Legion of the Stag, Somerset Medieval Fighting Group

A few days ago I completed another shoot for my project Life In A Somerset Landscape.

I had been told about a ‪Medieval Fighting Group based in Ilminster Somerset that specialised in 12-14th century fighting ‬re-enactments.
This sounded a perfect fit for the project and so I made a call to a chap called who ran the group called James to have a chat.

James explained the re enactment group Legion of the Stag was formed in 1998 through his interests in martial arts and early period of sword training.
They mainly perform around the south west and south wales at various charity shows from the 12th to the 14th century period.
They also perform at local festivals, schools, and have been involved in T.V. and film work.

The shows we attend are entertaining but very educational too, from knight training  talks on the weapons through history,and cookery  in living history sections to blacksmithing, clothing and archery.
He finished up explaining that all their training is about martial arts, but also a lot of safety aspects are involved as their weapons are blunt but very real as I discovered while holding one of the swords during the shoot !

When I talk to people about a potential shoot my mind often tends to run away with itself creating a visual story from the information I’m being given.
Creating a story line helps build up the idea for the image or sequence of images much like when scripting a video shoot but I do admit to having to rein things back a little sometimes !

For this shoot the concept that I imagined was a group of mercenaries heading home from a campaign, travelling over a dank muddy winter Somerset landscape.
It so happened that the very same week as my phone conversation we had several days of frost and heavy mist roll into the area.
I decided this was fate telling me it was the perfect time to find a suitable backdrop for the shoot.

I could have really gone to town on the location for this image but as is often the case less is nearly always more in my opinion.
The simplicity of the muddy winter field with atmospheric mist and trees was the perfect landscape for the Legion to be resting on their journey.

Legion Of The Stag Facebook Page


Main Photo from Left to right Rear : James”haff”Mccaffery, Ray woodford, Foreground : Nathan Bennet, Joe Mccaffery.