Going Medieval — From Simple Shields to Complex Catapults

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Medieval life is once again revisited in Scotland as the Duncarron Medieval Village formally opens its doors. The medieval village, complete with a Celtic fort, is an undertaking that spanned years in the making. The Clanranald Trust, together with Combat International, a renowned Hollywood stunt team, built the village and fort from scratch to give visitors an authentic, interactive medieval experience.

Hollywood Experience

The Clanranald Trust is a charity that seeks to promote Scottish history. Combat International, on the other hand, is an affiliate organisation that helps fund the trust through its work in film and television.

The Combat International team has worked in notable Hollywood films, such as Gladiator, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Valhalla Rising, Thor: The Dark World, Transformers: The Last Knight and Outlaw King.
Remnants of these movies find their way into the Duncarron. The village is filled with an incredible array of replica weapons, costumes and equipment. This includes a battering ram used in the movie Robin Hood donated by Russell Crowe and a functional trebuchet donated by the crew of Outlaw King.

The Celtic fort is built with Hollywood standards in mind. Visitors can also marvel at the authentic likeness of the log cabins and workshops.

From Spears to Siege Engines

Visitors can get their fill of medieval life through bouts with practice swords or spears — foam covered, of course. Rain arrows at your enemy or a stationary target as you practice your archery skills and see whether you have what it takes to draw an English longbow.

You can try your hand at siegecraft and pound the gates with a battering ram or fling boulders with using a trebuchet. You can also learn a craft or two at times of peace or maybe drink a pint of ale at the tavern.

Get Inspired to Do Woodworking

Ma doing woodwork

Most visitors of Duncarron are inspired by the simple grandeur of medieval buildings and equipment. While you can probably recreate a catapult in your shed, you should start with a simple Viking shield.

While authenticity has its merits, using modern tools makes things so much easier. Armed with modern technology and the right templates, you can start building medieval arms and equipment in your own backyard. But after trying your hand at wooden weapons, shields and other small pieces, you’ll soon learn nails have their downsides and expanding wood glue is often more effective than screws. In the UK, many shops offer such adhesives, making it easy for you to get ample supply for your medieval projects.

Once you’ve graduated from shields, pikes and wooden swords, try your hand at bows and crossbows before moving to larger catapults and trebuchets. Of course, you can always join a course that teaches authentic medieval techniques and methods if you truly want to maintain your medieval credibility.

Duncarron offers you a glimpse of 12th-century life where wooden structures and equipment can inspire you to start some woodworking of your own. Leave the modern age for a while and take a trip through time in Scotland’s foremost medieval village.

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