TOPSHAM, Devon

Topsham is a unique town on the Exe estuary, Devon, just three miles from Exeter in England's West country. Loved by its locals, and savoured by those who visit. Topsham offers breathtaking river walks, independent shops, antiques and galleries, restaurants and pubs, or just a beautiful space to stop on your bike ride and watch the boats go by with a pint.

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Topsham

Topsham Heritage Year: July

The 15th century: The Battle of Agincourt

The battle of Agincourt was won by English archers and the longbow. Topsham like many towns sent its best archers to help Henry V and there are records of Topsham archers practising with the longbow at the aptly named Butts Park. The Exeter Company of Archers, in costume, will provide a demonstration of the accuracy and strength of the longbow in battle. There will also be an opportunity to participate using practise bows under the supervision of the club's members.

Battle of Agincourt Fete
Date: Sunday 9th July
Time: 1.30pm - 5.00pm
Venue: Topsham Rugby Club
Cost: Children (0-16) Free, adults £2.50

Participants: Exeter Company of Archers, Falconry, Storytellers.

Description: 1415 the Battle of Agincourt saw victory for Henry V in a battle which was won by the advance of brave English archers, when 6000 English soldiers fought against a force of 25,000 Frenchmen. Topsham played its part in this campaign and sent long bow archers to Agincourt. It is recorded that Topsham archers practised their long bow archery skills in Butts Park, appropriately named.

The commemoration of the long bow archers victory at Agincourt to be relived through a display by Exeter Company of Archers, a local club who will invite the public to participate in this sport. Archery and Falconry Archers, the very best Longbow Archers were sent to Agincourt from all over England, including Topsham, in 1415. We will recall this powerful weapon and how it won battle for the English who were outnumbered by the French. Falconry and storytelling will be demonstrated to add to the atmosphere and 'living history' of this period.

Brian Guest & Jackie Hodge from Exmouth will fly their Birds of Prey. Birds to fly include the Lanner Falcon usually the star of the show and thier Kestrel was on television over Christmas with David Attenborough. Others include the Barn Owl, Harris Hawk and a buzzard.

Have a go at 'Sport for all', Volleyball, Netball, Martial Arts, Aerobics, Football and lots more!

AND... JMS DISCO, Refreshments, BBQ, Licensed bar.

Tickets available from Topsham Rugby Club and Topsham News, High Street.

Exeter Company of Archers

For further information contact: Phillip Rees e-mail PWJRees@aol.com

History of Archery: Although its origins go back further, archery as a recreation probably dates back to the Middle Ages, when with the introduction of firearms, the bow ceased to be a weapon of war. From this period to Victorian times, wealthy landowners would often erect targets on their lawns and guests would spend a pleasant afternoon 'shooting the bow'.

History of Archery in Exeter: There has been a long tradition of archery in Exeter, with Southernhay being used as the practice ground in the Middle Ages. Lammas Day, 16th August, has always been associated with archery, and for many years a Lammas Day Shoot was held in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace.

Olympic Sport: Archery was introduced to the Olympic Games in 1900, and at the 1Vth Olympiad held in London in 1908, Britain took the all medals except the Mens' bronze. Unfortunately, there was no international governing body for the sport at that time, and archery was dropped as a n Olympic sport after 1920 Games. However, it was reinstated at Mexico city in 1968, and at Barcelona in 1992, the British mens' team of Steve Hallard, Richard Priestman and Simon Terry took the Team Bronze Medal and Simon Terry overcame stiff opposition to gain the mens' individual bronze.

Exeter Company of Archers: The present club, Exeter company of Archers was formed in the early 1950's, and although it has had its ups and downs it is currently one of the largest and best equipped clubs in Devon and Cornwall. The club meets in the grounds of Exeter School, which provides excellent indoor and outdoor facilities. Top grade competitions are hosted each year, attracting top archers from all over the south west and elsewhere.

ISCA Forest Bowman are part of our club and they engage in field shooting and simulated hunting.

'ARROWHAWKS'
BIRDS OF PREY

Brian Guest & Jackie Hodge 01395 279245 / 01395 270349, 8 Lime Grove, Exmouth EX8 5NN

Birds to fly: Lanner Falcon called Masai, usually the star of the show and a Kestrel called Tia who was on television over Christmas with David Attenborough. These birds fly with Biscuit, the Barn Owl, Misty, a Harris Hawk and not forgetting Solo, our buzzard.

Our Kestrel, Misty, was in a film for Discovery Channel on Sky called, The Ultimate Guide to Birds of Prey. David Attenborough used a clip from this film for his programme which was shown at Christmas last year.

Our Barn Owl, Misty, we have had since she was five weeks old born at completely the wrong time of year on Christmas eve.

The Buzzard and Lanner we have had from twelve to fourteen weeks old. Our birds are part of our family and we look forward to the public seeing them fly on Sunday 9th July at Topsham Rugby Club.

Hawk Walks

If the public are interested we provide Hawk Walks which are designed to give the general public an opportunity to gain hands on experience flying a HAWK in scenic countryside.

Come and spend an afternoon with us and take a HAWK for a walk and we will exercise and feed our birds giving you the opportunity to take part and call the birds to your gloved fist. Spend a little time chatting to the falconers who will gladly answer any of your questions on Birds of Prey. Bring your camcorder or camera with you and capture the memories of your afternoon with 'ARROWHAWKS'.

We are available seven days a week throughout the year (weather permitting).

Cost £10.00 per adult - Under 16's £5.00 - Under 10's FREE We accept Individual, Family and Group bookings.

Patronal Flower Festival

The Charter granted to Topsham the right to hold a fair on the feast of St. Margaret of Antioch, the patron Saint of the parish church in Topsham. The Topsham Flower Club will be holding a flower festival in honour of St Margaret at the time of the historic fair.

Date: Thursday 13th July - Saturday 15th July
Time: 10.00am and 5.00pm daily
Venue: St Margaret's Church Hall, Topsham
Participants: Organisations within the church e.g. Bell Ringers. Charities e.g. Save The Children Fund and Christian Aid. All local churches. All local schools and playgroups. At least 8 individuals.

Description: The Church and The People circa 1400 It is envisaged that this will take a similar format to our Annual Patronal Festival, in honour of St Margaret of Antioch, Patron Saint of St Margaret's Church. Margaret of Antioch, also called Saint Marina ( 3rd or 4th Century, Antioch Syria; Eastern Feast Day July 13th; Western Feast Day July 20th). Virgin Martyr and one of the Holy Helpers (a group of Saints jointly commemorated on August 8th), who was one of the most venerated saints during the Middle Ages. During the reign of the roman Emperor Diocletian, 284-305, Margaret allegedly refused marriage with the perfect Olybrius at Antioch and was consequently beheaded after undergoing extravagant trials and tortures. Her designation is as patron saint of expectant mothers and her emblem is a dragon. During one of her trials Satan disguised himself as a dragon and swallowed her up, however his stomach rejected her and let her out unharmed. During the medieval period she ranked among the most famous saints. St Margaret of Antioch's voice was heeded by Joan of Arc. The Millennium celebration flower festival in July is linked to honour St Margaret of Antioch, Patron Saint of St Margaret's Church. The floral arrangements will represent many different organisations and charities as well as individuals in Topsham and will focus on the period 1400 - 1500.

Date:Saturday 8th July
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: St Margaret's Church, Topsham, Exeter
Cost: Not known at present

Description: Concert of Medieval Music. "Voces"

Date: Sunday 16th July
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: St Margaret's Church, Topsham, Exeter
Cost: Not known at present

Description: Choral Evensong followed by Compline. St Margaret's Church Choir and friends.

Other Events Important people associated with this century to be portrayed by local personalities and display of historical artisan crafts of this period :

1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America

The Bridge Inn was a hostel for the stonemasons who were building Exeter Cathedral and iron was imported from Spain to Topsham

Printing was developed with the advent of the bibles printing presses in 1476

A fraction earlier in 1393 medieval inns i.e. drinking establishments, were compelled to display signs associated with royal emblems

At this time a chief import was wine was from Bordeaux

Woad (imported), dyes were thriving industries

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