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October 14th and 15th at Tretower were busier than expected, but greatly enjoyed by all. Mistresses Sian and Marion were only joking when they tried to remove Master Steffan from the kitchen for playing too loudly ( see photo below). While many groups have finished their living history season, we will be carrying on through the winter  ( but only on Saturdays) and we'll be at Tretower again on November 18th (in 15th century mode) to entertain guests at a wedding.  

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 We welcomed 3 new members to the group in September and they were an instant asset to the group. Mistress Sarah is interested in crafts and archery amongst other things. Master Michael proved to be at ease with shooting a musket and Master Anthony became a pike man for the weekend. The rest of us went about our usual business and all agreed it was a great weekend. Of course we missed quite a few of our 'old' stalwarts as they went off on their holidays. We hope they had a good time and look forward to seeing them next month.

 In the picture below, Master Jonathan has purloined a beautiful piece of white fur and improvised !!  L to R : Mistresses Molly and Sarah, Masters Robert, Jonathan, Anthony and Michael.

 

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A very different event took place at Tretower over the Bank Holiday. It was entitled Stories from the Tower and featured story tellers and musicians as well as jugglers, face painters etc. Crowds of people came and the whole site was buzzing ( inside and out ). Some of us were in the kitchen beside the fire ( although we didn't need it as the weather was scorching ) and we were joined by Cara who played her harp beautifully throughout the day.   Sian probably took days to recover as she was rushed off her feet with archery duties. A super weekend enjoyed by all.  

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 Atmospheric photo of Master Jonathan playing a tune, sent to us by an appreciative visitor. Look at those fingers go !! Many thanks Pascale.     Much appreciated.

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August 19th and 20th at Tretower. Sian lit the fire before we arrived on Saturday ( thanks Sian ) and we decided to have a hot drink before the public arrived at 11 am. No chance ! We eventually got the drink at 1.15 pm. A huge group of Ramblers were first to arrive and we were busy all day after that, mostly with foreign visitors. Sunday morning was very busy and the afternoon less so as it had started to rain. It didn't worry us though as we were warm and dry by the fire in the kitchen. Thanks to Sian, Jennie, Phil and Jeff for your company. A very enjoyable weekend.

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Something different happened at Tretower at the weekend (July 15th & 16th ). It rained !!!  However, it was only a shower on the Sunday and it didn't affect our goings on, in fact it cooled us down somewhat. It was good to have Master Luke, herbalist/apothecary/surgeon extraordinaire with us again accompanied by his sidekick, Freya who behaved herself impeccably. Weapon firing was carried out in a new spot for us and we wondered why we hadn't done it there before. The audience were much nearer, meaning I didn't have to shout my commentary at them. Mistress Gwen had plenty of room to run the archery and the 'boys' had plenty of room to shoot, even when it came down to sending an unwilling victim to meet their maker. Many thanks to Laura and Michael for being such good sports and facing the firing squad. Master Philip is taking great delight in firing the blunderbuss and the smoke in the photo below demonstrates beautifully how shot or pellets would be distributed if the gun was loaded. Thanks to Steve White for the photo. 

 

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 Our latest model strikes a favourite pose !!! We think the sun had a lot to do with his behaviour.

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What a scorcher of a weekend at Tretower ( 17th & 18th June ) There was a lovely medieval wedding in the Great Hall on the Saturday and the bride, groom and guests loved our presence as the Tretower Household. Sunday was slightly less hectic ...no wedding, just lots of interested members of the public from all over the world it seemed. Although the sun was beating down, we still had a fire in the kitchen to cook Steffan's wonderful concoction of a stew of pigeon, rabbit and pigs trotters. Like all good cooks, Steffan took a well earned rest afterwards ! More recent pictures on the Tretower Gallery.

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Another great day was had by all at Tretower yesterday ( May 28th). The sun shone and the public came out in force. All the activities were very popular especially the archery and our live firing displays. It was good to get back to the 17th century for the first time since last autumn.  More  pictures on the Tretower Gallery page.

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Our May event at Tretower has been moved to Sunday, 28th ( not 21st as previously advertised). For the other months throughout the season, we'll  be at Tretower for the Saturday as well as the Sunday. Check our Events page on this site for dates.

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We actually managed to get most of the group together for a photo shoot at Tretower on April 23rd. Had a great weekend with lots of interested public. It was good to welcome Master Robert again. He brought Debbie with him and she soon fitted in very well. More photos on the Tretower Gallery page thanks to Rose and Grace.

 

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We're getting quite used to coming to the rescue when a booked group has to cancel an event. It happened again at the weekend when we were asked to step in at Tretower Court. Of course we were delighted, although we couldn't be at full strength as some members had already made their Easter plans. We might have been small in number, but I think we gave the visiting public a good deal for their entrance money if the comments in the visitors book are anything to go by. Many thanks to Jennie, Claire, Steffan and Jeff for helping out Graham and me. Much appreciated. We were very busy on both days and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

                       

 

 

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The Tretower Household will be at Tretower Court on SATURDAY as well as Sunday in April i.e. 22nd and 23rd. 

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Please note that our April event at Tretower is not on our usual Sunday (3rd Sunday in the month ). It's been moved to the 4th Sunday ( 23rd ).

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What a shame ! I've had to turn down an invitation to stage an event at Pembroke Castle as quite a few of our members have other commitments on the suggested weekend in July. It would have been wonderful to return to a place where we've had many enjoyable events. If only we'd been asked earlier, we could have planned ahead. Always wise to get your invitations in quickly as we start getting booked up in October for the following year. The events manager will be keeping us in mind for 2018 so that's good.

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Thought this might give our musketeers a smile ! 

 

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I've made a start on our Events page for this year. Please note that our Tretower events could be Saturdays and Sundays if members of the group wish to attend both days. I'm sure we're all looking forward to another busy season, but perhaps not quite as busy as last year as we hardly had a weekend off. However, what would we find to do with ourselves if not entertaining the public ?

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  Hope all The Marcher Stuarts/ Tretower Household, custodians and follower friends had a wonderful Christmas. Here's wishing you all the best for 2017.  Will be posting all events on our page once they're confirmed.

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Have costume, will travel ! Our 15th and 17th century minstrel, Tom, has been Santa at Blaenavon Ironworks on two weekends. 17th century Master at Arms and musketeer extraordinaire, Graham, became a Victorian gent at the same venue. How versatile is that ? A wonderful site and great custodians to work for. Thanks for having us.

 

 

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Phil produced the cartoon below some years ago. I wouldn't have said our musketeers were THAT slow to load !!  

 

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 I'm afraid I've not got any photos of our event at Tretower Court on Sunday 16th October. Our usually reliable photographer packed his binoculars instead of his camera !! We were joined by Claire, Steffan and Robert and we had a great day. The sun shone, there were lots of lovely visitors and we even did some dancing, a thing we haven't done for ages. Well, that's all for 2016, but 2017 events are already being organised. It seems we'll have a packed itinerary again next year and we're all looking forward to it.

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Saturday, 17th September. It's not often we manage to get a group photo, but, thanks to David Swidenbank and his organisational and photographic skills, we have the one below taken today outside Porthcawl Museum.  A fantastic welcome from Ceri and her wonderful volunteers, copious teas and coffees, enthusiastic museum unpaid 'staff' who 'dressed up' and entered into the spirit of things with gusto and a very interested audience made it a super day. We were joined by Mark who hadn't done any re-enactment for some time and it was great to have him with us. Great museum too. More pictures by David on the Porthcawl Gallery on this site.

 

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 Posing at Greenmeadow Community Farm Show, Cwmbran today (Sunday 11th). Weather was fine, but our feet got rather wet ! Not many people came down our end of the field, but we had a good time. We also managed to pick up a Viking along the way and he was most welcome. 

 

 

Sian and Phil went walkabout and who should they bump into but a South Wales Argus photographer. Surprise, surprise ! Here they are talking to the Mayor of Torfaen to whom they gave a good account of themselves. Well done you two ! 

 

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 We had yet another brilliant time over the Bank Holiday. We were at Gnoll Park, Neath at a multi period event ( A Walk Through History ) with lots of groups and friends old and new. The first part of the weekend suffered from  temperamental August weather, but Monday was a scorcher  and it brought out the crowds in force. We were too busy to take any pictures, but, luckily, Mike Davies was on hand and sent us some great shots including the one above where we were joined in the arena by some of the American History Group. Much appreciated Mike. More photographs on A Walk Through History page on this site including  great shots taken by Derrick Mulford for which we are very grateful.

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  Picnic in the Parc is a great title for the event we went to yesterday. It was at a fairly new park, beautifully landscaped, but with hardly anywhere to sit. The title encourages people to bring their picnic blanket and just sit around relaxing and it makes for a great atmosphere.  Boy, was it hot though ! I think the photo above has captured some of us looking as though we're about to melt, but it was a great day with such lovely people. Even the very friendly members of the local force couldn't resist joining in. Many thanks for sending the picture below with you centre stage  officer !

 

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 It was lovely to visit Laugharne Castle after 7 years away. After a drizzly morning, which didn't deter visitors and didn't stop musket firing either, the sun came out and we had a really busy afternoon. Thanks to Sheila for making us so welcome again. Hope we can come again and that we don't have to wait another 7 years ! Many thanks to Tracey for sending the brilliant photo above. More pictures on the Laugharne Gallery page.

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A bit of a mixture at Tretower last weekend ( July 16th /17th). 4 of us were invited to run archery and 15th century games at a wedding on Saturday and we and the guests entered into the spirit of things and had a whale of a time even though it was a longer day than usual. Competition among the male guests during the throwing events had to be seen to be believed ! A female guest, Cat, excelled in the archery by splitting an arrow that was already in the target. 

 Sunday saw us in 17th century mode in our tented village. We didn't have the captive audience of 60 wedding guests, but enough visitors came to keep us busy. Many thanks to our two 'willing' volunteers who faced the firing squads and 'died' suitably dramatic deaths.  A great time was had by all.   More pictures on the Treower Gallery page.

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Cadw Festival of Archaeology, Neath Abbey, July 9th. We had very little time to prepare for this as we were asked to step in at very short notice and only five of us stalwarts were available due to work or other commitments. Morning weather was a bit drizzly for set up, but it soon cleared up and we had many more visitors than we thought. It was a wonderful site where we were positioned in the cloisters and had plenty of room for our tents and the archery arena where Sian and Phil were kept extremely busy all day. We were joined by crafts people, an archaeology group and Cadw stone masons. There were also guided tours, Tom's music, arms and armour attended to by Graham, and yours truly telling tales of superstition  while showing off some stick weaving, so there was something for everyone. We all agreed it was a great day.  Many thanks to Mike Davies for the photo above. More photos on Neath Abbey Gallery on this website.  

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What a super day we had at Tretower Court on Sunday 12th. I think the drizzle in the morning meant that the public were looking for an indoor event and they came in large numbers from all over the world..... Australia, USA, Corsica and Denmark as well as much more local. One couple live just a mile up the road, but they hadn't visited for about 20 years and were very impressed with the house and what we, the Household, were doing.  Many thanks to all the Household for their hard work entertaining and informing the public. Lots of lovely comments about you all were left in the Visitors book.

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 Our 2nd visit to Tretower (14th May) was brilliant. Lovely sunny day ! We enjoyed ourselves and the public did too as they kept us busy until well after our official finishing time. Did we mind ? Not a bit ! We didn't even know the time. We did manage to grab a picnic lunch during the usual short midday lull ( picture below ). More pictures on the Tretower Gallery on this site.   

 

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Our 2016 season got off to a brilliant start at Tretower Court at the weekend (April 2nd and 3rd). It was very busy both days and so enjoyable. We were delighted to have our new herbalist, Master Luke with us. He has wonderful equipment, herbs and incenses, and is so knowledgeable about it all. He looks good too !! The rest of the group did their usual good job with cooking, archery, weaponry and explaining the wonderful interpretation of the house. There was only time for a few photos, 2 of which are below and show Mistress Sian teaching Kiera, a member of the public, the art of the bow and Master Tom regaling a member of the public with his music. A great weekend. Thanks all !

                                 

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A selection of posts and photos from past events. 

A few of the Tretower Household /Marcher Stuarts were invited to Tretower Court at the weekend (19th and 20th) to assist Santa . It was quieter than usual as a lot of people seemed to be doing a lot of last minute shopping elsewhere, but those who came enjoyed what we were doing. Of course, the children loved Santa and their Christmas gifts. Thanks to Alison Hargreaves for her lovely photographs of our Christmas visits. More of her work  on the Tretower Gallery page on this site,

Merry Christmas everyone

   

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Happy Christmas everyone. The picture above shows some of The Marcher Stuarts at Blaenafon Ironworks. Father Christmas and some Victorian characters.........how versatile is that ? In the early 2000's we started off as a 17th century group, then we were asked to be 15th century. We've ended up in all sorts of periods from 15th century to the 1940's and have had some wonderful times.

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Had a lovely message today. It read " Thank you for all your hard work at Tretower over the season. The many lovely comments in the visitor book attest to the warm reception and detailed information you give to our visitors month after month. We really do appreciate it".  Isn't that nice ?

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  Tretower Castle standing proud in the autumn sun while The Tretower Household (pictured below) sit around the fire in the Court. We greeted lots of Vaughan descendants from Arizona and Tennessee as well as a group of Germans who travelled from Bradford on Avon for the day, just to say they'd been to Wales. Mistress Jennie and Master Jeffrey called in as this was the last opportunity to see them before they go travelling in foreign parts. They were just in time for the stew. Yes ! We remembered it this month.  Another  great day.

 

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Open Doors event at Cadw sites meant that visitors poured into Tretower Court today and kept us busier than ever. Sian, Phil, Tom and Graham gave their wholehearted support as usual and we were joined by Charlie and Lewis in yet another new time period for them. A great day again. 

Thanks all.

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Penyfai always put on a wonderful fete and yesterday (Sept 5th) was no exception. The sun shone and people came out in droves to keep us busy. We signalled the start and the end of the show with a very loud bang from our cannon.  In between those 2 bangs we performed our weapon firing display and spent  happy times talking to people who were very interested in what we do. Master Jonathan tried to have a siesta, but Master Philip had other ideas as he approached while removing his sword from its scabbard.  Thanks to Mistress Sian, we were well provided with sustenance and Mistress Grotte did a roaring trade with her mysteries. A great event.

 

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Master Philip did his usual excellent job at A Walk Through History at Banwell in Somerset at the Bank Holiday weekend. He ensured that our cannon won the accolade of producing the loudest bang of the weekend !!  He also received praise for his knowledge of all things 17th century. This  was very pleasing as it came from a 17th century re-enactor of 40 years who said he learned so much after talking to  "our Phil". Praise indeed and well deserved.  Of course, he couldn't have done it without Sian and we thank them both for their continuing support, knowledge and enthusiasm.

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Great day at Tretower Court on Sunday 15th. The public were waiting to come in before the gates opened and were still keeping us busy when the bell for closing time sounded. Great to meet people from South Africa, America and Spain as well as more local folks. Even the friendly mice came out to play !!  Pictured is the 3rd helping of Sians's pan bread cooking over the fire. She can hardly keep up with the demand. Even the custodians have a helping. 

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                           Mistress Marion having lunch at Tretower Court.
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Clever photographer managed to capture the flash and the bang.