Monday, October 23, 2006

Pictorial Evidence 3


It would take far, far too long to tell you everything about the battle. It raged for over two hours, with waves of attacks from archers, foot soldiers, and Norman cavalry. But it was truly incredible to see something like this acted out in front of you by over 2,000 skilled and dedicated volunteers from more than 18 countries.

Here we were just behind the Norman lines, with the Saxons on the top of the ridge beyond. The Norman cavalry is just moving across to muster for a charge.

I remember the roars of Godwinson! from the Saxon side and Dex Aie from the Norman. The Saxon Housecarls cleaving the air with their great Dane Axes. The Norman horse thundering up the muddy slope. Arrows darkening the air and falling like deadly confetti on the Saxon shield wall. Water carriers weaving in and out of tired troops. The Flemish archers, dismissed, breaking ranks to loot the bodies of the fallen from both sides. The fall of the Saxon banners – the Fighting Man, and the Dragon of Wessex.

And then, over two hours later, it was nearly over. The Saxon left flank had broken, trying to follow either a feinted or a real retreat by the Normans, and cut down by rallying troops. After that it was just a matter of time.

It really was an incredible experience being there. If I had one criticism, it was that the colours were a little too bright for natural dyes, and everyone was just a smidge short of a smudge... everyone too clean.

But you can't have everything.

And 100 Norman horse is a great compensation.


At 9:51 pm, Blogger Beth Ciotta said...

Color me envious!! These pictures and your account are wonderful. How exciting, Anna. Me. Green. With. Envy. :)

At 5:02 am, Blogger Michelle Styles said...

Thank you so much Anna.

Yes, the women tending the fire etc is always one of my fave parts of re-enactments as well

At 6:37 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Glad you enjoyed Beth, Michelle!

I loved the funny anachronisms, too, like the norman soldiers in coffee shops in town, and the clogged peasant woman taking pictures of the abbey, or the market trader striking a deal for padded leather armour over his mobile... ggg

At 4:27 pm, Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Great blogs, Anna. Thank you for sharing the experience. I've been to Black Powder re-enactments in the states and it does tend to boggle the mind being in a sort of time warp. And yes, there was a lot of haggling going on here, too!

At 7:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brava Anna,

I eat this stuff up with a spoon. Wonderful retelling and great pics.


At 2:29 pm, Anonymous Alexandra said...

Absolutely stunning, I am so envious and would loved to have seen this first hand, but thank you for posting the pictorial evidence. It must have been quite the experience, seeing this live.

At 6:16 pm, Anonymous Julie Cohen said...

Love it!!


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