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/AfucYV5For most people, when they think of a medieval sheriff they think of Robin Hood’s enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham. He’s famous for heavily taxing the people of Nottingham and pursuing Robin and his Merry Men through Sherwood Forest. This was a very real problem at the time because of the demands being put on sheriffs from above.The office of sheriff was originally Saxon - the word is derived from “shire reeve”, meaning the king’s officer in a shire - but it survived the Norman invasion as a very useful way for a king to impose his authority throughout the country. Sheriffs were local royal officers, but they paid the king to hold the office. It could be a good deal because they got significant independent power as long as they continued to pay the “farm” they owed to the king. For example, Picot, sheriff of Cambridge, was a significant landowner in 1085 according to the Domesday Book; among other manors and lands, he owned the whole of Madingley.When Richard I was preparing to go on crusade, he sold all the sheriffs’ offices he could, along with anything else he could sell to raise funds, including royal land. This meant that his income going forward was reduced and he had to find a way to increase it again. One source of funds was the sheriffs. Their farms had been set at the end of Henry I’s reign and didn’t increase with inflation. This could be made up for with “increments” and asking sheriffs to account to the exchequer for their “profits”. As a result, the amount of money owed by a sheriff to the king increased significantly under Richard and his brother John. Most sheriffs passed this increased expense on to those they governed, which is where we return to Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham.A major way for sheriffs to increase their income was not tax as we understand it but abuse of their powers of law enforcement. The Sheriff of Cambridgeshire in the early to mid 1200s came up with new fines to impose through his court and other sheriffs took to holding their courts more often, since they could fine people for failing to attend. Others acted more directly by arresting people on spurious charges and extracting bribes from them in exchange for release.Unsurprisingly, avoiding the attentions of the sheriff was important; the charter that created the borough of Huntingdon included a guarantee that the sheriff would not interfere with the affairs of the new borough.Image: Medieval law enforcement? - Gorleston Psalter - 1310-1324 - BL Add MS 49622 f155v[Image description: A medieval manuscript illustration showing a man in the act of picking fruit from a tree, looking over his shoulder at a second man in armour in the act of drawing a sword]Sources:- A P M Wright, and C P Lewis (Eds.), ‘Madingley: Manors and other estates.’ A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. <http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/pp166-171>- Huntingdonshire Archives, ‘Charter of King John’, KHB1/1/1 HB1/1/1 <https://calm.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/Record.aspx?src=Catalog&id=KHB1%2f1%2f1>- R Huscroft, ‘Ruling England, 1042-1217’- S Ambler, ‘The Song of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry’- Online Etymology Dictionary, ‘Sheriff’ <https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=sheriff>#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #robinhood ... 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/AfucYV5Last weekend was the coronation of our new king and queen. Unfortunately it was mostly held remotely, but it's still a happy occasion as King Aeirikr and Queen Jaquelyna of the Long Reign hand the kingdom over to King Morales and Queen Eila.During our period, the king and his court would always be on the move, visiting cities and his most important vassals, but also moving around his own extensive lands. Especially in the early to high middle ages the king's tenants would mostly pay their rent in goods, including food which was impractical to transport; it made much more sense for the king to go to consume it on-site, also allowing each palace to be restocked after him.These royal progresses could cause problems; where the king stayed with one of his subjects it could be a huge strain on local resources; churches in the 700s-800s had charters that tried to limit the king's demands on their land for hunting and the upkeep of the royal household. Shire customs recorded in the Domesday Book were similarly concerned with limiting royal demands.Lavish hospitality for monarchs continued throughout our period, including, famously, Robert Dudley's remodelling at Kenilworth Castle to impress Elizabeth I. When she visited, she stayed for 19 days and he spared no expense to entertain her in the hope that she would decide to marry him.Queen Eila is also on Tiktok: www.tiktok.com/@mymblebeeImages:- Queen Jacquelyna and King Aerikr with then Crown Prince Morales and Crown Princess Eila de Valois - www.facebook.com/kingdomofdrachenwald[Image description: four people in a forest in medieval costume, all wearing crowns]- Coronation of King David - Huth Psalter - 1275-1300 - BL Add 38116 f.35[Image description: A medieval manuscript illustration showing a crowned man in medieval costume sitting between two other men. One is bearded and is pouring liquid onto the crowned man from a jar. The other wears ecclesiastical costume. The image is also decorated with gold leaf and marginalia of a dog chasing a rabbit]Sources:- 'History of Kenilworth Castle' (English Heritage) <https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/kenilworth-castle/history-and-stories/history/>- Dr Charles Kightly, 'Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley - the Real Story' (English Heritage, 06/02/18) <https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/inspire-me/blog/blog-posts/2018/queen-elizabeth-and-robert-dudley/>- Max Adams, 'The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria' (Head of Zeus, 2013)- Pauline Stafford, 'Queen Emma and Queen Edith: Queenship and Women's Power in Eleventh-Century England' (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001)#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Happy new year; we're back! 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/AfucYV5In the Christian calendar Epiphany, the 6th of January, commemorates the three wise men coming to visit baby Jesus. Today, they’re just part of a standard nativity scene, but in medieval times they were significant religious figures in their own right.The middle ages gave us most of the imagery surrounding the three wise men, including strongly identifying them as kings; this technically predates our period, but was reinforced with accounts such as the Historia Trium Regem or History of the Three Kings, which was written in the 1300s by John Of Hildesheim. He gives a full account of their backstory, origins, and lives after their return from Bethlehem. This includes the idea that they brought a kind of proto-Christianity back to their home countries, which was then reinforced with a visit by the Apostle Thomas. They were even said to be ancestors of the legendary Eastern Christian king Prester John, whose stories captivated Europe for most of our period.By this time they already had their traditional names: Caspar (or Gaspar), Melchior, and Balthazar, which are first recorded in the Excerpta Latina Barbari (Excerpts from Latin Barbarians), dating from approximately the 700s. In the medieval sources, Melchior is often described as the king of Persia, Gaspar as king of India, and Balthazar as king of Arabia or sometimes Ethiopia. Accordingly, Balthazar began to be portrayed as black in art showing the three wise men during our period, in approximately the 13-1400s.The visit by the three wise men was a common theme of medieval art, from the Franks Casket, made in the 700s, to the Adoración de los Reyes Magos, painted in 1568. Their alleged relics also became the subject of pilgrimage, since they had a large shrine at Cologne in Germany; the bodies of the three wise men were said to have been taken to Cologne from Milan in 1164. According to the legend as recorded in the Historia Trium Regem, they reached Milan from Constantinople, having been fetched from their homelands by Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine.Images:- Detail from the Franks Casket, showing the Adoration of the Magi - British Museum - Wikimediaupload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Franks_casket_03.jpg[Image description: A carved ivory relief showing three figures bowing to a stylised figure of a woman and child]- Adoración de los Reyes Magos - El Greco - 1568 - Museo Soumaya, Mexico City - Wikimediaupload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/7222_Adoraci%C3%B3n_de_los_Reyes_Magos.jpg[Image description: A painting showing three men in medieval clothing bowing and offering gifts to a haloed woman and child. Of the three men, the first is crowned, bearded, relatively young, and white; the second is bare-headed, bearded, elderly, and white; the third is crowned, young, and black.]Sources:- Cologne Cathedral Website <https://www.koelner-dom.de/>- Walter Drum, "Magi." (The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9.) <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09527a.htm>- Encyclopedia Britannica, “Magi” <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Magi>- John Of Hildesheim, Rafael Andrés Escribano (ed.), "Historia Trium Regum (History Of The Three Kings)" <https://archive.org/details/HistoriaTriumRegumHistoryOfTheThreeKingsByJohnOfHildesheim131013201375--Selectio/mode/2up>#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca #epiphany #threekings ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
We're still taking a break over the Christmas season, back on 8th January, but if you'd like to talk to us we have a Discord server: discord.gg/AfucYV5We have very few written records of medieval weather, especially if there weren't unusual weather events such as the snowstorm that buried Florence in the 1490s. However, we do have a calendar from March 1269 to February 1270 which includes observations of the weather. It appears to have been written by Roger Bacon, a Franciscan Friar who studied and wrote about a wide range of topics that we would now recognise as science in the 1200s. The document is now Royal 7 F VII at the British Library.According to Friar Bacon's notes, the weather was freezing in December and snow began on the 6th January, but otherwise it was remarkably mild and spring-like, only to turn bitterly cold again in February.We also get an idea of the hardships of a medieval winter from manuscript illustrations, which show the careful preparations required to make it through the winter. For example, pigs needed to be fed and fattened for slaughter and firewood needed to be collected. The surviving manuscripts also show winter scenes such as people warming themselves by the fire and sports such as ice-skating.Sources:- 'A Medieval Weather Report' (Medievalists.net) <https://www.medievalists.net/2015/09/a-medieval-weather-report/>- Holly James-Maddocks, 'Surviving the Winter: Medieval Style' (19 January 2015, British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog) <https://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2015/01/surviving-the-winter-medieval-style.html>- Paul Strathern, 'Death in Florence' (Jonathan Cape, 2011)Image:- A man by a fire - Calendar for February - Psalter - Royal 2 B II f.1v[Image description: A medieval illustration of a person in medieval clothes sitting on a bench by a fire] ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Happy Christmas! We won't be meeting until the new year, but if you'd like to chat you're welcome to come and check out our Discord server: discord.gg/AfucYV5The Christmas season was not the only major religious holiday of the medieval year, but it was the longest with the most significant celebration associated with it. All services required of villeins, such as working the lord's land, were suspended from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. Partly, this was a matter of practicality; during our period winters were usually colder than they are today and the fields would often be too hard to work due to heavy frosts. Tenants might be expected to pay special rents at Christmas, such as providing the lord of the manor with bread, hens, and ale, but they were also entitled to special privileges. Particular manor servants such as the lord's ploughman, shepherd, and swineherd might be entitled to specific clothing, drink, and firewood, as well as the lord generally throwing a Christmas feast for his tenants. Such "prerequisites" may have been the origin of the tradition of employers giving "Christmas boxes" to their servants, which is the origin of the name "Boxing Day".These customs made their way right up the social scale; it was common for the king to entertain his knights and household with a feast and gifts of "robes": complete outfits including a tunic, surcoat and mantle. It was especially notable and criticised that Henry III economised on his Christmas gift-giving in 1251 and even expected to receive expensive gifts from his lords.Image: Yule Ball Feast 2019 - CC-BY-NC Becca Edney[Image description: A large room with people in medieval costume seated at tables]Source: Joseph and Frances Gies, 'Life in a Medieval Castle' (The Folio Society, 2002)#medievalhistory #medievalreenactment #livinghistory #middleages #reenactment #regrammysca ... 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