Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

August 2005: Lammas Festival and Fair

TAKE the family back in time this August Bank Holiday by sampling some medieval delights at a Lammas Festival and Fair being staged at Llangattock Lingoed, recently awarded Gwent's 'Best Kept Hamlet' award.

Events are being organised by the local Village Alive Trust charity, Llangattock Lingoed Parochial Church Council and the award-winning Hunter's Moon Inn. In medieval times Lammas was the start of the harvest season when thanks were given for new food stores and seedcorn to tide people over the dark Winter months, and ensure planting could take place in the Spring. Pagan rituals such as apple wassailing and crowning a Harvest Queen took place alongside fairs and harvest services.

The fun at Llangattock Lingoed includes an ale festival throughout the weekend run by the Hunter's Moon Inn. On Sunday, August 28, the adjacent St Cadoc's Church will hold a 1662 Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service at 11am. A Lammas Festival Concert with Beaufort Male Choir will take place at the church at 7pm. Tickets can be bought by ringing Rev'd Dr Jean Prosser on 01873 821405.

The Lammas Fair, which features an authentic medieval encampment by North Wales group Samhain as well as costumed wandering minstrels, and medieval character actors from educational history group Chance Encounters, will be held on Monday, August 29 from 11am until 6pm in the churchyard. Craftsmen ranging from a bodger to stone waller will demonstrate their skills and children can try traditional games. Visitors can also learn about net-making, spinning, bee-keeping, herbs and how monks created illuminated manuscripts.

A programme of talks will be held in the church from 12 noon and will include a rendition of The Medieval Farming Year, researched and written by Phillip Morgan. Refreshments include homemade teas and a hog roast. Entrance is free although a charge of £5 per car will be made for parking and donations towards staging the event will be welcomed.

Further information can be found on the Village Alive Trust's recently launched website at www.villagealivetrust.org or by email to village.alive@virgin.net

During the weekend the Village Alive Trust, which successfully bid for funding under the EU's Article 33 programme, will also officially unveil the first of its building renovation projects. The renovation of the stone-built Grade Two listed Well House at New Inn Farm, Cross Ash, is nearing completion thanks to the work of local builders J Sobik and Son.

Research into the history of the building is underway to compile an information leaflet for visitors who will have a chance to visit the Well House on September 10 and 11 from 2 - 5pm as part of this year's European Heritage Open Days.

Other work being undertaken by the voluntary members and associates of the Village Alive Trust includes the collation of a social history archive. Local people's memories, of wartime and how life has changed during the last century, are being recorded on CD.  A display on the social history project will be staged at the Lammas Fair and Trust members will be on hand to give visitors more details of the Trust's work.

The Village Alive Project is being supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, WDA and Adventa Local Action Group. Donations have also come from the Manifold Trust, the Alun Evans Memorial Trust, Grosmont CC, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Abergavenny Farm Holidays Group and associate members.

The Trust is also seeking a grant from the WDA to help local wireless broadband provider, WBNet, install broadband facilities in the area during the next few months. The Cross Ash area is unable to access 'phone line broadband and businesses and voluntary groups are eligible to apply for financial help to introduce broadband in 'blackspot' areas.