which continues for two weeks - usually beginning at the end of May. This
is a photograph of a traditional Maypole Dance of which more is mentioned
in the next photograph. It is a time of year where everybody in the village
gets into the spirit of medieval England. It is so strange to walk into
the village and sometimes feel totally out of place because you are dressed
normally. Many battle re-enactments are performed in the grounds of Battle
Abbey. It would not be unusual at certain times of the year, to go into
a local pub and have a Cavalier sitting one side of you at the bar and
a Roundhead the other. Strange to be a filling in a historical sandwich.
is a traditional maypole. The origins of this festival are unclear. It
is thought that it dates back to Roman times and danced as a tribute to
Flora, the Roman goddess of spring. It must have spread through Europe
with the Roman advancement. It is known that it was celebrated extensively
by the Teutonic races during spring. The Saxons were of of course from
these areas which would explain the tradition being introduced to England.
The Romans had a presence in this country for 400 years, so it is possible
that Mayday festival may not be totally attributable to the Saxons.
youngest maidens take part.
traditional stocks. The use of this device is well known historically but
is used to better effect nowadays by bolting your father in one and pelting
him with flower or water bombs - As a money making exercise for charity
entertainment. Fire eaters.
is a view from Battle Abbey main entrance down the main road. The car park
in the foreground is known as the village green. As you can probably see,
there is not much grass in evidence. There are plans afoot to turn this
area back to its original condition but is being resisted by the local
traders as bad for business. It is the focus of village life as you can
observe by this photograph of the medieval craft fayre. On November the
5th for example, the area was used until the last couple of years, along
with the abbey to stage the Bonfire Boyes celebration. This ritual, carried
out up and down the country to commemorate the foiling of the plot by Guy
Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 - along with King James