VOLUNTEERS of local re-enactment group Arbroath Abbey Timethemes have had a busy weekend.
On Friday the schools team visited Hayshead Primary School to help the primary sevens with the current project which investigates Arbroath Abbey and Scottish medieval life.
The excited pupils were transported back in time to the early 14th century and met famous characters such as King Robert Bruce, Abbot Bernard of Arbroath, Walter, Steward of Scotland, Lady Mary Lindsey and knight Sir William Olliphant.
Dr Richard Irvine who played King Robert Bruce said: “Not only do the pupils get to see real people in medieval dress and hear their stories, but they also get to handle a range of replica weapons including swords, axes and maces as well as chain mail which is always a high point for the children.
“It gives them a real sense of their size and weight and the training that was required to fight with these weapons. No picture in a book can replace the experience of getting your hands on the real things.”
He continued: “The pupils also got the opportunity to dress up as monks, peasants and even lords and ladies and discover what life was like back then. For one volunteer, things got even tougher as Abbot Bernard discovered that his new novice had misbehaved and must experience some medieval church punishment!”
Members of the class got the opportunity to ‘sign and seal’ a replica of the famous Declaration of Arbroath just like the barons of April, 1320. All the children were knighted by the King.
On Sunday, Arbroath Abbey Timethemes volunteers gathered within the weathered red sandstone walls of the Abbey for a very special re-enactment of the famous events of April, 1320.
It was a case of lights, camera, action! for the re-enactors were involved in filming for a new history series for BBC2 to be aired over eight weeks next spring.
The project is the work of the popular and respected historian and broadcaster, Michael Wood. After filming the re-enactment, Mr Wood interviewed members of the group to gain an understanding of what the Declaration of Arbroath means to them.
Dr Irvine concluded: “It was a very enjoyable experience for everyone, and a great honour for Arbroath Abbey Timethemes. It further proves the continuing interest in our community’s history.”