About The Mercian Guard

The Mercian Guard exists so that it's members can enjoy themselves. As a group or as individuals we attempt to protray various aspects of life at the time of the Viking incursions into Great Britain. This period of history is commonly referred to as 'The Dark Ages', although modern academic attitudes have now labelled this period 'Early Medieval'. Within our group we have people who protray Viking, Saxon, Norman and Celtic characters, all of which were present during the Viking era. We base our costume primarily around the 10th century, the latter part of the Viking era in Britain, the end of which is marked by the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Members of The Mercian Guard engage in many activities from full scale re-enactments of famous battles in history to small displays and educational visits to local schools. As a group we have developed a close working relationship with Avoncroft Museum of Buildings in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, where we set up camp as a band of warrior mercenaries on several occasions throughout the year. As is typical of our events, we protray many aspects of daily life in the Viking age, such as general camp activities, cooking, combat displays, crafts and on occasion metalwork (see our Galleries page). Forthcoming events are listed and regularly updated on our Group Events page.

When possible we attend re-enactments throughout the UK and Europe. The founder members have strong links with Dutch Viking groups, and try to attend at least two shows each year in Holland. We have contacts with other groups throughout Europe and regularly get invitations to attend shows as far away as Iceland.

Most members of the Mercian Guard are also members of other historical re-enactment societies. Some members also take part in Victorian military events and have spent some time onboard HMS Warrior in Portsmouth.

Training and Meetings

The Mercian Guard meets most Monday evenings for training session, which is held outside if the weather is suitable, though we have access to a hall if necessary. Our weapons are made from modern materials which are much stronger than the original metals, so we can keep the edges BLUNT, and therefore safer. Weapons are made to specific standards, to keep them as safe as possible. All of the equipment and costume has been researched and is as accurate to the time period as it is possible to be. Some of the costume we can make ourselves, but other items, such as shoes, are best bought from other re-enactors who specialise.

Our warriors are trained to a very high standard and are not allowed onto the battlefield until they have proved themselves to be safe and competent. Honour is a very important aspect to combat and clearly so is the correct attitude to fighting with metal weaponry.

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