Barnet Medieval Festival, which was due to take place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday June 8 and 9, has had to be postponed because the Byng Road playing fields have become too waterlogged due to recent heavy rains.


Key access points – where there has been standing water – are considered unusable for the many vehicles that would have to enter the site.

“We have had no choice but to take the hard decision to postpone the date of the festival because of the completely sodden ground conditions,” said festival director, Dr Susan Skedd.

“However, we are looking to reschedule the festival for later in the summer. We are now looking to see if we can arrange another date.”

The organisers were hoping this year’s festival would surpass last year’s event with up to seven mounted knights in armour and men at arms and a spectacular display by a battery of cannon.

Last year over 70 medieval tents were erected on the site and record crowds watched the re-enactments of the 1461 Battle of St Albans and 1471 Battle of Barnet.

Re-enactors, traders, stall holders and community groups have all had to be notified on the festival’s postponement and have been re-assured every effort will be made to arrange a new date.

Recently over just two days much of Hertfordshire has had the equivalent of a month’s rain – and High Barnet has been no exception.

An inspection of the site – including the temporary car park on Christ Church Primary School playing field – presented a sorry sight for festival trustee Pete Stern (above left) and the Christ Church school site manager Lee Crocker.

When the main Byng Road playing fields were inspected by groundmen from the Barnet Elizabethans Rugby Football Club they said they had never seen so much standing water.

The water table was so high there was nowhere for this to go, and they considered that even if there was consistently dry weather in the lead-up to the festival, there was no guarantee that the ground would dry sufficiently to take vehicles.

Dr Skedd said that further rain over the next few days would render the playing fields – and especially the vehicle access choke points – entirely unusable.

“We cannot take the risk of damaging the grounds which we are generously allowed to use for the festival by Barnet Elizabethans RFC, Barnet Council and Christ Church Primary School.

“It is quite a blow to the festival team after so much planning, but we are not giving up.

“The weather gods have been unkind to us, but with luck we can still move forward once a new date is confirmed.”