Norfolk re-enactment day

The latest in a heap of reports to come my way about re-enactment days around the country that feature the Romans in Britain. This one is from the Watton and Swaffham Times.

West Acre in the bloody wars

27 August 2008

A series of bloody wars descended upon a picturesque Norfolk village over the bank holiday weekend.

Battle cries carried across deserted fields and the smell of gunpowder filled the air.

Thankfully, despite the ambulance service on standby, no-one was injured for while the swords were sharp and the guns working, the fighting was all re-enacted as part of the two-day West Acre History Fair.

More than 1,000 history enthusiasts set up camp near Swaffham to take part in dozens of activities Sunday and Monday.

There was an English Civil War Society private drill, infantry displays, cavalry displays and an impressive recreation of a civil war battle.

Horses galloped up and down the battlefield while their skilled riders fought the opposition with swords.

Visitors could head back even further in time by watching the Romans and Britons in a gladiatorial combat show, fighting displays covering Saxons through to Elizabeth I, and how the cavalry changed from the Romans to the Spanish Armada.

Hundreds of people flocked to the site too caught up in peering into civil war tents to look at needlework and mediaeval doctors healing battlewounds, to notice the muddy ground.

Children took part in an archaeology excavation to hunt for Roman coins, winning a Roman artefact if they did.

The event also saw the Priory, usually closed off to the public, open its doors, a live mediaeval excavation and a working iron-age farm.