The Farisles Medieval Society is a medieval reenactment group, covering practically the entire medieval period, that is 600AD up to 1605AD.
Our society is one of the oldest and largest independent reenactment societies in the United Kingdom. We were originally part of the Society for Creative Anachronism, but we have left in 1976 in order to run our society in a way that is less focused on fight shows and tournaments.
We do not put on public shows - although we have been known to attend local fetes - which means we do not have to restrict ourselves to one particular period or be completely authentic. This allows our members to choose characters from the Dark Ages to the death of Elizabeth, and to have them interact at events.
Everyone is expected, encouraged and helped to imagine an entire life story for themselves that enables them to integrate into Far Isles history and interact with other characters - this is what we call a 'Persona' (akin to a 'character' in a role-playing game). This enriches our experience and helps us focus on the period of the history that we find interesting. We do not allow members to use real or fantasy figures from history or fiction though, and we check our heraldry to avoid using existing arms.
However, people can choose to be ‘from the court of ‘ a known King (King Richard’s private priest) or ‘an unknown character’ from a saga (One of Beowulf’s unnamed companions).
Our guild system offers people the chance to follow their particular interests and rise up through group to the level of Master, or to join schools, such as that of the Bards (currently defunct) or Heralds, where they can do as much research – or as little – as they wish.
We have members of all ages, some are only just learning to walk and others already have their bus passes! Our minimum required level of authenticity is fairly low but we encourage every one especially in our feasts and clothing.
We try to run an event about every two months ranging from evening feasts in village halls to weekends in an old stately home. We hold feasts, tourneys, guild meetings, courts and themed evenings such as 12th night revels. Any guests/new members may borrow costume and will find plenty of help finding their place in the Far Isles World.