Let battle commence | Making Leeds Medieval Festival!

Axe-wielding Vikings and soldiers with cannons will invade campus next week!

Knights doing battle at last year’s IMC. Visit the combat arena for a thrilling demonstration of arms and armour, which this year will focus on the Vikings

Let battle commence | Making Leeds Medieval Festival! June 2023

But don’t despair, we’re not under attack as it’s all part of this year’s International Medieval Congress (IMC).

No less than 2,600 people hailing from 60 countries across six continents are registered to attend more than 700 hybrid academic sessions. Organised by the Institute for Medieval Studies and running from 3-6 July, not only is the IMC the biggest on-campus event held each year at Leeds, it’s also the largest academic gathering in the humanities across Europe.

One of the many highlights of the packed programme is the Making Leeds Medieval Festival, which takes place from 10am to 6pm on 6 July. IMC’s public engagement event opens campus up to colleagues and the wider public with a range of medieval activities, including craft and combat demonstrations, a falconry display, musicians, costumed reenactors and so much more.

Two displays of Vikings in battle from 3 Swords are scheduled for the ‘combat arena’ (University Square at 1.30pm and 4pm), while an artillery drill will see the Kynges Ordynauce demonstrating loading and firing of late medieval cannons in Beechgrove Plaza (1pm and 4.30pm).

Performers, including de Mowbray’s Musicke, will play a range of instruments, while weapons experts, Central Asian history specialists, a medieval surgeon and traditional dyer will be on hand showing off their varied techniques and skills while chatting with delegates and visitors. You can even strut your medieval stuff on the Riley Smith Hall dancefloor with the Arbeau Dancers!

Let battle commence | Making Leeds Medieval Festival! June 2023

Kynges’ Ordynauce, who will be bringing their cannon on to campus again this year

IMC Director, Dr Axel Müller, said: “Making Leeds Medieval is at the heart of what the IMC is all about – bringing people together to share their enthusiasm for all aspects of the medieval period! 

“Whether that be our reenactors bringing their late medieval artillery to campus, or our craft exhibitors who create unique medieval-inspired items, Making Leeds Medieval is a great opportunity for everyone on campus to come along and discover something about medieval times that interests them.”

Something for everyone

A variety of makers will be setting up around University Square for the Medieval Craft Fair on 5 and 6 July. Grab a present for someone or treat yourself – from stationery to jewellery and paintings to ceramics, as well as greeting cards, fabrics, pyrography and more.

The IMC Bookfair runs throughout the event, with more than 30 publishers from around the world taking over Parkinson Court with the latest titles from across the humanities, including exclusive IMC discounts and the opportunity for colleagues to network with preeminent academic publishers.

Public events, excursions and performances also run throughout the week. with something for everyone. The majority of events are free on a first come, first served basis. Tickets to paid-for events can be bought from the Information and Payment Desk in the Refectory foyer.

Let battle commence | Making Leeds Medieval Festival! June 2023

Browse the stalls at the Historical and Archaeological Societies Fair and the Medieval Craft Fair

Key themes

Every discipline of the humanities and beyond will be represented at this year’s IMC, including anthropologists, art historians, archaeologists, architecture experts, digital humanities, historians, literary scholars, geographers, philosophy, political sciences, religious studies/theologians and sociologists/social scientists.

Keynote lectures address the special thematic focus of ‘networks and entanglements’ – looking at interconnections and complexity between and across all aspects of the Middle Ages. 

Visit the IMC website for further information.

Posted in: