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Medieval times come to life for Cluny celebrations

Paisley food Festival

Medieval times come to life for Cluny celebrations

Medieval knights, strolling minstrels, and the chance to be trained as a soldier in the army of William Wallace, will be some of the attractions on offer in Paisley this weekend as part of a three-day celebration of the town’s ancient abbey.

Abbey Close will travel back in time on Saturday 15 May when a medieval fair takes place in and around the Abbey.

Re-enactors in medieval costume will set up camp with a fletcher (arrow-maker), women demonstrating tapestry, wool work and making children’s bracelets, a selection of children’s costumes and medieval games as well as a display of ancient weapons including a replica of Wallace’s sword.

This fascinating event will offer children the chance to try old-fashioned games, hunt for gargoyles, make masks and design a stained glass window. There will also be demonstrations of tapestry-making, and designing a stained glass window. All events and activities on the day are free.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said: “This is going to be a fantastic, exciting family event with activities and demonstrations taking places covering all aspects of medieval life. Paisley Abbey has such an interesting history and this event will literally be bringing that history to life. So don’t be surprised if you see a medieval knight or a strolling minstrel wandering through the town this weekend!”

The medieval fair is part of a three-day programme of events celebrating the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of the abbey at Cluny, France.

Eventually over 1500 Cluniac priories and monasteries were established, from Portugal to Italy, from Scotland to Switzerland. Paisley Abbey and Crossraguel in North Ayrshire were the only two Cluniac monasteries in Scotland and the two farthest flung from Cluny itself.
Events celebrating the anniversary are taking place all over Europe throughout 2010. A delegation of 30 visitors from Cluny, including the Mayor of Cluny Jean-Luc Delpleuch and the Chairmanof the Federation of Cluniac Sites, Michel Gaudard, will visit Paisley for the events.

These will also include a concert in Paisley Abbey on Saturday 15 May, and a conference in Paisley Town Hall. Leading historians and archeologists will present papers on various aspects of monastic life in the abbeys of Paisley and Crossraguel and consider French influences in Scotland from the 12th to 16th centuries.
There will also be coach tours on Saturday 15 May departing from Paisley to Crossraguel, also visiting Dundonald Castle and Kelburn Castle with historic re-enactments at each venue.
For full details pick up a programme from Paisley Abbey or any Renfrewshire Council building. Alternatively log onto www.renfrewshire.gov.uk