Fair visitors see 2,000 years of history

RICHARD BATSON Visitors to Mannington Hall, near Aylsham, became Dr Who-style time travellers as they strolled through a tented village in the grounds which took them through 2,000 years of history.

RICHARD BATSON

Sword-wielding Romans rubbed shoulders with khaki-clad British Tommies sipping NAAFI tea.

Red-tunicked musketeers firing their flintlocks mingled among drably-clad Normans carrying wooden shields and bows.

And an elegant lady tea dealer from the 18th century peddled her genteel wares near a surgeon, who would have mended broken limbs and gaping wounds with rudimentary tools and home-made unctions 100 years earlier.

Visitors to Mannington Hall, near Aylsham, became Dr Who-style time travellers as they strolled through a tented village in the grounds which took them through 2,000 years of history.

The history fair was aimed at giving people a closer insight into eras in Britain's past, brought alive by enthusiasts showing off the clothes, food and weapons of their times.

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It began at 55BC, where mosaic artist Lawrence Payne, displayed his tile creations in a bid to show that Romans were not all about “gladiators, orgies and mad emperors.” And it ended at 1940, with a taste of the second world Home Front with soldiers, Lewis guns and rationing.

Surgeon Master Bacon tabled a gory display of knives and saws, along with egg whites used to seal wounds, and honey, soap and onions for easing burns.

Tea seller dealer Eleanor showed the kind of civilised cuppas sipped by the gentry

- at £2 a lb it was two

weeks' wages for everyday craftsmen, who were left to quaff ale.

People could also have a go at archery, see falconry in action, experience early

music and dance and buy souvenir period clothes.

Organiser Ian Pycroft, from Black Knight Historical is

also staging an historic market in Norwich Cathedral cloisters from December 13-15, featuring Romans, medieval minstrels and Victorians. More information from 01692 535613.

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