Maple Ridge residents celebrate medieval arts and sciences

Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Sadhbh Bheag spent months growing, harvesting, and weaving her nettle fabric from scratch. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)
Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)Each crest represents a different baron and baroness who once led the Barony of Lions Gate. (Brandon Tucker/The News)

This weekend, over 100 people from the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) gathered at the Albion Fairgrounds to participate in the lions gate trials to determine if they have what it takes to advance in their local shire’s rankings.

Sadhbh Bheag, whose SCA name comes from the Irish word for small, was one of the participants who was looking to progress their status among this unique medieval community.

As part of this, she had to prepare an in-depth presentation about a historical aspect of medieval life, which she chose to do on the nettle plant and its proper preparation and uses.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge goes back to the Middle Ages

Caitrin, a baroness for the Barony of Lions Gate group, says that in addition to creating these detailed displays, participants also need to study and practice a wide variety of medieval skills.

“All of us here have to study dance, geography, dance, bardic, and even create personas,” she said. “Every aspect of medieval life really.”

But it’s not all studying and hard work. SCA members also get the chance to have fun and blow off some steam by trying their hand at archery or putting on armour and competing against one another in rapier combat, where participants use real blades to battle one another in a fashion similar to fencing.

One attendee at this weekend’s events described it as, “a Renaissance fair, but serious business.”

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Caitrin emphasizes that this is something that most people can get something out of.

“We’re one of the most inclusive groups you’ll find,” she said. “As long as you make an attempt to embrace the medieval themes, you can do it.”


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