Is it possible to live a whole historical era in one day?
Probably not, but it might be possible to get a taste for the type of lives that ordinary people would have lived and the skills that they had. This was the aim of the Year 8 Medieval Day in the last week of Term 3.
Year 8 students spent their time preparing food over an open fire. Some students spent a long time grinding grain to make flat bread and others lighting a fire without paper (matches were a modern concession). Our thanks go to Mr Cook for bringing in some beautiful rabbits and patiently demonstrating how to dress them (for the pot, not a fashion parade!). Meanwhile, Mr Blennerhassett brought a distinctly tropical flavour to the proceedings (medieval Tahiti perhaps?) with a beautiful coconut and lemongrass fish, demonstrating the skill involved in cleaning and filleting fish.
As the food was cooking, students experimented with spinning and weaving, candle making, embroidery, chain mail construction and some students made their own individual heraldry (medieval branding?). We have Mr Mutton to thank for the delicious smell of beeswax that he graciously donated from his hives and to Tristan and Riley who took the role of patient chandlers, creating the fattest beeswax candles seen in Year 8.
Calligraphy and leather work were other arts that got a trial. We were blessed to have two lovely ladies come from the Liddelow Homestead Arts and Crafts Club to demonstrate spinning wool on a wheel. They graciously allowed some of our students to have a go.
The day concluded with a feast of rabbit stew and fresh bread in our candlelit dining hall and the singing of the noonday prayers – a Kyrie hymn sung acapella.
Regrettably, the budget didn’t extend to a castle and the accompanying jousting and tournaments or, fortunately, to flying rotten horse carcasses via trebuchet and Crusaders armed with long bows!