Last weekend I attended a medieval re-enactment event at Hernen Castle in the Netherlands. It was a gathering of various craft groups from all around the Low Countries. People from all ages, but with a shared passion; history and crafts. But also a strong desire to share it with the public, to make history come to life. In the evening, after the public left, there was a medieval banquet in the big hall, followed by a campfire outside.
Weekends like this always prove to be very interesting. Put a group of crafts people together and they never run out of subjects to talk about. Everybody is open to help and learn from each other. Sharing their food, beer, wine, mead and information.
One of the groups attending was the “st. Thomas Guild”, a group of medieval wood and textile workers. They stood there with a nice lathe, tool chest, workbench and various tools. Inside the castle they were embroidering tapestries. I particularly liked their reconstructions of medieval hand planes.
One of the workshops they did was to make a measuring stick, based on your own thumb and foot.
Later I learned that they also have a blog about their work. It’s one of those blogs that you just want to read entirely and then start over again. A treasure trove of information for those interested in historical woodworking. So be sure to visit them!