"The Crusades" Easter Gathering 2006

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Photos from "The Crusades 2006" are linked below

Danelaw will be hosting another 4 day middle age period event filled with all the tried and true traditional re-enactment activities such as feasting, fighting, workshops, games and other unique activities.


Danelaw Medieval Fighting Society Inc welcomes all Medieval Re-enactors and visitors to;


The Crusades” - a fully catered (Friday breakfast to Monday lunch inclusive) Crusades period (Early 11C – Mid 13C) living history event with multi-course medieval feasts of authentic fare on both Saturday and Sunday nights.


Dunghaven encampment @ TheDanelaw, in the southern highlands of NSW, nestled between Budawang and Moreton National parks. Maps & Driving Directions

2006 Easter Long Weekend (April 14th – 17th). Site opens Thursday night and closes Monday afternoon.
Why a Crusades event? The living-history calendar is chock full of high quality Dark Age events such as “Beorg-Wic under Munt” in October (hosted by AAF) so we thought we would promote a period that is well documented, offers a wide selection of cultural and historical themed activities and that most re-enactors can easily equip themselves for. It is an opportunity to bring out later period gear that we don’t often get to use but still invites the use of “bread and butter” pieces of Dark Age gear.

How much does it cost? No doubt you will agree that the price is great value for money.

• The entire weekend (4 days) is $80 (if booked and paid by 1st March 2006).
• After the first of March the price for 4 days is $100.
• Children under 16 are half price
• Children under 10 are free.
• Single day rate is $30 if pre-arranged.
• At the gate is $130 (4 days).

120 Acres of pine forest surrounded by mountain ranges. Terrain includes open flat ground, creeks, wetlands and a hillside with large fort. Water is available for cleaning and bathing but you will need to bring drinking water. Visit TheDanelaw.
The event is fully catered which includes breakfast, lunch, evening meals and beverages. The catering highlights are the multi-course feasts on Saturday and Sunday nights. (Our inaugural event in Easter 2004 saw people leave at meals times quite full and satisfied or otherwise stuffed!) A draft menu outlining the culinary delights on offer is available here. To improve on our first event, the evening dishes will be more authentic to the Crusades theme.

• The site has been equipped with numerous composting toilets which are clean and odouress.
• We have a basic shower block for both lords and ladies use allowing hot bathing and the end of each day.
• We will also have in place a new 10m x 11m undercover shelter that will be available for workshops and to congregate during inclement weather.
• Stage 1 is also complete on the Fort and will be available for full scale attack this time!

The “Dragon’s breath Tavern” will once again be serving soft drinks, bottled water and a selection of your most highly preferred refreshing beverages. Contact us for further information.


(Program Available here)

Over the weekend we have many activities planned such as games, workshops, archery and combat. We will be running several competitions such as axe and knife throwing, Bardic and tug of war and a bunch of games and competitions for evening entertainment. Stayed tuned for announcements on workshops.

Non Combat Activities Confirmed as at 05 Feb 06

Tablet Weaving

Saturday Morning

Tablet weaving is a method of producing narrow textiles such as straps, belts and trim. Most tablet woven bands are very strong and sturdy. Tablet woven bands can range from simple and easy to elaborately patterned and very time consuming. The oldest known reliable evidence for tablet weaving comes from about 400 B.C. Several tablets and some tablet woven material was found at an archeological site in Spain.

In period, tablet weaving was most highly developed in northern Europe, especially in Scandinavia, and was also used by the Anglo-Saxons. Many medieval pieces were ornate silk ecclesiastical vestments, or wrist and head bands brocaded with gold or silver, but others were much simpler. These may have been used as belts or straps. Tablet woven borders were sometimes woven into larger textiles. This helped to set the warp spacing and provided sturdy selvages.



Friday Afternoon

Naalbinding is a Scandinavian technique for making a sturdy, elastic fabric. Naalbinding produces a fairly tight fabric, and unlike knitting doesn't ladder when you drop a stitch. It shapes easily, and is an ideal candidate for socks, mittens, and the like.

The naalbinding technique predates the development of knitting, and has been known from Chinese hats from 1000BC, and in Europe from at least the 1st century AD. It was used by the Coptic (Egypt) peoples for socks, and the Vikings for socks and mittens. In the middle medieval period it was used to make very fine gloves and hose, and continued in minor use after the 16th century in items such as milk strainers and rugs, as well as traditional items.


Loom and Weave Spinning

Sunday Aftrnoon

Cloth making was the largest Of the medieval crafts and it is in cloth making that the first industrialization occurred during the Middle Ages. By the Middle Ages, the location of textile production was usually a household where the man was the weaver and the women prepared and spun yarn for the loom. All cloth was woven by hand on a loom and the most common materials of this time period were wool, cotton, silk, and linen. Each of these materials had its own production and most of them required the contributions of more than one individual. Manufacturing techniques remained unchanged over a long period of time.

Because of the time involved, it took many hand spinners to supply a single weaver. And, initially, weaving was difficult to do because the first looms used were vertical. By the 12th century, horizontal looms were used that allowed the weaver to sit while he worked. These looms most likely were adaptations of earlier silk looms developed by the Chinese and transferred through traders.


Fabric Dyeing

Sunday lunchtime

Dyeing was a precursor to embroidery, for in order for it to be worth applying a separate thread to fabric, the thread must be sufficiently different from the background fabric. Dyestuffs which made bright, fast colors and items dyed with them, were were valuable trade items that drove trade routes throught to the modern age.

Wool - naturally white sheep wool takes dyes extremely well and was the staple fabric for hundreds of years in Europe. Naturally colored sheep were also common, and colored fleece could be used both for its original color and overdyed to make darker colors.

Linen, hemp, nettles, and other bast fibers - Bast fibers are more resistant to taking dyes but with proper techniques will hold fast colors.

Silk, Cotton - India and the Middle East were the premier centers of dyeing for cottons and silks early on and maintained their reputation until the advent of modern dyes.

Tannins from leaves, bark, wood, and nuts were often used alone or as a mordant. Cottons and linens in particular dye better when pre-mordanted with tannins. Tannin and iron combined to make dark brown and black was one of the most basic, effective, and earliest of dye recipes.

Most dyes are organic, being derived from plants or animals.


Fortifications of the Crusades

Sunday Afternoon - before the Fort fight

Jamie walker presents a report on the fortifications of the Crusades based on his recent trip to the East.


Friday and Saturday lunchtimes

Temporay tattoos in Celtic and other period designs will be available from trained body painters using brush and Airbrush techniques.

Firebreathing and Twirling

After Dark

The basics of Breathing and Twirling Fire for fun and display. Bring a broomstick or similar for twirling and a glass bottle for fire breathing practice.

Sharp Weapons Vs Armour

Sunday Morning - before Tournaments

To debunk the myths concerning the protection afforded by various armour types, sharpened weapons are used in this workshop on numerous types of clothing and armour. The results will surprise you.

Forging/Bronze Casting

Intermittently - at the discretion of the smith

Forging will be running throughout the event at a dedicated forge.


Saturday Lunchtime

Using wool or linen it is possible to produce strong cord which can be used for tent ropes, belts, ties for cloaks and other garments etc.

Historically, the method comes from Norway, where a metal disc was excavated which archeologists discovered was used to twist or cord silver wire for jewellry during the viking era using the same technique.



Saturday Afternoon

Includes shooting over various distances at targets of different sizes

Knife and Axe throwing

Saturday Afternoon

Cut the maiden's braids as she is tied against the target.

Ankle Shooting

Afternoons and Evenings

A traditional Eastern game of skill and accuracy.

The Grand Leech Races

Evenings at the Tavern

Bring your champion 'Double Breasted Paradise Slug' to test it's mettle against all contenders. Nightly at the Tavern.

Rope Skipping

Whenever suits

Form a team to enter this competitive activity.

Tug of War

Whenever suits

The traditional Game with some unusual period twists.

Leper's Soccer Match

Whenever suits

Can't say too much about it. Honestly.



Sunday Evening

Prepare to have your taste buds delighted and offended by some of the finest and most dubious concoctions to satisfy the addiction of a drunk. Brave and/or foolhardy judges are required.

I33 Swordsmanship

Sunday Morning - before Tournaments

Michael Brown of AAF presents I.33 - a variety of stances and techniques that include cuts, thrusts, parries, and disarming moves. Blows are delivered at the head, body, hands, shins, and even the feet and ankles. I.33 serves today as a realistic and valid source for practitioners studying both Medieval sword & buckler as well as sword & shield.

As Danelaw is mainly a combat focussed group, we are keenly seeking any people who are interested in running a workshop on other medieval interests. We fully recognize that medieval re enactment is not just about fighting and would like to strongly encourage and support anyone wishing to run workshops on all things Medieval. Danelaw will be running a few workshops on subjects that are non-combat related during the weekend. If you wish to run a workshop please contact us.


• Over the weekend there will be plenty of organised and scheduled combat using Danelaw Inter-club combat rules. We will be running various types of combat scenarios during the event which will include a fort fight, Tournament Competition, 3 way and open field combats.
• Minimum Armour = Helmets and Gauntlets.
• We will also look to run historically based display combat for people who wish to participate or showcase what their group does. This should present good photo opportunities and include people who don’t necessarily fight that much.
• Rather than fighting just for the sake of it, the organised combat will follow a Crusade scenario that matches the theme of the event. For example, Combatants will be Crusaders or Saracens:

o Friday Afternoon: Pilgrimage to the holy land -open field fights and skirmishes (August 1096 AD: Ill-organized bands, inspired by the crusader movement and led by Peter the Hermit and Walter the Pennyless, set across the Bosporos, and start pillaging Asia Minor, before most of them are slain by Turkish troops).
o Saturday Morning: Trial of Holy Water - Creek/Bridge Fight (September 1098 AD: Tancred and Baldwin, both of Bouillon, leave the bulk of the crusader army, and enter the territory of Armenia)
o Saturday Afternoon: The Gauntlet - combat archery dash across a missile weapon kill zone. (November 1098 AD: The Crusaders set out on the last leg of the campaign towards Jerusalem)
o Sunday Afternoon: Siege of Ma’arra - Fort fight followed by a surprise menu lunch! (12 December 1098 AD: The small city of Ma'arra east of Antioch, falls to the Crusaders. The Crusaders shock the Muslim world by eating human flesh from the adults and children massacred following their conquest. The Frankians would forever be referred to by Turkish historians as "cannibals").
o Sunday Afternoon: Spoils of War - Loot haul and slave run. (1212 AD: The Childrens' Crusade, where the Europeans hoped that children troops could bring forth the miracle needed to recapture Jerusalem. But most children were set up by Europeans sailors and sold as slaves in Egypt.)

Sunday Afternoon: Stage 1 of the fort has finally been built to a full height of 2.4m with a 1.3m wide parapet running all the way around its inside. Once again the fort battles will be based on resurrection much in the same way as our castle Siege event. Warriors can again perform heroic deeds without the fear of dying penalizing their fun. The dead simply return to a resurrection point and rejoin the fray. Numbers will be stacked heavily against the defenders. Oh yes one more small point – The Fort this time will be open in attempts to pull it down!
Sunday Morning: A series of tournaments will once again be held in the Tournament ring. We will be seeking to identify the best skilled fighters in a number of categories and crown our 2nd grand tournament Champion. Categories include sword and shield, single sword, spear, dagger and small team. (2-3 people). The idea is to give an opportunity for competitive fighters to showcase their skills in a carnival atmosphere. Judges will oversee the combat to maintain safety and good sportsmanship. Prizes will be given out to the respective champions and best dressed on the day.
Friday Afternoon: We will be running a market one morning and we hope to entice some traders along. As a seller it will cost nothing to participate and if people wish to barter or sell merchandise and goods they are more than encouraged to do so.
The Crusades is a costumed event and people should be dressed appropriately. Ideally you are to be costumed in a reasonable approximation of late Dark Age through to Crusades period clothing. This is to be particularly adhered to when present in all the communal areas. As this event is based on the Crusader era people re enacting persons and cultures form that era is strongly encouraged. Eg Crusader, Saracen etc. Visitors and "Try before you buy" guests are welcome and should contact us for information about how to blend in.
The nearest towns to the site are Braidwood and Nerriga, quite a drive away. It is advised that you bring everything you need with you including drinking Water. The facilities we have put in place (and continue to improve) help to provide a good level of comfort. But please check with us first for any specific needs. Also plan to take your rubbish home with you. For any further information please see our web site or contact us below.
CONTACTS: Please feel free to contact Danelaw with your inquiry.

A small selection of

Photos from

The Crusades 2006

Danelaw would like to thank all paticipating groups for their efforts and the following people for their photos: Amanda Pickering, Barbara Scales, Chris Wilde, Hue Mcdonald, Kim Southgate, Lydia Williams, Matt Patton, Michael Brown, Michelle Taylor, Sarah Murray, Sheen Mohekey, Steve Jarworth and Tony Karlson.

A special thanks to Tony Karlson for collecting all the photos from the photographers and combining them onto one convenient CD.

Decorative Banners - 1 2 3 Creek Battle - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Marquee - 1 2
Campsites - 1 2 3 Fort Battle - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Meals - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Crafts - 1 2 3 4 5 6 The Gauntlet - 1 2 3 4 SharpWeapons Workshop - 1 2 3 4 5 6
Markets - 1 2 3 Tourneys - 1 2 Miscellaneous - 1 2 3 4 5

Copyright © Danelaw Medieval Fighting Society Inc. Kindly Supported by www.itliterate.com.au