Hundreds turn out to enjoy Battle of Assandun re-enactment

PUBLISHED: 11:54 15 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:20 15 September 2016

Battle of Assandun

Battle of Assandun

SaffronPhoto 2016

Walton's Park in Ashdon was converted into a battlefield for a day last weekend.

Despite intermittent rain, hundreds of families came to see the Regia-Anglorum Re-enactment Society recreate the 1016 Battle of Assandun, as part of its millennial celebration.

The Battle of Assandun, which took place between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons, was the last of five battles that formed the Vikings’ attempt to gain control of England.

The Vikings won, making the battle one of the most important in English history.

It is likely the battle took place in the local area, and could have taken place in the very field that was open to the public on Saturday (September 10). A Living History Encampment was set up to illustrate how Anglo-Saxons lived, and actors showed visitors how spears were made, and how to cut meat and display furs.

There were also children’s activities such as Viking crafts and archery.

At 3pm, mounted and foot warriors took to the main arena, yielding swords and shields to reconstruct the famous battle.

After the fight, which resulted in all the Anglo-Saxons warriors being ‘slain’, visitors were invited to talk to the re-enactors. They were told about Viking traditions, and the context of the battle.

Gareth Rees, chairman of the organising committee, explained how three local organisations – Ashdon Parish Council, Hadstock village and Saffron Walden Museum – had joined together to commemorate the event’s anniversary.

He said: “Throughout the summer we have been putting on events celebrating 1,000 years since the battle, and today is the culmination.

“My approximation would be that about 600-800 people have attended. I’m fantastically pleased with how well it has gone.”

He added the volunteers from The Diamonds, a local group who volunteer their time for events to raise money for charities, had been “brilliant”.

All funds raised from the event will be donated to local charities and organisations.

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