Beyond Wychwood

The Overview

The UK is home to thousands of re-enactors from pre-historic to the Gulf War. Different periods tend to be different in their organisation, how events are run, and in numbers. Later groups have firearms laws to contend with. The whole lot is represented, at least nominally, by the National Association of Re-Enactment Societies.

A step down the food chain from NAReS are large, national, societies or federations, with enough members to qualify for NAReS membership. Our period (re-enactors call it "Dark Ages") is dominated by two large societies - Regia Angolorum and The Vikings!. DAS, the Dark Ages Society, is somewhere between a national society and local society. They are members of NAReS, but have enough members that you'll get to know them all within a few events. They also cover a period similar to ours, have great feasts, and have several Wychwooders in their ranks. This is a review of a typical DAS weekend. Most other eras of reenactment have similarly large societies.

At the bottom of the food chain are local groups, whether they are part of a large society or wholly independent. These are vastly varied, from student societies (like us) to specialised groups (like gunners), usually with their own traditions and peculiarities.

Other Societies

Note: Currently this is having a light review and some societies are being removed or added, mainly the former. The hope is to have a list here of societies that are either ones which Wychwood is in contact and on good term with or those which are useful for someone starting reenactment (eg: kit or other crafting resources). Please note that the Wychwood Warriors are not responsible for the content of external websites.

The National Association of Re-Enactment Societies (NAReS)
NAReS produces some useful guidance notes - the best of which is the Film and TV note. Bear in mind these notes are written from a large society perspective.

  • Anglecynn is an Anglo-Saxon Living History group primarily concerned with the period 400 to 900AD. The site has some interesting information on early Anglo-Saxon history.
  • Bran are our Russian friends from Moscow. They specialise in Irish re-enactment from the 9th to the 11th century. The site is available in English as well as Russian.
  • Brenna & Akim are a Persian merchant and his Icelandic buddy from the early 11th Century. Akim came to visit us for a few months in 2007.
  • Conquest is a society dedicated to recreating the Anglo-Norman period of English history from the Battle of Hastings up until the signing of the Magna Carta (1066 to 1215AD).
  • The Dark Ages Society are a friendly and dedicated bunch of re-enactors who meet up to recreate Anglo-Saxon and Viking society in Britain before the Norman Conquest. You'll find a couple of Wychwooders among them.
  • Drużyna Grodu Trzygłowa are a Slavic reenactment group from Poland.
  • The Far Isles Medieval Society is a historical re-enactment society covering the period 500 to 1600 AD.
  • Frojel Gotlandica are an Australian re-enactment group with strong ties to Pr Dan Carlssons excavations on Gotland. They have lots of useful archaeological and craft information on their website.
  • Hurstwic are a Viking group from New England who have an excellent website for kit and combat resources. One of them has written a book about Viking weapons and combat.
  • Jorvikingi are a small group based at Murton Park, Snorri is a member and it is in many respects thanks to their building efforts that Hauksby looks so nice.
  • NAReS is the National Association of Re-enactment Societies. Member societies range from Roman period to 20th century re-enactors.
  • Oskorei are a Viking group who train in Nailsea, near Bristol. Freya, Ferny and Claire have fought and feasted with them!
  • Ousekjarr are our friends from Cambridge. They are not a university society, so we never had a varsity battle. Ferny and Claire are now members.
  • Re-enactment Societies Summary is a list of links to other re-enactment societies hosted by the University of Atlantia, a subgroup of the SCA. Most of the societies listed are UK based.
  • Regia Anglorum is a large national re-enactment society which attempts to recreate a cross section of English life around the turn of the first millennium. Their site has lots of articles dealing with all sorts of aspects of life and culture of that time, which are not dull to read and give you a good impression of what was going on back then.
    • Hwitmearum are the Oxford and Reading branch of Regia Anglorum and have occasionally trained at Uni Parks alongside Wychwood. Ferny guested with them at Usk. John and Jeannine may have been members. The website is quite out of date.
    • Guerin y Gŵyr are the Swansea lot
    • Sceaftesige are friends of ours based in Bracknell/Slough and covering the shire counties of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
  • Tribe Woden Thor are some friendly Americans who re-enact Germanic and Norse life between 800 and 1200.
  • Ða Engliscan Gesiþas are not re-enactors as such, but a society for those interested in all aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture, society, language and history.
  • The Vikings! are the oldest and largest Dark Age re-enactment society in the UK. There are a few historic articles here as well, but the site's general focus is on re-enactment.
    • Valhalla Herred Valhalla are the Slough/West London group of The Vikings! who organise regular combat training on Sunday evenings at a venue in Iver, Bucks. A few of us have visited them.
    • Clan Hwicce is the North Buckinghamshire group of The Vikings! based in Milton Keynes. It used to be the Oxford branch of The Vikings! and was founded by some of the older members of the Wychwood Warriors.
    • Manaraefan is the Wiltshire, Hampshire and Surrey branch of The Vikings! Freya is a member and the group trains at Old Sarum near Salisbury.
  • The Viking Age Club & Society - Sons of Norway are a group of North Americans who not only fight and quaff but also aim to educate people about Viking history and culture
  • Vicus is a Roman and Britain re-enactment society with some nice kit resources for the period.

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