malicious favourite, who forced Elizabeth to sign over part of her own lands to Eleanor and therefore to him. After Hugh was executed in November 1326 Elizabeth held an elaborate Christmas feast at Usk Castle, part of the lands she had been forced to sign over. It may have been partly to celebrate Hugh's death and a list of the food and drink she served survives in the National Archives, though it has not been digitised. These are only some of the extensive household records that survive.After the death of her third husband, Elizabeth never remarried. She mostly lived in Suffolk, but she had homes at Anglesey Priory, near Cambridge (a Jacobean mansion known as Anglesey Abbey now occupies the site). It was one of her favourite religious houses, along with Denny Priory (later Denny Abbey), though she took second place to the Countess of Pembroke, who was a significantly greater benefactor of Denny Abbey, and Walsingham Priory in Norfolk, so she would have been familiar with the lands that now make up Flintheath! All these priories were shut down and destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monastries, but one of Elizabeth's foundations survived: she was asked to support University Hall in Cambridge in 1326 and became the main patron in 1346, re-naming it Clare Hall. It is now Clare College.She died in 1360. Her tomb in the Convent of the Minoresses in London does not survive, but it was presumably impressive; when John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, died in 1375 he left a substantial sum of money for a tomb like hers.Images:- Nuns' Refectory - Denny Abbey - Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey (www.dennyfarmlandmuseum.org.uk/content/things-to-see/refectory)[Image description: A large building built of a combination of stone and brick. Blocked doors and arches can still be seen in the walls]- Surviving Medieval Stonework in Anglesey Abbey grounds - CC-BY-NC-SA Becca Edney[Image description: Two stone sarcogphagi with the lids removed and laid beside them, on a patch of grass surrounded on two sides by hedges and on the third by a brick wall]Sources:- 'Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Children of Edward I', Kelcey Wilson-Lee (Picador, 2019)- "Houses of minoresses: Abbey of Denney" in 'A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 2', Ed. L F Salzman (Victoria County History, 1948. 295-302. British History Online) www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol2/pp295-302 Accessed 16/09/2021- "Clare, Elizabeth de [Elizabeth de Burgh; known as lady of Clare]" in 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography', Jennifer C. Ward (2004) doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/5435 Accessed 16/09/2021#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca ... See MoreSee Less
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Join us on Saturday from 1pm for an afternoon of medieval craft and combat on Waterbeach Recreation Ground (CB25 9NJ). If you want to have a go, please wear trainers/boots and long sleeves/trousers. You may wish to bring your own cup/box/groin protection if you do not wish to use the one in the group kit. We have loaner kit that will cover the rest of your needs. There is no charge for attending.We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV5Chatteris Abbey was the last nunnery founded in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman conquest. It was founded between 1006 and 1016 by Aelfwen, the wife of Athelstan, who was the ruler of East Anglia, collaborating with her brother Ednoth, bishop of Dorchester. She also became the first abbess, which was common for Saxon noblewomen.Given the connection between Aelfwen and Ednoth, Chatteris may originally have been associated with Ramsay Abbey; Ednoth had been abbot of Ramsay. However, Henry I gave it to the bishop of Ely and that was confirmed by Richard I. Chatteris was so firmly under Ely's control that when there was no bishop of Ely all the rents from land and other amenities nominally owned by Chatteris went to the king, along with the rest of the bishop's income. Under those circumstances, the nuns received an allowance from the rent of one mill.The abbey had a tempestuous history, including the bishop of Ely attempting to nominate a nun to be abbess in 1298 who was illiterate and therefore unqualified. The nuns accepted her as a lay sister and she protested, leading to the bishop sending a representative to ensure that she was treated as a full nun. Later, in 1373, the abbess was the target of complaints that she did not consult the nuns on important business and every year appropriated 10 shillings for her own use. She explained that she did consult the sisters, she just also used the advice of an outside expert, and the 10 shillings were needed to pay some of the many subsidies and thithes and abbey owed. She promised to do better in future, but Chatteris continued to face financial difficulty. This may be why the abbey church also acted as a parish church, since that was a source of income.Chatteris' property was never extensive and it was comparatively very poor. This was probably a reason it survived for some time during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. When it was closed there were only eleven nuns living there and the abbey church was demolished. The parishioners who used it were transferred to the nearby church of St Peter and St Paul. The site has now entirely vanished under modern building, except that the boundaries are still visible in the street plan of Chatteris and there are a few carved stones in walls around town.Images:- The site of the abbey today, the boundaries outlined in red - Google Earth[Image description: An aereal photograph of the centre of the town of Chatteris. Park Street, East Park Street, West Park Street, and South Park Street are highlighted in red]Sources:- 'Houses of Benedictine nuns: Abbey of Chatteris', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 2, ed. L F Salzman (London, 1948), pp. 220-223. British History Online www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol2/pp220-223 [accessed 09/09/21].- 'History'. St Peter & St Paul, Chatteris www.chatteris.org/our-story [accessed 09/09/21].#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #chatteris ... See MoreSee Less
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Join us on Waterbeach Recreation Ground (CB25 9NJ) this Saturday from 1pm, not only for medieval armoured and rapier combat but also for a beginners' workshop on making medieval clothes! Viscountess Eularia will be teaching anyone who wants to know to make a simple tunic from about the period of the Norman Conquest, including how to measure it, buy fabric, and construct it.If you want to have a go at combat, please wear closed shoes and long sleeves and trousers. We have loaner kit that you can borrow, but you may wish to bring your own cup or box.If you want to join the tunic workshop, please bring enough newspaper or spare cloth to draw a pattern about as wide as your armspan and as long as you want your tunic to be.There is no charge for attending either activity.We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV5During much of our period, tunics formed the basis for outfits for both men and women. They are especially obvious in art of men, who commonly wore long-sleeved tunics of varying length - the richer the wearer, the longer the tunic, since fabric was expensive. Women wore long tunics as under-dresses.Since tunics were so widely worn, they form the basis of a lot of members' garb. They're also simple to make!Images:- Adam and Eve - Junius manuscript - approx 950 - Bodleian Library MS. Junius 11 p46[Image description: Line drawing of a man and woman in medieval clothes. The man's outfit is a short tunic and leggings; the woman's is a long dress and hood]- A member of the SCA hand-sewing a dress[Image description: a woman sitting in a camp, wearing medieval clothes and stitching a blue cloth object]#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca ... See MoreSee Less
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We're back! Come and join us on Saturday from 1pm for an afternoon of medieval armoured and rapier combat on Waterbeach Recreation Ground (CB25 9NJ). If you want to have a go, please wear trainers/boots and long sleeves/trousers. You may wish to bring your own cup/box/groin protection, but we have loaner kit you're welcome to borrow. There is no charge for attending.We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV5For the last two weekends, we've been attending an event with fellow members of the SCA from all over the UK and Ireland. Normally we'd have gone to Raglan Castle in South Wales, but due to restrictions at the castle we were instead at Manor Farm in Bourn. However, the spirit of the event was the same and we had a great time meeting our friends again and taking part in all our favourite medieval activities!One of the major features of the event was the Foresters Tourney, in which participants can enter contests in archery, arts and sciences, armoured combat, and fencing to win points. It's designed to encourage members to take part in many different activities and try things out. This year it was livened up by the presence of three horses, who added an equestrian round to the usual Foresters events! We rarely have horses at our events, and watching displays of jousting exercises (against targets, not each other) added plenty of excitement!The event culminated in the Coronet Tournament, at which we chose our new prince and princess. Prince Avery and Princess Zoe had held their rank since before the great plague, but after the tournament they were finally able to hand their coronets over to Prince Siridean and Princess Rogned.As well as the big events, we also enjoyed medieval food, classes in crafts and combat, and time spent sitting around campfires to share songs and stories. Flintheath also had some especially proud moments, since not only did one of our own members come second in the Coronet, but two others began new mentorship relationships with leading peers of the realm!We're also really grateful to the people of Bourn for welcoming us, and hope to be back at Manor Farm soon!Images:- Tilting at the quintain[Image description: A woman in medieval costume rides a horse in a grassy field with tents in the background. She has a lance under one arm aimed at a small shield on an elevated frame. The crossbar holding the shield is on a pivot and has a weighted sack at the other end. /end ID]- Combatants in the Coronet Tournament[Image description: Two people in medieval costume, armed with swords and shields, engaging in combat in a field. One person is in the act of striking the other's shield. /end ID]- Prince Avery and Princess Zoe pass on their chains of office to their successors[Image description: Two couples facing each other in medieval costume, each couple consisting of a man and a woman. The man and woman on the left wear crowns and are in the act of placing necklaces over the heads of the man and woman on the right, who are bowing their heads to receive them. /end ID]- Prince Siridean and Princess Rogned process into court[Image description: A group of people in medieval costume walking across a gravel courtyard. In the lead are several children and teenagers carrying colourful banners. Behind them are a man and a woman holding hands. They are followed by an adult and two more children. /end ID]All photos by writer#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #Bourn #Cambridgeshire ... See MoreSee Less
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We won't be having practice for the next two weeks because we're holding an event at Manor Farm in Bourn. However, feel free to get in touch and watch this space for news of our return!Usually, our main summer gathering is at Raglan Castle in South Wales, which gives us the opportunity to socialise and practice medieval arts and combat among the walls of a real medieval castle. This year we'll instead be in the grounds of a real medieval tithe barn, but with the site of a castle not far away!Bourn Castle was built by Picot of Cambridge, the new sheriff of Cambridgeshire following the Norman invasion. Given how early this was in the history of castles, it was probably a timber motte and bailey castle on a standard Norman design.According to the Domesday Book, Picot was the largest landholder in Bourn at the time and he was not popular. Cambridge freemen complained that he forced them to lend him their ploughs far more often than his predecessor to the manor - an unnamed Saxon - and demanded high death duties from the peasants in the form of 'heriot': a feudal right for a lord to claim the 'best beast' on a tenement following the death of the householder. He also enclosed common land and built three mills on local pasture, reducing grazing room for the villagers' animals. He almost certainly forced the local villagers to work on building the castle, adding to his unpopularity.The monks of Ely also complained about Picot, calling him "a hungry lion, a prowling wolf, a crafty fox, a filthy pig, a shameless dog" and accusing him of disparaging Saint Aethelthryth, their patron saint. It appears from changes of value recorded in the Domesday Book that he may have engaged in some creative accounting to give himself a tax break at their expense!The castle was set on fire by followers of Simon de Montfort in 1266, so there may not have been much of it left by the time the Hundred Rolls noted it in 1279. By this time the castle manor had almost entirely been sold off and was rented out in small parcels. The castle became the main centre of rent collection, which may be why what was left - or whatever building replaced it, given the passage of time - was burned down completely during the peasants' revolt in 1381. It was replaced by a timber-framed house which has since been renovated and embellished to become Bourn Hall. Most of the remains of the castle have been obliterated by the Hall's landscaping, but a curved ditch to the south-east of the Hall still shows the border of the old bailey.Images:- Armoured combat at Manor Farm - 2021 - Becca Edney CC BY-NC-SA[Image description: A mid-action photograph of two people in medieval costume and armour, armed with wooden swords and shields, one striking the other on the shield]- Partial map of Bourn, with the site of the surviving castle earthworks (green) and the Great Barn, where we will be holding our event (yellow), highlighted - Adapted from An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1, West Cambridgeshire p17Sources:- M Greenwood, 'History of Bourn' (www.bourn.org.uk/guides/history-of-bourn/)- S Baxter, 'Medieval Bourn: A Cambridgeshire Village in the Middle Ages' (www.academia.edu/30034537/Medieval_Bourn_A_Cambridgeshire_Village_in_the_Middle_Ages)- ''Bourn' in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1, West Cambridgshire'(www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/cambs/vol1/pp17-27)- 'British History Online: Bourn' (www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/cambs/vol1/pp17-27#h3-0004)#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #localhistory #castles ... See MoreSee Less
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Keep in Touch!

View news and weekly updates on our:

Facebook Page

You can also send an email to our recruitment officer:
chatelaine@flintheath.org.uk

Discord

We also have a Discord server which you’re welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us about living history:
https://discord.gg/AfucYV5