Events: Tintagel

In August 2007 & 2008, Wychwood went to The Battle of Camlann.

The Battle of Camlann ("Arthur's Last Battle") is a multi-group re-enactment event held every year at Tintagel in Cornwall (the place where King Arthur was conceived according to some stories). Around 300 fighters attend.

It's very different from shows like Hastings. Most places care lots about historical accuracy and that sort of thing. Tintagel doesn't. Tintagel is close to LARP, in that the only thing that matters is looking cool. There's a vague dress code ("Don't wear too much armour in the Dark Age battle- don't use odd-shaped shields in the Middle Ages battle") but that's it.
It's also far more informal about registration and that sort of thing. Hastings had a complex bureaucracy with registration cards and kit checks and fight checks. Tintagel didn't.


Practical Stuff

Wychwood had 6 people and hired a 9 seater mini-minibus. This worked out at about £50 per head. It would have been fine fitting 7 people, but hard to fit many more.
The drive from Oxford to Tintagel took around 5 hours plus stops. This was Epic.

Tents are better if they have porches. A 2 man tent without a porch can not fit 2 men.

Wychwood was joined by two local DAS members, who were fun to fight alongside and very useful in the battle!

A Day At Tintagel

The Saturday and Sunday at Tintagel are identical, and are basically split into 3 sections:

Parade and Tourney


Officers' Meeting is about 9.30. They discuss the timetable for the day, and tell you not to let your dog poo.

Then there's a break, which we used on Sunday to strip our camp.

The first main event (at around 11) is the parade through town, when everyone goes to the end of the village and then marches back through it. This encourages members of the public to come down to the main site. Takes about an hour.
Don't wear all your heaviest stuff unless you're Beornwulf so MAD.


When the public arrive, there is a semi-full contact tournament. This is where people dressed in lots of armour get to hit each other as hard as they like and wherever they like, rather than sticking to the normal rules of re-enactment combat.
There are photos of Beornwulf in the Sunday Tournament in 2007 here, and a video of the same fight here. Manny and Dave have also fought in it.

Medieval Battle

Part Two is the medieval battle at about 2pm. See our photos here and here.


In this battle people wore all their plate mail, and tabards and stuff. But you can easily get away with wearing standard Wychwood kit, no-one really minded.

It was a damn fun clash, with probably about 300 people in total. So nothing compared to Hastings in 2006, but big enough that you don't know what's happening on the other end of the battle line.

Battle Script


The basic script was:
Arthur & army enters. Lots of cheering.
Mordred & army enters. Booing.
The kings meet in the middle, argue.
1st clash, where you didn't have to die if hit.
Fights of champions, half a dozen guys from each side meeting in the middle and scrapping in single combat (several Wychwood & DAS people have done these, including Beornwulf).
2nd clash, same as the 1st.
Another champions.
3rd clash, where people start to die and the line collapses and descends into skirmishes. At the end survivors rally around Arthur for his final stand.

Dark Ages Battle


Then there were random things happening (archery, falconry, that sort of thing), building up to the second battle, the Dark Ages Battle. Costumes weren't actually all that much different: people just left off their plate and tabards. There was a bit more leather, fur, woad and tartan as well.
This was obviously prime Wychwood era, so our kit was perfect.

Battle Script

The fight was a bit more complex:
Mordred enters. Boo.
Arthur & Bedevere (Arthur's Right Flank) enter. Cheer.
Kings in middle, argue.
Mordred brings out archers. Bedevere's flank advance, forming two-level shield walls before a volley of arrows. Then charge the archers, chase them off field, return to Arthur's line.
1st clash, no deaths.
2nd clash, no deaths.
Arthur and Bedevere argue. Bedevere takes his flank and leaves.
3rd clash, with deaths. Outnumbered, Arthur starts to loose. But then Bedevere returns, big fight, skirmishes.

Wychwood has been in the archer-shield wall clash in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, the shield-wall advanced several times, with single volleys each time. In 2008, there was a whole bunch of volleys fired almost instantaneously. This is bad, and Wychwood was expecting a single volley and had started the advance. Grr.


Other Stuff

Lots of other fun stuff happened. There was a market to buy shiny things and cloth at, a beer tent with very buxom serving wenches that bunni got rather too friendly with (see the second video here), bunni's Little Bro turned up and acted as his page all Saturday 2007, the beer tent sold mead and was cheaper for re-enactors, and generally lots of fun was had by all.

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