AN ancient church will host a medieval fair next month (September 8).

St Giles Church, in Gilesgate, Durham City, which was founded 902 years ago, first held a medieval fair in 2012, to mark its 900th anniversary.

The fair will return on Saturday, September 6, from 10am to 4pm.

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There will be demonstrations of traditional crafts, clothing and technology, combat displays, training volunteers willing to serve in a baron’s household and archery.

There will also be live music, stocks, a hog roast, a bar with specially brewed beer, children’s crafts, refreshments, face painting, a tombola and community stalls.

Archaeologist Louisa Gidney will bring her Rent a Peasant act, introducing visitors to life in medieval England.

She said: “My work is about helping people to engage in history and animals are part of the church’s history.

“At times of insurrection, where else would you take your animals to keep them safe when the Scots were marauding but a large stone building with a firm door?”

Tony Jose, aka Maximus, will also be on hand, with his Roman impersonator act.

Reverend Canon Dr Alan Bartlett, the church’s vicar, said: “Our medieval fair celebrating St Giles’ 900th anniversary in 2012 was so successful that we have been asked to organise it again this year.

“The event reminds us that the church has been serving the community for 900 years and will be there for the next 900 years. It will always be there.

“The event is about helping people to realise that the church is not just about the clergy but that it’s a whole community thing.”