Hamming it up

by admin on 18 September 2016

An event to celebrate the history of a deserted medieval village?

Is there much in the way of historical interpretation in that?

Well surprisingly there is!

ls poster

South Somerset District Council and the Ham Hill Park Rangers planned a weekend celebration of the park which includes, on top of a hill, the largest iron age hill fort in Europe, and in the valley, evidence of continued living since the iron age, including a ruined deserted medieval village.

I was commissioned to write something that focussed on the local community history.

So how do I write about a deserted medieval village with no written history but what’s physically left in the ground?

Look further afield for the history of the area…

In the C15 It’s a farming community owned by nearby Montacute Priory. The Priory is a French order, Cluniac. Not popular in England in the middle of the Hundred Years war….

This gives me the ability to make a second appearance as a stonemason working on the Priory but living for the duration in the village, Witcombe.

The allows me to

  • explore the village, how its set out, and what characters may be living there.
  • The Priory and its relationship to the local population.
  • The local history and economy
  • How the village is degenerating and heading for desertion in another 100 years or so.

The event was held on top of the hill with local re-enactment groups and the Park Rangers providing all sorts of diversions illustrating the local history and natural history.

The views were marvellous. One could see the village remains in the valley, and parts of the hill fort stretching along the hilltops.

The weather however was less than marvellous

50 mile an hour continual winds and occasional driving rain.

There was, despite all this, a good, interested audience and much enjoyment.

And excitement too, my tent in which I was doing the performance, had guy ropes break 11 times during the day due to the wind…..

Still the play must go on, and it did!!DSCF3050

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: