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/AfucYV5A little-acknowledged trend during the middle age is the huge number of forged documents, created by or on the orders of high-ranking members of the Church: members of a very small group who were literate. By the 1100s, forging was rife across Europe, possibly because it was only in the late 900s that institutions such as abbeys started writing down their own histories. Forging historical documents was a common part of this process that only increased over time. For example, historians believe that one third to one half of surviving English documents from before the Norman conquest are post-Conquest forgeries.Forged documetns were used to demonstrate "ancient" claims to lands and privileges, as well as adding status to institutions by claiming they had a much higher pedigree than they really did. These documents were often extremely elaborate, building histories, relationships with fictional characters, and huge numbers of documents. It's not entirely clear what the purpose of the forgeries was and whether they were intended to be taken seriously, especially given the extravagant nature of some of the claims in them. They required significant expense and effort to produce, so it's unlikely they were merely jokes, but many would not have passed muster even at the time as authentic. It's most likely the intention was to show off to local neighbours by "revealing" a place or position's "glorious past".They may also have acted as written confirmation of beliefs already current at the time, as was the case for the Donation of Constantine, an especially famous medieval forgery. It claimed to be the document by which the Emperor Constantine had transferred authority over Rome and the Western Roman Empire to the Pope and at the time the forgery was made it was widely believed that this had in fact happened; the document was simply putting flesh on the myth.Image:- Fresco of the Donation of Constantine - Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome - 13th Century[Image description: A photograph of a medieval fresco. A man in ecclesiastical costume receives an object from a man in a brightly-coloured robe. The cleric's right hand is raised in blessing. The robbed man is standing in front of a city. Several other figures stand on the walls of the city, watching the interaction]Source:L. Roach, 'The Forged Texts of the Middle Ages', BBC History Magazine February 2021, 28#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
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/AfucYV5Like many cities in England, Norwich grew up along a navigable waterway; during our period water was by far the easiest way to transport goods and people, so a river meant trade. However, it was also a natural barrier that required bridges and ferries to cross. By 1300, Norwich had more bridges than any other city in England: five over the river Wensum. However, only one of these was on the eastern side of the city: Bishop Bridge, which was built in 1340 and still stands today, though it has lost the gatehouse that once stood in the middle of the bridge.Bridges were not the only way to cross the river. Many cities had large numbers of ferries, which let people cross the river for a fee without taking a long round trip to the nearest bridge. The site of one of the Norwich ferries can still be seen a little way up the river from Bishop Bridge. The surviving building at Pull's Ferry consists of a house built in the 1600s and an earlier watergate. Originally, a canal ran through the watergate which was used to carry stone to build Norwich Cathedral.Image:- Pulls Ferry - 2021 - CC-BY-NC Becca Edney[Image description: A photograph of a flint arch beside a river with a short waterway leading up to the arch. Willows are growing on either side of the waterway and the spire of Norwich Cathedral is visible in the distance beyond the building]References:- Norwich City Council Information Board - Pull's Ferry- '26: Norwich Bridges', (Eastern Daily Press, 15th April 2010) <https://web.archive.org/web/20110809164654/http://www.edp24.co.uk/norfolk-life/norfolk-history/26_norwich_bridges_1_214333>#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #Norwich ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
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.This week we'll also be having a demonstration of medieval camp cooking!We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV5The village of Histon and Impington already has two churches: St Andrew's Histon and St Andrew's Impington. However, it originally had a third; like the nearby village of Longstanton, during the middle ages Histon consisted of two parishes.The other church was St Etheldreda's, which first belonged to Eynsham abbey, then to the lord of the manor of Histon Eynsham, later named Histon St Etheldreda's. St Etheldreda's was originally the more valuable of the two churches since Barnwell Priory got most of the thithes from the St Andrew's parish. However, once this changed St Andrew's rapidly caught up.Dedications to St Etheldreda are rare in Cambridgeshire, even though she had a shrine at Ely. The only other known one is in the village of Reach, though there is a painting of St Etheldreda in St Mary and All Saint's Willingham. It's possible that the churches in both Reach and Histon were built and dedicated because they lay on pilgrimage routes to Ely; part of the Aldreth Causeway passed through Histon, a fact noted in 1251 when a field boundary in Histon was named as "the King's pathway". The fact that St Etheldreda's Histon was sited on this pilgrimage route may have been another contributing factor to its early wealth; pilgrims would stop there and give offerings. A sunken lane near the site of the church was known as Penny Lane, possibly in reference to this custom.St Etheldreda's was allowed to fall into disuse and disrepair by 1588. The vicar appointed in 1583 was a puritan who refused to conform to Elizabeth I's church settlement and this may have been part of the reason for the church being neglected and the parishes of St Etheldreda's and St Andrew's being merged. The loss of St Etheldreda's was made final when at least the nave was demolished in 1599, allegedly by Sir Francis Hynde, who either sold or reused the stone, lead, timber, and bells for the building of Madingley Hall. The font also went to the church of Mary Magdalene in Madingley. Some accounts have the chancel standing until the 1700s, but it was in a very poor condition.There are now earthworks surviving to show the site of the church and its churchyard and an archeological survey carried out by Archology RheeSearch Group found what appeared to be a 20m-long building with a 3m corridor to a detached tower at the east end. The site is now private property: part of the grounds of Abbey Farm, the name a reminder of its past!Images:- St Andrew's Histon - Geograph Project - 2003[Image description: a stone medieval church in a graveyard]- Approximate site of St Etheldreda's Histon - Google Maps[Image description: An arial photograph of part of the edge of the village of Histon. A pin shows the site of St Andrew's Church in the bottom right corner. An area of woodland is circled in red]Sources:- A P M Wright, and C P Lewis (Eds.), "Histon: Churches." in 'A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds', British History Online <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/pp102-106>- D. Oates, 'Histon and St Etheldreda', Histon and Impington Village Society <https://histonandimpingtonvillagesociety.wordpress.com/heritage-bulletin-2/histon-and-st-etheldreda/>- S. May, 'Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society' [1992] 81, 49 <https://www.rheesearch.org.uk/Documents/Histon%20Abbey%20Farm%20Report.pdf>- 'Welcome to Cambridge: Madingley' <http://www.visitoruk.com/Cambridge/madingley-C592-V6570.html>#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #lostchurch ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
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/AfucYV5A palimpsest is a page of manuscript which has had another text written over it. Usually, they are written on parchment or vellum, which is difficult and expensive to produce and therefore a tempting target for recycling if the text written on it has become obsolete or is otherwise no longer required.The original text would be removed from the parchment either by washing with a combination of milk and oat bran, which was common in the earlier middle ages, or by scraping the surface of the parchment to remove the ink entirely. The first method has resulted in most of the surviving palimpsests because the faint remains of the original text often faintly reappears over time, which with the second method it is entirely removed.Texts could be selected for overwriting due to a number of different qualities. For example, early translations of the Bible into Latin often exist only as palimpsests because they were replaced by the standard Vulgate translation and no longer required. Cultural obsolesence led to the overwriting of classical authors with Christian texts when interest in them faded during the early part of our period, but in general the overwritten texts are Christian ones; the Vulgate is most common, presumably because there were so many copies available!Many ancient works have only survived as palimpsests, such as a section of Cicero's On The Commonwealth which was overwritten with work by St Augustine in the 600s; and the Archimedes Palimpsest, which contains two works of Archimedes which had been thought lost entirely until they were found underneath the text of a 1200s prayer book.Images:- Codex Nitriensis f20r Lower Text (Luke 9:22-33) - BL Add MS 17211- Codex Nitriensis f20r Upper Text (Syriac treatise of Severus of Antioch against Johannes Grammaticus) - BL Add MS 17211[Image description: two images of manuscript pages. On one, a Greek text is shown in dark letters with a second text partly obscuring it in a washed-out colour; on the second, the second text in a Syriac script is shown in a dark colour, the Greek text appearing behind it in light brown]#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #manuscripts #medievalbooks ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
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 will be sharing part two of making a simple tunic. If you'd like to come, don't worry if you missed part 1; we're happy to catch you up!We also have a Discord server which you're welcome to come and check out if you want to talk to us: discord.gg/AfucYV5When most people think of spinning, they think of spinning wheels, which were probably invented in India at the beginning of our period and came to Europe via the Middle East. However, spinning has been around a lot longer than that; hand spinning dates back to the stone age.Both types of spinning require significant skill and co-ordination. The person using the spindle has to not only keep it spinning, but also pull fibres - usually wool - out of a bundle which might be attached to a distaff to keep it tidy. This has to be done carefully, taking account of the fibre length of the wool as well as the speed at which the spindle is spinning.As a craft, spinning is heavily associated with women, who spun most of the wool used in the middle ages. It was a task that could be done in between other responsibilities such as caring for children or animals, and this is the origin of the term "spinster" for an unmarried woman. "Distaff" is also used as a term for the female side of a family (the male equivalent is "spear"). Orion's belt was also called Frigga's Spinning Wheel, and spinning is heavily associated with many pre-christian goddesses, including the Norse Frigg and Freya and Greek Artemis and Athena. Spinning is also an important motif in many fairy tales, including, most famously, Sleeping Beauty.Image:- A Member of the Shire of Flintheath using a hand spindle - CC-BY-NC-SA Becca Edney[Image description: a woman in medieval costume holding a length of clean white fleece in her left hand while twisting a length of thread with her right. The end of the thread is connected to a hand spindle]Sources:- Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 'Spinning Wheel' <https://www.britannica.com/technology/spinning-wheel>- H. A. Guerber, 'Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas' <https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Myths_of_the_Norsemen:_From_the_Eddas_and_Sagas/Frigga>#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #handcrafts #crafting ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

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