Dancing, falconry and fairy tales at Buckland Abbey’s Elizabethan Weekend

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September, Buckland Abbey just outside Plymouth hosts its annual Elizabethan celebration.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can join in with authentic Elizabethan merriment that would have been frequent entertainment at Buckland Abbey, Sir Francis Drake’s former home.

Buckland Abbey will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the Elizabethan era, with falconers on the lawn, dancing in the Great Hall and Tudor cooking over an open fire in the Abbey’s kitchen.

The Tudors were passionate about the sport of English Falconry, but none more so than King Henry VIII who was often absent from Court because he had gone hawking.

On the Abbey lawn, Raphael Historic Falconry will delight audiences with period falconry displays sharing the excitement of flying majestic birds of prey.

The Great Hall will be alive with music and colour. Renaissance Historical Dance group will lead traditional dancing to re-enact the days of the flamboyant Sir Francis Drake and the lavish parties we know often took place in the Abbey.

No Tudor party would be complete without merry music and fine food. Traditional songs of the era will be performed by hautbois musicians playing historic instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy, and the ladies of the kitchen will reveal their secrets of historic cookery.

The Elizabethans loved all things myths and legends. Masked costumed characters such as The Green Man, Old Father Time and The Ice Queen will perform plays where the audience will be weaved into a masked fairy tale full of adventure called ‘The masque of the four seasons’.

Go to nationaltrust.org.uk/bucklandabbey for the full schedule during Elizabethan Weekend.