Britain’s re-enactors return to the battlefields after lockdown – a photo essay

  • Thread starter Alexander Turner
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Alexander Turner

They bring our history to life, and add drama and spectacle to summer days out. Now, after 18 months on the sidelines, armies of re-enactors are back in all their full period-costume glory

‘We are historical interpreters: we are here so people don’t have to read the book,” says Aidan Turnbull, from the comfort of an open 15th-century toilet in the grounds of Dover Castle. Turnbull, an expert in medieval intestinal parasites, is dressed as a gong farmer – a nocturnal emptier of cesspits, who would remove human waste or “night soil” from Tudor latrines.

Though the effects of Covid-19 on the UK’s community of medieval knights, Roman centurions and Crimea nurses has not made headlines, many re-enactors have been without work since March 2020. Armed with some thankfully odourless props and boundless enthusiasm, Turnbull and his fellow re-enactors are clearly thrilled to be back sharing their passion for British history with the public.

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