Today we met up with my brother and his lady to visit Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire to check out the latest event of the re-enactment societies. The Roman Legions were a key attraction, seen here demonstrating the art of warfare.
The best bits for me are often the out of the way stuff that has to be sought out. By one tent was this Roman clay bell oven. By warming the clay dome and a slab of slate on the fire, a loaf of bread can be baked in the field. Bread dough placed on the slab, cover with the clay dome and leave for a while to bake. The smell of freshly baked bread will alert you to take the clay dome off and cool the bake.
This Saxon artisan is using a rotary quern to grind wheat grain. The grain is put through the quern to form a coarse grist. A second milling is required to grind the grist into a usable flour. (Conroi de Vey, Anglo-Norman Re-enactment Group)
This basket contains baked flat breads for the crusaders. It was the only instance of baked bread that we saw today.
Sections of the field were taken up by the Napoleonic Wars encampment. Lots of Riflemen and Hussars were supported by mess and armament facilities.
Closer to home was the Great War representation (just ignore the Napoleonic War girls in the background). The mix of costume was interesting. A Victorian rat catcher talking to a Roman soldier and a Tudor bowman could be joined by an American GI.
I was talking to a Roman cook and took her picture with a group of Roman Legionnaires in the background. She assured me that "the best place for the soldiers was over the hills and far away" - OK!