Adopted Russian

Last year I was introduced to Jana Romanova, an artist who wanted to participate in the activities of Welsh communities as part of a piece exploring the nature of belonging and of Welshness. She wanted to join the Garrison for an event or two to immerse herself in our community and explore historic Welshness.

Continue reading “Adopted Russian”

Recipe: A vegan dish for a medieval palate

While most medieval peasantry were not feasting on meat every meal, they probably didn’t cater for vegans either. Along with vegetables, a typical medieval diet in south Wales would have included a lot of cheese, eggs and fish.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dishes we can create now to cater for vegan diets using ingredients available to people living in the 14th Century.

Over the August Bank Holiday we set up camp at the magnificent Caerphilly Castle.

One of the dishes I prepared on the Sunday was a lovely mushroom and lentil main. It’s very simple, tasty and easy to recreate at home.

What you’ll need:

  • Half a kilo of mushrooms – I used traditional closed cap mushrooms but you can mix this up dependant on the strength of flavour you want
  • Two cans of green lentils (you can soak lentils from a bag, but I’m a bit of a cheat)
  • Quarter of a cup of olive oil
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Mixed herbs (I used a combo of basil, rosemary and thyme)

These amounts serve 4-6 people. Halve the amounts for a good portion for two.


  1. Soak the lentils in half of the olive oil. Add in all of the black pepper and herbs. Mix together and leave for two hours
  2. Chop the mushrooms
  3. Heat the remainder of the olive oil in a pan over the hob/ barbeque/ fire pit
  4. Fry the mushrooms in the pan
  5. As they begin to go brown, add in the lentils
  6. Stir the mix together until it is warmed right through
  7. Serve


Show report: Bank holiday at Caerphilly Castle – 28th & 29th August

Garrison had a lovely time this August bank holiday with a show at the thirteenth-century Caerphilly Castle.

Craft, clothing, cooking, weapons and armour displays were provided for the public.

Please check out our photos below, and thanks to everyone who came and made it such a fun event!

Show report: Big Cheese at Caerphilly Castle – 30th & 31st July

It was another amazing year greeting the thousands of visitors who came to Caerphilly’s Big Cheese at the end of July.

The event is a long-running cultural celebration set in and around Caerphilly Castle, and featuring large numbers of traders, street entertainers, falconry and a traditional fun fair.

We provided have-a-go archery for members of the public, and craft, arms and armour and cooking displays.

See our pictures below:


Show report: Caerphilly Christmas Market 12th-13th December

Cardiff Castle Garrison had a terrific time at Caerphilly Christmas Market, despite some pretty intense weather conditions! Wales experienced gusts of up to 60mph on Saturday, and a good deal of the day was spent fighting to keep the tents up. Luckily there was plenty of space in Caerphilly Castle’s great hall, and everyone spent the day nice and snug inside, including two rather cute reindeer.

The market featured a wide variety of guests, including Father Christmas himself, some wonderful cake and baked goods sellers, a great selection of meads and wines, and various displays from fellow local re-enactment group, the Freemen of Gwent.  Our craft display was extremely popular and pretty busy throughout the day.

On Sunday, as the weather was much improved, we were able to run a have-a-go archery range, which also proved very successful with the public.

After a thoroughly wonderful time at Caerphilly, the Garrison would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you all in 2016!




Show reports: Summer 2015

Garrison have had a busy summer with events at Cardiff, Chepstow and Caerphilly Castles. Please see below for details and galleries for each show!

Chepstow Castle May Show – 30th and 31st May

We took part in a late-May show in Chepstow Castle, offering fourteenth-century cooking, armour, clothing and crafting displays. Photos are below, and for more information about our cookery please see our ‘Salt Dough Salmon’ post.

Joust! at Cardiff Castle – 19th, 20th and 21st June

One of Garrison’s largest annual events took place at Cardiff Castle’s Joust!. We provided displays and demonstrations of fourteenth-century armour, crafts, clothing, cookery, and blacksmithing. The event also featured an incredible jousting display from The Knights of Royal England, along with storytellers, falconry, a children’s dragon parade, and various traders. See Garrison’s pictures from this event below.


The Big Cheese Festival – 25th and 26th July

This was the first year the group attended Caerphilly’s long-running Big Cheese cultural celebration event. Set in and around Caerphilly Castle, one of South Wales’ largest medieval castles, it featured huge numbers of stalls, street entertainers, a traditional funfair, falconry, and dancing, along with Living History encampments from ourselves and many other re-enactment groups.

Cardiff Castle Garrison provided our own Living History camp with weapons and armour, blacksmithing, cookery and craft displays. See below for our pictures.


Medieval Melee at Cardiff Castle – 15th and 16th August

Another of Garrison’s biggest annual events took place at Cardiff Castle’s Medieval Melee show. This featured Living History encampments and archery displays from fifteenth-century re-enactment groups, circus skill demonstrations, plus appearances from many traders.

We provided a cookery, weapons and armour, and craft display along with have-a-go archery for the public.

We’re still taking part in Beaumaris Castle medieval festival on Anglesey over the August bank holiday weekend (29th, 30th and 31st August), and will be pottering along to Caldicot Castle show on 5th and 6th September.