Magna Carta 800 - Medieval Festival

Sat 13th June 2015 at 10.00 - 16.00

Medieval Festival on Thirsk Racecourse. Medieval Knights; Falcons; Minstrels, dance, juggler; storyteller, coin making; archery, etc. Stalls, food vendors, rides.

Show related pages

Magna Carta 800 - Medieval Festival June13th on Thirsk Racecourse - some feedback

See more pictures from the day at MC00-Pictures (thank you to all those who put their pictures up)

From happy customers:

Vicky Calvert  - We Enjoyed a fantastic afternoon with the children at the Magna Carta Festival today. From firing crossbows, trying on Medieval armour & then watching Ben Potters amazing Birds of Prey it's been the best way to spend a Saturday. Thank you to Thirsk Rotary for all the hard work in putting it all together

 – 5 starThe Magna Carta festival was brilliant. Very well organised and really eductional for adults and kids alike . Really enjoyed it. Well done

A Merrie Noyse Minstrels - Hi, we had a lovely day at the Thirsk Magna Carta event. They really pulled the stops out and three groups of musicians including a mummers troop of multi talented actors and fine musicians. Thirsk is a lovely North Yorkshire town who threw themselves into the event and made us welcome. Cheers Baz

The July 2015 newsletter from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee tells of activities celebrating the Magna Carta around the UK and the world. We weren't the only ones!

Medieval Festival


In June Thirsk Rotary hosted a Mediaeval Festival in Celebration of the 800th Aniversary of the Signing of the Magna Carta by Baron William de Mowbray of Thirsk on 15th June 1215. He was one of the 24 Barons who with the Lord Mayor of London signed this Great Charter.

The date for our celebration was Saturday 13th June 2015

It was held on Thirsk Racecourse from 10 am - 4 pm.

In celebrating such a great event we wished to raise money for charities

The show

The show included a warfare re-enactment and falconry displays and much else in celebration of this 800th anniversary. 

The main features were the 'Historia Normannis' mediaeval re-enactment group as well as the popular 'Birds of Prey Display' with these shows being the main show.

'Historia Normannis' are medieval infantry and in a 'clash of arms' at least 50 Knights in armour showed how wars were fought in those days. The Knights trained serfs to fight - a harsh way to learn! In between their action shows they put on various shows that on fashion, surgery, justice and other aspects of mediaeval life. They set up a mediaeval tent village where through the day they and their camp followers explained medieval life to visitors who were able to wander around and see what life was like then. They let them handle the armour and other things that were part of the medieval life, as well as coin making. 

'Birds of Prey Display' flew along session of their predators (falcons, owls, eagles, etc.) as part of this main event. Their show too had a mediaeval flavour as they used the predators to show what they can do and why they were important in court life. Through the day the handlers talked to visitors about the birds as they remained on display.

What else?

Well, there was coin making, archery and other entertainments typical of the time, such as minstrels from 'de Mowbray's Musicke' and 'Merrie Noyse', storytellers, jugglers and The Wakeman Mummers. These formed a parallel entertainment programme, popping up at different places around the field as they performed to small, more intimate groups through the day.

There were stalls for trade, craft and voluntary groups with many adding their own forms of entertainment. There were a number of food and drink outlets, including ice-cream vans as we had hoped for a beautiful sunny June day (the day was indeed mostly sunny, but the vening before had predicted a terrible rain downpour! This didn't happen but it certainly reduced the numbers attending).

Many young people were present and there were the usual (modern) rides for the younger ones too. 

Visitors and stallholders were encouraged to wear mediaeval dress and enter into the spirit of the time as they did with enthusiasm (see the related page for guidance on making or hiring your own costume.

Stalls at the show

Thirsk Rotary had invited trade, craft and local organisations from near and far to take a stand at this event. 

They could demonstrate theirown business activities and sell their own products as well as anything they made or put together to celebrate this occasion or to entertain customers and raise money for their charities.

The pitch for each stand was 3 x 3 metres at £50, with power £25 extra.


During this school term the primary schools taught their children about Magna Carta. Their work was displayed on boards alongside the racetrack for all to see.

The children also helped by making bunting and shields to be displayed in the family ring (we also had help with making bunting from The Clock as well).


The main show took place in front of the stands. Sideshows performed in and amongst the stalls with the Medieval Tent Village near the car park entrance. Chlidren's rides and play areas were alongside the station road fence. Archery took plsce in the end within the family ring area in the top corner.

Thank you to our principal sponsors for their support


Other sponsors include 

Joseph Turner,  Howdens Joinery Co  Hunters Property Group James Winn Estate Agents W Gaunt

Entry Charges

10% discount on all tickets bought before the event day

  • Adult - £10.00  - (£9 with 10% early purchase discount);
  • Family - £20.00 (2 Adults + 3 Children) -  (£18 with early purchase discount);
  • Child (12-16 yo) - £5.00  - (£4.50 with early purchase discount);
  • Child (11 and under) - FREE - but they had to be with an adult.
  • Carer with a disabled person in a wheelchair - Free entry

Cheques were to be made out to "Thirsk Rotary Events"

There was FREE parking for cars and coaches

The event organiser Joe Salmon can be contacted on

For general information on Magna Carta see "Some useful links" in our "What we do" tab

Thirsk Rotary Club has over 40 members and seeks to provide support to the local community through service activities and fund-raising events. New members are welcome


(Comments need to be approved by the club administrator before they can be displayed here).

Ref: 363 | Comment Date/Time: 2015-08-27 13:57:03 | By: Paul Hebden KT GOKT | From: UK
Comment: Hello, i am a member of Grand order of knight templars, we looking to attend the festival next year.
Please can you send further infomation in attending!
kind regards

Ref: 338 | Comment Date/Time: 2015-06-14 18:27:37 | By: Steve Morris | From: North Yorks
Comment: We came to Thirsk yesterday to see our son with Historia Normannis, quite alarmed at the entry fee, it was well in excess of anything we had paid previously to support our son in his hobby.

Ref: 333 | Comment Date/Time: 2015-06-07 20:20:32 | By: Sue cook | From: N yorkshire
Comment: Hi,
Could you tell me know if dogs are allowed to the Magna Carter event on Saturday? Thanks Sue

Ref: 324 | Comment Date/Time: 2015-05-14 13:12:38 | By: Peter Barnard | From: Lincolnshire
Comment: de Mowbray's Musicke are really looking forward to appearing in the Medieval Festival - playing music, singing and teaching people how they danced in medieval England. Your chance to see and hear us - as well as going home after learning one of these dances!

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