Monday, September 04, 2006

Tourney Fences

One authentic possibility for recreators of the medieval tournament seeking to provide an enclosure is to sink uprights into postholes, as was done here. Unfortunately, digging the postholes is laborious and slow.

An equally authentic but less laborious option is use uprights of inverted T shape. The most significant drawbacks of this solution are the transport and storage requirements of the fencing, which are significant.

The Company of St. Michael uses fencing inspired by a 15th c. illumination of the jousts at St. Inglevert, which show the lists surrounded by richly decorated fabric, and spectators viewing the action over the waist-height wall this provides.

This may be intended to show a conventional wooden fence of uprights and horizontal bars draped with fabric. However, we thought it was plausible to reconstruct this "a fence of stakes fixed into the ground at intervals" and hung with cloths, a construction used for some early tilts.

Pieces of cloth are stenciled with the badges of the company, and sewn with casings at top and bottom for ropes strung between banner poles decorated with pennons, as shown here. Metal "portable holes" are used to support the poles. To hold the upper rope taut, rope runs either down to metal stakes or across to wooden corner sections.

These are composed of wooden uprights and bars and pegged together. Rebar extends out of the bottom of the uprights so they can be driven into the ground without digging a hole. The cloth enclosure can be used with or without the wooden corner sections. The whole enclosure breaks down into a fairly compact package, particularly when the corner sections are omitted.

In the future, I may look at configuration with less space between each cloth panel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In reference to your first paragraph about post holes: There is a device that resolves the need to dig. It is a 24 inch 4 bladed spike that drives into the ground, leaving a 4 inch tall"socket" for a 4x4. they are removable when done and take about 5 mins each to drive into the ground. been using them for years for "quick work" when our tourney fence after Daffyds design is to unwieldy.


A felt hat and pennanular brooch wearing twit