Pennyroyal Picnic

The Baron and Baroness of Ildhafn invite you to join them for a garbed picnic at the Auckland Botanic Gardens! 

Bring your picnic blanket and something for your lunch, something to do,
or simply come along and relax.


Please come along and join us on the 7th of April. This will be a great opportunity to come along and meet members of the Barony, to find out what we do and enjoy pleasant company in the beautiful gardens

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St Sebastians 2018

St Sebastian’s was a special event this year. It marked the 10th anniversary of Ed and Elizabeth running this on their property. As such Ed had made some extra special site tokens, individual pottery cups, for the attendees.

As always there was a game running over the weekend. The prize this year was a crossbow. This was eventually won by William de Cameron.

The main event at St Sebastian’s is the archery tournament.
This year it was broken down into 3 categories, all shot at the same time.

The 3 categories were:-

  • The Baronial Championship. This is for the best scoring member of the Barony
  • The Golden Arrow. This is for the highest scoring archer using a longbow
  • The St Sebastian’s champion. This is for the highest scoring archer regardless of the type of bow used

This year the same person won all 3 categories.

We were also were honoured to have Their Royal Majesties in attendance. Master Edward Braythwayte had been invited to join the Order of the Pelican at St Catherines Faire and this event was the most appropriate for him to be elevated to the Order.

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SCA update

Within the SCA some groups form a Barony. This then requires them to have a Baron and Baroness, appointed by the Crown for the kingdom the barony is in.

The current Baron and Baroness for Ildhafn have served in the role for 6 years and decided earlier this year that they would stand down in November.

Members of the Barony could nominate themselves as potential successors, then a process of questions and polling happen before the Crown make a decision.

We decided that we would put ourselves forward for the position, as did one other couple, and after polling the Crown finally decided that we would become the next Baron and Baroness of Ildhafn.

We officially take over the role at St Catherines Faire in November.

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Mid-Winter Coronation 2017

Within the SCA there are a number of Kingdoms, each ruled by a King and Queen. Every 6 months a new King and Queen are appointed by a heavy combat tournament, with the winner becoming the next Monarch along with his or her consort.

Within Lochac these tournaments take place in May and November. The in July and January the new King and Queen are crowned.

This year the Midwinter coronation was held in the Canton of Cluain, at the beautiful Hamilton Gardens.

At the feast on the Saturday evening w played for a display dance. While we have played the tune a number of times before and we know the dancers very well we hadn’t actually planned any of the performance in advance so we had no pre arranged number of repeats or tempo worked out.

Most of the performance was captured and can be seen here.

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Site Rebuild

Due to a problem with my web-host I have had to rebuild the site. I am trying to migrate the old content back in but it may take a while to clean it all up.

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St Catherines Faire and the Bal d’Argent 2016

The weekend of the 5th and 6th November was Ildhafn’s annual St Catherines Faire. Normally this event runs in December but this year it was in early November. As part of the event, Ildhafn hosted the Bal d’Argent. This is the annual ball of the guild of the Silver Rondel, Lochac’s official dance guild. This meant that most of the weekend was devoted to music and dance practice, with the main ball being on the Saturday night, This was exciting for us as we have been dancing with the SCA for almost 3 years now and we have been hosting the Ildhafn music group for over a year.

The weekend itself was very enjoyable but the really special bit for us was being able to meet the requirements fo the guild in both music and dance. We are now officially Silver Rondels and Silver Semibreves. Wendy also got recognised as a Guildsman of Ildhafn because of the work she puts in with music within the Barony.

As the guild has a charter to promote music and dance across the kingdom we have volunteered to do some work to try and help. This is off the back of something we had already started working on for the local music group but if we can get it going it will become a kingdom resource. The aim is to transcribe the various pieces that are played, re-arrange some of them to suit the instruments that are being played, provide downloadable mp3’s so people can hear what they sound like and play along with their piece or play against the main melody. We have also suggested that there needs to be a kingdom wide discussion forum as different parts of Lochac use different repeat structures, so when travelling to different places it would be good to have a consistent set of music that allows anyone to easily join in with the pieces they know.

While we will be doing this through either the Ildhafn , kingdom or Rondel websites we will also be adding a section here for music.

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Labour Weekend 2016

As we have been doing lots with the SCA here we haven’t done much actual living history camping where you have no modern conveniences. This weekend will be different. Master Ed Braythwayte of the SCA is once again hosting a camp at his property but this year he has deemed that the house is off limits, except for the toilet. There is access to fresh water as well but aside from that everything will be stored, prepared, cooked or worked on in camp. There will be no modern tools, like gas cookers or torches. so it is back to open fires and candle light

We are really looking forward to this as it gets back to the roots of ur camping. Although it has meant a bit of searching around for some of the kit that we don’t often carry with us anymore. I am sure some of it will need a good clean up when we get to site.

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Green Harp Belt

Following on from my post about making new belts for Wendy, see post here, I have finally finished off the green belt with pewter harps.

It took a while to get round to finishing off the dying of the leather, once that was done I fitted all the mounts on and checked it all looked right. At this stage we decided to set the last 5 harps so that ran along the belt instead of across it. This means that when the belt is hanging the harps still are upright.


Once that was all sorted it was just a case of hammering the pins in place to permanently set the mounts in place.

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New Belts

While we were at St Johns I made a bunch of harp-shaped belt mounts under the guidance of the talented Edward Braythwayte. Now I am working on the belt itself fro Wendy.

We decided on an Aqua Green colour for the belt itself, although the dye has come out darker than we thought it would. I also order a belt end and buckle from Lionheart Replicas.


Here is the belt part made. I have already skived the ends to fit the buckle and end plates and punched holes for the mounts. I still need to finish dyeing the leather.


Then I’ll test fit all the elements before finally setting them permanently.

This is the second belt I have done with mounts for Wendy. The other I made a little while ago. The same principle was followed, however, the mounts had a split shaft that just needed to be bent over to fix them. As I didn’t have a lot of the mounts I also did some stamping along the belt, it is just visible in the photo.

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St Johns 2015

Over the weekend of the 10th – 12th July we attended the annual Cluain event of St Johns.

This is an SCA camp held in the Waikato region. While normally we would take our tent and camp we decided to make use of the bunk rooms available at the site, and it was very fortunate that we did as temperatures over the weekend dropped to around -2. Fortunately both the main hall and bunk rooms were nice and warm once the heaters got started.

St Johns was a nice relaxed event. While there was archery, which both Wendy and I took part in, heavy combat and rapier outside most of the event took place inside the main hall.

Wendy had offered to run a couple of workshops on beginner harp. These went very well and I think we may have some new converts. While this was going on I learnt a bit about pewter casting with Master Edward Braythwayte. The end result being 24 harp shaped belt mounts. Now I just need to make Wendy a new belt.

On the Saturday evening there was a banquet. The food as always was excellent. Afterwards there was music and games. Wendy, along with Nadia, played harp while Chantelle played flute and sang. I played a bar game that was along the lines of a giant version of shove ha’penny. Followed by a couple of games of Irish, an early form of modern backgammon.

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