Living History and Educational Services, LHES

The brief version; there lots more further down the page

LHES is our trading name. It’s still us, but it keeps us, Ian and Caroline having fun, separate from us, Ian and Caroline having fun and getting paid for it.

We can demonstrate and/or talk about a wide range of activities set in several historical periods.

A few examples from the last couple of years are:

  • Sword schools, mainly medieval to 17thCentury
  • Cookery demonstrations, recipes from 1200s onwards.
  • Black powder weapons, artillery, musket, and pistols, from 16th to 17th Century.
  • Ropemaking, weaving, braiding, lacemaking from medieval to 17th/18th Century
  • Food, medicine and magic, uses of common wild plants from Medieval to 18th Century
  • Francis Drake, circumnavigation, Cadiz, The Armada.
  • Physic, astrology, fortune telling, quill pen making and writing and lots more.

Slag om Grolle, gun crews for the Dutch battery

Historical Reenactment v Living History

What’s the difference?

Reenactment is how a lot of people start out. It’s where people try to recreate aspects of a historical event. It’s often a battle of some sort, as that lets the grown-ups play with toys that go clang or bang. But it could be a medieval fair or a Victorian Xmas.

Living History is when people try to recreate the clothing, crafts, pastimes, skills, etc of a given period, usually with the aim of bringing the period to life by both entertaining and educating the public.   

We started off reenacting English Civil War battles but soon branched out into portraying some of the domestic life of the time as Living History.

We gradually got asked to extend into other time periods and have also been adding to the skills and techniques that we display.

So far we have portrayed:

  •     Iron Age / Romano British
  •     Medieval
  •     Tudor
  •     Stuart
  •     Regency
  •     Napoleonic
  •     Victorian

Close up pyrotechnics

Pyrate technics.

We make and use a range of small pyrotechnics to simulate grenados, artillery fire, etc. Safety distances are normally a few feet to a few inches

We can also demonstrate and talk about how fireworkers produced devices for entertainment and battle in Tudor and Stuart times.

Caroline in Victorian costume on a plant walk

Food, medicine and magic 1

We can take small groups of people for guided 'plant walks' in almost any location.

Depending on the location, we can put on appropriate dress, e.g. Victorian, Napoleonic, 17th Century.

We look at common wild plants which have been used for various purposes for hundreds of years.

Ian as a 17th Century physician

Food, medicine and magic 2

For larger groups or in a static setting, we can demonstrate and talk about how plants were used. Normally in the role of a 16th or 17th Century physician, although other periods are possible

NOTE, this is for historical information only, we are not doctors and we cannot give you or sell you any medicine.

Historical Reenactment Traders

This is the link to a directory of who sells what

This is a spin off from us working with numerous traders at various fairs and other events

We started keeping a record for use when helping to organise trading fairs and the whole thing mushroomed.

Traders are indexed by name, period they cater for, and what they sell.

Some of the entries are a bit dated now. We’re working on a rewrite of the site, but it’s almost impossible to make sure that everything is correct.

A few interesting links

The Wardour Garrison. A living history group that we belong to.

The Sealed Knot. The biggest and oldest reenactment society in the UK.

Pike and Shot Events Ltd. AKA Dave Allan, a man who knows a lot of reenactors

Pat Patrick. Lots of photos of reenactment events.

Babbington’s Pyrotechnica 1635. How to make fireworks in the 17th Century

Culpepper’s Herbal, online version

17th Century cooking


We can demonstrate and teach cooking techniques from a range of time periods, using recipes from period cook books or published research. The cooking is done over open fires or on a portable firebox.

Note: this is demonstration only, we cannot feed the public due to health and safety considerations.

Fellow reenactors feed at their own risk. No one has spat it out yet.

An enthusiastic parent winning at swordplay

Sword schools and weapon training

We run sword schools. We usually get asked to run them for children but we’re happy to have adult or mixed sessions.

Actually, parents are encouraged to join in, at least to learn the defences. After all, the children are going to know how to attack and parents make good targets.

The schools use lightweight wooden weapons, broadsword or rapier, with buckler or dagger if required.

Making nettle string

Braid, string, rope, weaving

Caroline can demonstrate and teach braiding and weaving skills.

Ian will do the same for rope making, and given a suitable patch of nettles will produce nettle cord and rope on site.

Plant hunters, regency period

Plant hunters

Adventurers have travelled in search of novel plants throughout recorded history, and probably before that. Our Plant Hunter scenario is usually based on the Regency period, but can be adapted for the Tudors onwards.

We’ll get children, and adults, drawing, painting, surveying and map-making.

Quill pen and astrological chart

Quill pen writing.

This can be in the context of a 17th Century school, or an astrologer and fortune teller, or both if you wish.

Astrology and fortune telling is restricted to the period 1600 to 1650. That time probably had more fortune tellers and astrologers than any other before or since, so it was part of everyday life.

Just making and/or using quill pens can be almost any period.

Firing our falconet

Gunnery and other things that go bang

The image is Caroline, our falconet being fired. It’s also a link to a youtube video showing it all in HD.

We can also demonstrate musket and pistol firing.

The falconet is suitable for any period from mid 1500s to mid 1800s. Musket and pistol are 17th Century.

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