In medieval times, a weak form of ale was drunk by everyone as water was too dirty and unhealthy to drink. Churchwardens held ‘ales’ to raise money for the upkeep of their church and provide alms for the poor. Traditionally these took place at religious festivals and other important events such as lamb-shearing. The word ‘bridal’ derives from ‘bride-ale’, the wedding feast arranged to raise money for the couple. Celebrating a dedication would have involved the whole parish in an ale. The events were often outdoors and games such as bowling and quoit throwing were enjoyed by all.
Timetable for the Churchwardens’ Ale at Frampton – Saturday 27th June
3.15pm Maypole dancing
3.45pm Story telling
4.00pm Singing by pupils from Lakefield School
4.30pm Hobby horse competition and jousting competition
5.00pm Mystery play
5.15pm Story telling
5.30pm Dancing with Giant St Blaise and Siglo the Salmon
6.00pm Singing by Middle Ages
7.30pm ‘Last orders’ for licensed bar
8.00pm Service of Compline
Other activities include ‘medieval style’ face painting (3pm-5pm), the village stocks, quoits and stilts, hog roast, WI medieval food, enactments of medicine, games, armour-making, scribing, spinning and stick weaving. Delfryn will sing during the afternoon, followed by Gloucester Gallery Quire, Alison Merry‘s wonderful illustrations of medieval life will be on sale, and Lakefield School’s ‘medieval wall paintings’ and Frampton’s timeline will be on display inside the church.
Times and activities may be subject to change
We are very grateful for sponsorship from Uley Brewery and Kilcot Conservation and the assistance of the Knights Hospitaller of Warwickshire, Perryway Players, John Putley, Frampton on Severn WI and many others for helping to stage this event.
We had a great time. Why not take a look at our Gallery?