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The Siege of Rye (Rye Medieval Festival) proved to be as brilliant as ever despite some problem with funding obtained by the Rye Partnership.
The Rye Medieval Society and The Order of Rye Longbowmen welcomed crowds of locals and holiday makers to their 2005 Medieval Fair and Great Archery Tournament and gave a flavour of life in Rye in the Middle Ages. How people lived, worked, fought and enjoyed themselves with only medieval technology to help them. An essential part of life was their ability to use the longbow and all men and boys had to practice regularly at Rye’s town butts.
In 1295 King Edward I amassed 25,000 archers outside the town as part of his plan for a national army. Throughout the Hundred Years War the English archers proved how devastating this weapon could be, significantly at Crécy, in 1346 and at Agincourt sixty nine years later. In 1377, French ships attacked Rye. Today the Order of Rye Longbowmen are proud to carry on the traditions of their forefathers and invited all comers to try their hand at archery.
A large crowd enjoyed a free family show which included an archery competition and many simulated medieval displays. The usual medieval village demonstrated, with some ingenuity, the way folk lived in those far off days when there was no electricity, no running water, no motor cars, no cycles, no guns, no television, no supermarkets – it all begins to sound rather inviting! That is until you realise that there was no health service, if you were injured seriously in any way it usually meant a long painful death.
The whole two day event was a truly colourful spectacle and made for a great free family weekend. The Rye Archers and Rye Medieval Society who staged the event must be congratulated on their efforts.
“Rye’s Own” September 2005
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