Clare events

Banners on motte for Magna Carta festival

Clare cooperated with Castle Hedingham to signpost and produce a leaflet with a map, for an 8.5 mile walk between these 2 Magna Carta towns. The inaugural walk was held on 25 April with 140 walkers, who each were awarded a Certificate of Participation; a return walk in the other direction was on 14th June, with 30 walkers.

A special concert was held by the Society for Music in Clare Church on 16th May, with the Renaissance Singers performing songs representing the 15th year of each century from 1215 onwards, including a song for 2015. 120 attended.

Clare Ancient House Museum is exhibiting the MCBA facsimile of the Magna Carta as part of its exhibition on the Magna Carta de Clares, for which there is an 8-page booklet.

A Study Day was held at Stour Valley Community School on 6th June: ‘Magna Carta, the de Clares, and Clare Castle’, with 7 speakers and 75 participants.

On 10th June, 105 attended our ‘Tastes of 1215’ with mead and Magna Carta Ale from Nethergate Brewery, medieval nibbles, madrigals by a local choir and a specially commissioned set of mummers enacting the Magna Carta story. (King John’s taxes and church tithes were extracted.)

Our medieval, costumed banquet was on June 12th, with 80 guests entertained musically by the ‘Minstrels’, and dramatically by the early play ‘The Pride of Life’. Ceramic figurines by a local artist, of medieval figures including the 2 de Clare barons, were auctioned.

At 11am on Saturday June 13th, our costumed procession around the town started off, showing banners made by 15 local schools, and banners for the rebel barons. The festival was opened by Judith Shallow the High Sheriff of Suffolk, to whom was presented our ‘Liberties of Clare’. The Medieval Combat Society performed (archery, dancing and demonstration combat). The festival had stalls with local crafts, Magna Carta Ale, children’s games on medieval themes, and other attractions (medieval fruit machine). Estimated attendance is about 4,000 (but this is only an estimate because entry was free). Clare in Bloom members had produced a special bed of red and yellow marigolds in the shape of a shield with the Clare arms.

Sunday June 14th there was a peal by the Clare bellringers lasting for 3 hours, 16 minutes, and a service at Clare Priory of Clare’s Churches together.

Finally, the town was festooned with about a mile and a half of specially made bunting and banners with the Clare arms, and there a lovely plaque based on the seal of Gilbert de Clare (d. 1330), on which our logo was based will be mounted for part of the permanent legacy. Other parts are the signposted walk and its leaflet, not to mention the goal of bringing together the people of Clare. The MCBA pop-up banners were deployed at several events and will find permanent home.

The finished plaque

Please visit our website magnacartafestival.org for many many images of the procession and festival.

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