Fort Lytton’s History Alive

14 Jun

Last week we headed to Fort Lytton for their History Alive weekend.

We’d never been before because I had in my mind that it was a small event and wouldn’t be worth the hassle.  But I was wrong!

It was an amazing event and we really needed two days to see and experience it all.

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We arrived early so we’d be sure to see the cannons firing to start the festivities.

The British cannons were first to fire, and yes, they were loud.

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These were followed by the 64 pound cannons.

Next year I’m planning a different angle for this photo.  Perhaps something a little further away would be gentler on the ear drums.  🙂

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The day was just full to the brim with battle reenactments – from 12th century battles to the 20th century wars.

We saw the 12th Century tournament of the Knight Templar,

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and delighted in all their medieval finery

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and knightly battles.

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We also saw the multi-period archery display.

Brayden’s quite enjoyed this, after his brief taste of archery a few weeks ago.

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The World War 2 battle between the Russians and the Germans was visually spectacular

…and once again very loud,

with both sides firing blanks, simulated land mine explosions and a tank coming into the mix.

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But probably the loudest,

which if you hadn’t figured out by now, means the most exhilarating,

was the Vietnam War reenactment.

We were much closer to this reenactment and between the automatic weaponry, the pyrotechnic explosions and the mortar gun,

 we could literally feel the reenactment reverberating right through our bones.

It was wonderful!

Of course, we never saw the VC, so it was a pretty accurate reenactment.

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As a special treat for the weekend, the “Notorious”, a 15th century replica Portugese Caravel was docked at the festival.

Isn’t it spectacular?!

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For a small fee, you could board the ship and have a look around,

so of course we did.

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I loved all of the little details

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and the obviously hand hewn beams.

It was just gorgeous.

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Heading below deck, things got a little cramped

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and a little dark,

with the only light coming through these grates.

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The sleeping arrangements weren’t all that awful.

But I’m suspecting that only the important people on board got cabins.  🙂

And I’m not sure I’d want that open ‘window’ splashing water in on me at night in rough seas. 😦

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When we returned home, we read more about these boats and apparently 25 to 30 people would have sailed on board.

The caravel was also favoured by pirates so you were none too happy if you saw one of these sailing into port.

We also read that Vasco da Gama sailed on a caravel and two of Christopher Columbus’ ships were caravels.

Both were only a little longer than the Notorious replica.

Where on earth did everyone sleep, where did they stash the supplies, and what about the treasure for the return trips?!!

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After exploring the ships, we headed off to the pavilions to explore.

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There were stacks to see!

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At many pavilions, there were talks and demonstrations.

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Combined with the reenactments, you would need more than two days to experience everything on offer!

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We watched a Viking woodworking demonstration,

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listened to the Viking hygiene talk,

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stopped by the Roman pavilion to hear about Roman life,

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watched a Viking leatherwork demonstration,

(The Viking pavilions were excellent!)

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checked out the bicycles of the past,

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and chatted with the reenactors about Medieval cooking.

And that was just a few of the things we squeezed into our day!

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We just loved the atmosphere of the festival.

Walking around,

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you could step back in time and see people riding their bikes,

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making afternoon tea,

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going to war,

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or just taking a nap.

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It even smelled like the past with all the wood fires and cooking.

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We absolutely loved the festival and will return again next year.

I mean, where else can you see a 19th century lady exchanging craft tips with a Viking woman,

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or one of King Arthur’s knights chilling with Robin Hood.

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Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Field Trips, History


6 responses to “Fort Lytton’s History Alive

  1. Sarah

    June 14, 2015 at 9:03 am


  2. homeschoolhoneymoon

    June 16, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Did you see the catapult throwing a basketball (that was supposed to be a canon ball)? That was pretty good too. We haven’t been there for two years so definitely will go for a visit next year too!

    • Tracey

      June 16, 2015 at 10:19 am

      No I didn’t see any catapults this year.

  3. Tracy Kelly

    June 17, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Hi Tracey, we really enjoyed this last year with the kids. Would have loved to have boarded that ship, that must have been new this year. Did you know about this other event in a few weeks?

    • Tracey

      June 17, 2015 at 4:27 am

      I have but it’s on the same weekend at the Abbey Medieval Festival so I’m torn. Do we go to both, which would be an exhausting full weekend (both are long drive days too), or do we go to one, and then which one? I’m leaning towards just the Medieval festival since we’re studying it currently.

      The ship was just a lucky thing. It was in the area after the Gold Coast boat show I think. I don’t believe it’s a regular thing. But it was very cool. Lately, we’ve been relating a lot of our explorer reading to the experience. 🙂

  4. Tracy Kelly

    June 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Oh thanks for the reminder, I had totally forgotten about the Medieval Festival, which also means that I have forgotten to prebook events too…just like I forgotten the History Alive event was on again…don’t know where my head is this year. Oh well, at least we have been to those events before, maybe we will try the Air and Land Show so at least we will get to all at least once in a lifetime, lol.

    Yes the ship would have been cool to visit, I must keep an eye out for something similar to take them along to, we did get to see The Endeavor replica and the Sea Shepherd (which was a lot more fun) when in Hobart.


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