2021 sees the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet (14th April 1471), a decisive encounter in the Wars of Roses in which the Yorkist army of Edward IV defeated the Lancastrian forces led by Warwick ‘the Kingmaker’. Barnet Medieval Festival will mark the 550th anniversary with a special two-day programme of events, featuring re-enactments of the Battle of Barnet and the Battle of Tewkesbury, which was also fought in spring 1471.
It is planned that the Festival will take place at Barnet Elizabethans RFC on the weekend of 11th and 12th September 2021, subject to government guidelines on social distancing and large gatherings. If it does not prove possible to hold the Festival this year, we will stage the 550th anniversary festival in summer 2022. Any changes will be communicated through this page.
The Festival provides the whole community with a great day out and offers many opportunities for the public to learn about medieval life and the history of the battle itself.
What we'll deliver:
- An exciting two day medieval festival
- Hundreds of authentic re-enactors living in a 15th century encampment
- Realistic recreations of the Battles of Barnet and St Albans
- Food, family fun, and an educational and thrilling day out.
- An opportunity to attract visitors to Barnet and bring people together
Why it's a great idea:
The Festival provides the community with a great day out and many opportunities for learning about medieval life as well as the history of the battle itself. At the heart of the event will be a living history encampment where the re-enactors and their families live as our ancestors did in the 15th century. This is one of the most educational aspects of the Festival as the re-enactors demonstrate everything from how they made their clothes and weapons to the kinds of food they ate. There will also be gunnery and archery displays, cookery demonstrations, music, dance, a medieval market, children’s activities and a series of talks by experts about medieval life and warfare. Food and drink stalls will also be on site.
Barnet Medieval Festival is London’s only medieval festival of its kind and engages people in the history of the Battle of Barnet and its significance within the Wars of the Roses. Barnet is unique as it has the only registered battlefield site in all of Greater London.
Steps to get it done:
- Secure commitment from historical re-enactors
- Book the festival grounds
- Sign up market traders
- Ensure festival meets government Covid-19 guidelines
This will be the second Festival put on by the Barnet Medieval Festival Committee. The first, in 2019, was a great success and attracted over 8,000 visitors, as well as coverage by the BBC. We had planned to hold a Festival in the summer of 2020 but, like so many other events, it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. However, the same experienced Festival committee is ready to stage a bigger and better Festival to commorate the 550th Battle of Barnet, assuming we can find sufficient funding.