Imagine the smell of woodsmoke and food cooking in the air; the sound of the drums and officers calling the soldiers to order, or beautiful music floating from nearby; the sight of officers and gentry in their fine clothes, or the massed ranks of soldiers marching off to battle; feel the weight of a pikemans armour, or the tension in the air as soldiers rebel against their officers.
The public are becoming increasingly demanding in their expectations of a visit to a location, seeking a more immersive experience. They don't want to just see a location - they want to feel what it would have been like in the past - they want to step back in time. The battalia can bring your location to life with the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the seventeenth century. An event by the Fairfax Battalia is a proven vehicle to attract visitors by offering them a unique experience unlike any other.
We can assist with events of all sizes and themes, from more intimate events presenting visitors with the chance to interact with the past, to larger events offering a complete panorama of the period, from the spectacle and drama of an army on the battlefield to the mundane activities of everyday life: from the finery and splendour of the nobility to the plainness and squalor of the poor.
The Fairfax Battalia offers an opportunity for you to differentiate your event from others, an opportunity to tap into the increasing interest in history, and the demand for exciting and innovative attractions. There has rarely been a better time to host an event as people move towards spending their holidays closer to home, seeking increasing value for their money, or the exchange rate promotes tourism from overseas.
A re-enactment by the Fairfax Battalia is an ideal vehicle to increase the visibility of your event or location, an attractive vehicle for local media coverage and publicity, and a visible demonstration of your commitment to keeping local and British history alive.
Over the years, the Fairfax Battalia has built up a reputation for high standards of performance and historical accuracy. We endeavour to reproduce and utilise the appropriate equipment and clothing of the time as accurately as possible. As far as is possible, all of our activities are researched and referenced against period documentation. Our dedication to producing quality interpretations of military & domestic situations has won us a high reputation amongst sponsors, public & academics.
As a result of our high standards and reputation we have frequently been invited to appear at prestigious locations such as the Tower of London, English Heritage's showpiece 'Festival of History' event at Kelmarsh Hall, and National Trust sites such as Wimpole Hall, Corfe Castle and Cliveden.
We have been involved in film and television work, appearing in programmes such as Channel 4's 'Time Team' and the BBC's 'A History of Britain'. We have also worked with museums such as the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
We are able to offer a range of events to meet your needs and suit your location. Although we are named for a military formation, we aim to reproduce all aspects of life in the middle of the seventeenth century. Given that the country was gripped by civil war, the civilian and military aspects of life frequently collided. Where possible we present both elements in our events and their interaction in everyday, but sometimes dramatic, manners.
Every event is different, but commonly our events feature some or all of the following elements. Events and the characters portrayed are usually tailored to fit in with the history of the site and surrounding area, and to make them relevant. Suitable scenarios can be arranged, for example Leveller unrest and agitation amongst the soldiers, or landowners unwillingly hosting the army on their property.
A mix of civilian and military camps, displaying activities associated with both the army and camp followers. This can include activities such as the sutlery (kitchen) preparing both plain fare for the soldiers and finer fare for the officers and gentry; an officers' headquarters showing the equipment associated with running a military unit and the dining of the wealthy officers; a blacksmith with working forge or an armourer making and repairing armour for the soldiers; a laundry, a barber-surgeon displaying the tools and techniques of his trade, or an itinerant apothecary hawking his patent cure-alls.
These present visitors with an ideal opportunity to wander throughout the encampment and interact with the re-enactors, discover the types of food that would be eaten, or perhaps try on a pikemans armour or handle a musket. Our members are very knowledgeable and always happy to answer any questions.
A fascinating display by the soldiers and officers, demonstrating the intricate drills and postures used in warfare of the period, including:
All of our drills are taken from period drill manuals,including the famous Direction for Musters, and the display would be accompanied by a full commentary provided by the Battalia.
A scripted skirmish against a similarly sized Royalist infantry unit can be provided on both days (depending on the terrain and space available), showing the drama and excitement of conflict during the period. This can form a spectacular finale to an event, or form part of an overall scenario. Prisoners could be taken and perhaps interrogated afterwards, and the wounded tended to, or perhaps a Royalist spy unmasked and tried, extending the experience for the visitors.
Although the elements above feature the military, portrayals of 17th century civilian and domestic life are also very important aspects of our re-enactments. If the location allows, we can populate an entire house for an event, bringing it to life with the full panoply of domestic life from the mid seventeenth century. We can recreate the household of a wealthy landowner, or perhaps a successful merchant, complete with retinue of servant and household staff. Activities of the household could include the everyday such as a meal being served, dancing lessons or a sermon from a visiting preacher, or more unusual events such as a parish court. We can also tailor the event to the season, such as preparing the house for Christmas, or the payment of rent on quarter days.
If desired, a reduced presence and authentic camp can be provided for perhaps the Friday before any event, and programmed parties of schoolchildren guided through it by members of the society. They would be shown demonstrations of various 17th century activities, such as writing, cooking, soap-making, meeting the soldiers and officers and trying on armour (always popular). Information for fact sheets and questionnaires (i.e. find out how much a soldier is paid) can be provided if required, as well as passes to enter and leave the camp.
The organisation of a successful, enjoyable and safe event is of the greatest importance to us. We have many years of experience in organising successful events of all sizes, and this allows us to offer substantial assistance in ensuring any prospective event takes place in an efficient, safe and cost effective manner.
In addition to the skills of our dedicated and knowledgeable members, and all period equipment for both military and civilian scenarios, we can assist with the provision of the following:
If you are interested in us and would like to learn more about how we can help make your event a great success, we would be delighted to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Please use the following form to contact our publicity team:
To give you an opportunity to see what it is really like, we'd like to invite you to join the Battalia at an event and see for yourself. Simply complete the following form to give us some idea of your organisation and requirements and we'll invite you along to the next suitable event. One of our senior members will guide you through the day and make sure you have everything you need to make a sound judgement.Click here to fill out the form