The Brancepeth Castle Re-enactment & LARP Market (nr Durham)

I’m going to leave the original page post here, as it is still relevant and informative.

Here’s some exciting news! After much careful negotiation, I have been granted permission to stage a Re-enactment and LARP Market in Brancepeth Castle, which is about 4 miles from Durham.

This Castle is full of history. It was owned by the Neville Earls of Westmorland. It was also an HQ for the Durham Light Infantry. The current owners are doing their best to preserve it and restore it to its former glory. They hold a very successful Craft Fair there twice a year, using the same rooms that are on offer to us, and the sheltered lawned areas inside the Curtain Wall.

Space is obviously going to be limited inside the Castle, and stands are going to have to be exactly measured and adhered to so that we ensure proper aisles and fire exits and the like – it will not be anything like as “free and easy” as an equestrian arena, and you won’t be able to drive up to your pitch, trolleys are recommended and steps may be encountered. But you’ll be trading in a Castle!

First draft plans suggest we have 414 usable square meters, some of it only 1.5m in depth. I have to believe that we can make it work as they manage to do so for their Craft Fairs! Based on a footprint of 4m by 1.5m we would have space for 69 traders inside, but of course many will want larger stands than that. Bernie the Bolt has already bagged his chosen spot! Also signed up, Fairbow NL, Grunal Moneta, The Original Get Dressed For Battle (Stephen and Pauline), The Period Costume Shop, Links In Time, and Quiverstock.  Full List and up to date news, see our facebook page!

On the lawns, we have space if we are caring for around 30 tents. These will have to be historic-style canvas tents, not modern plastic gazebos.

So, sufficient room for up to 99 traders, a fair sized market. Camping on-site will be permitted, although not in the building.

At this one, I will have to charge £2.50 admission. All of this admission money goes straight to the owners and will be used for the ongoing upkeep and restoration of the Castle, which is not generally open to the public, so it could be argued it is not “Paying to Go Shopping” so much as paying an admission fee to explore a Castle where you just happen to be able to do some serious specialized shopping

This event is annual, and it’s happening the weekend before the National Living History Fayre with the sole purpose that people who are coming from abroad such as Poland can visit more than one market.

The North East location is excellent since A1(M) can be easily reached, also it is close to Durham, Middlesborough, Darlington, Sunderland, Newcastle, Gateshead, and not very far from Edinburgh. That’s quite a catchment area and no competition from any other similar market that I know of on that side of the Pennines. (Preston is at least two hours drive away!)

Pitch fees for 2015 will be about £13 a square meter, with tent pitches £60 for up to and including a 4m by 4m, £100 for anything larger.