Over the weekend of October 27th and 28th, 2001, Kirkby Stephen became a living theatre of the Middle Ages.

 

Local people swapped their modern jackets and dresses for tunics and shawls; basket weavers, potters and lacemakers practised their craft as crowds thronged the medieval market, entertained by jugglers, musicians, wrestlers and archers.

 

After long and meticulous planning, the town had taken a step back in time to see what life was like in 1353, the year the king granted the first Market Charter.

 

That was the date when, just four years after the arrival in the north of the Black Death,  and with violent skirmishes with Scottish raiders still rife, the hamlet of Kirkby Stephen took its first step to becoming an important market centre of traders, craftsmen and farmers.

 

Take a look at some of the sights and events of a memorable weekend in Kirkby Stephen -- and the people who took part. Learn more about what life was like in the town in the 14th century, and read what a newspaper of the day might have been reporting.

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