Activities in the Shire of Hartwood are many and varied.  Most have to do with recreating the medieval atmosphere – fighting, garb, items used in daily life.  Some have to do with studying the medieval origins of modern-day technologies and customs.  Others are just plain fun!

Check the Calendar page for more information on weekly activities.

Here is a short overview of some of the activities in our fair Shire:


One of the main activities is heavy fighting, which is where we recreate medieval fighting with a slightly safer system of rattan swords and padded armour.  Some of the fighting activities revolve around the weekly fighter practice; archers often practice twice weekly, and are involved in Kingdom-wide competitions.

Fighter practice is where fighters can expand their skills in one-on-one fighting and also train together for wars.  Wars in the SCA are impressive affairs, sometimes numbering hundreds of people.  Insula Magna does not often see anywhere near that number, but even a small group of fighters can show spectators a battle royal!

Fighters from the Upper Island at Sealion War, Seagirt, 2009. Picture taken by Mistress Meredith

Arts & Sciences

If heavy fighting is the main draw at SCA events, Arts & Sciences provides the ambiance (and heraldry the pomp and circumstance) that elevates it from people just whacking at each other with a bunch of sticks into a noble sport that celebrates the chivalry that all members and guests at SCA have the right to expect and the obligation to extend.

Arts & Sciences encompasses everything from garb construction to producing creative disguises for the modern conveniences we don’t want to do without at events.  It involves research, crafting and plenty of time for discussion of both medieval and modern subjects that aid us in producing the things that make our medieval “world” seem that much more real during events.

Topics include:

  • Medieval clothing
  • Medieval cooking
  • Bookbinding (even Coptic book construction)
  • Medieval jewelry
  • Working in bone
  • Working in wood
  • and so much more!

For more information, check out our Arts/Sciences contact page.