Knights did not just go about their business willy-nilly. They had strict rules of conduct and could lose their title if they did not abide by them.

Armour and how it changes through the ages. Most of these designs are between 12th and 15th century.

The making of a crest/castle colours

In days gone by a crest and/or a coat of arms was put together symbolically, with each thing, including the colours, being relevant in some way to the achievements of the family involved. These days, with a shortage of knights in shining armour, deeds of valor and dragon slaying events the art of earning a crest has since diminished. So ... with a castle in the making, this dilemma was pondered on. 

After much thought I decided to combine the crests we already had floating about the place; that of McHendrie/MacNaughton, Blake and Osborne, and I came up with the concept that was to be our defining mark of Victory Castle. It's simple  ... but it tells our story; that of an alliance of families.

The idea was put to the vote and accepted by all involved. The result of is the very swish tri-colour shield that you see here and on our front page.

We are proud to now call this our castle colours and crest and will be using it on all our cards, brochures and letterheads. Keep an eye out for it because you will never know where it will pop up and what's new at Riverbend.

Strider's sword and an Elven sword

A crusader sword with shield, Gurkha knife and the One Ring

Sting, Narsil and Legolas' twin throwing blades

Sword play

A few weeks back I was contacted by one of our avid followers in Japan, Mr Steve Gilshenen. He was curious, he said, to know whether Lord Terence had any photos of his sword collection online as he would be interested in viewing them. The answer was a resounding no, so I took it upon myself to do something about it. Result … this article.

His lordship has been collecting swords, daggers and dirks for the last ten years or so, keeping a dealer in Caloundra, Queensland one very happy little trader. Over the years most of the weapons from THE LORD OF THE RINGS have been purchased, with these being the start of Terence’s collection. This includes Narsil, Strider’s sword, a Ring Wraith blade, Bilbo’s Sting and Legolas’ twin throwing blades, along with Gimli’s double-edged battle-axe. (And … yes … his lordship also has the One Ring to keep everything under control.)

But that’s not all! In addition there have been a number of other different weapons added.

Firstly, Terence managed to acquire a pole sword. Though the origins of this is unknown it is a sword with a difference as it actually uses its scabbard as an extension to its reach. By screwing it to the hilt of the blade it is made twice as long.

William Wallace had a personal claymore, which is a long sword indigenous to Scotland. A copy has its place in Terence’s collection, as does a Crusader Sword purchased from Mont St Michel in France, along with two daggers acquired from Carcasonne, Languedoc-Roussillion, France. An Indian Gurkha knife as well as a Scottish broadsword also are part of this collection.

All these blades are replicas and most of them are spending their time locked away in a shed just now – along with more than just a few spiders and their webs – awaiting their new home in the Grand Hall at Victory Castle. All the same, I hope you have enjoyed this small insight into Lord Terence’s life.

Photos – Taken in situ so the full blade is not apparent in most pictures. 

Scold's bridle

Metal ‘Scold’s bridle,’ ca. 1550, Germany -- worn to deter “rude, clamorous woman” from gossiping and quarreling. Fitted tightly to the face it was impossible to speak -- the bell atop was used to draw more attention to the wearer, increasing their humiliation.

Photo: Science Museum of London

A lovely depiction of how upper-class ladies and ladies at the royal court would spend an afternoon together.

Lord Terence's mother was originally a McHendrie. This highland clan was affiliated with a larger clan known as the McNaughtons. Shown is their tarten, motto and sigil.

Foot-powered lathe

The making of a wooden bowl

Bowls have been a well-used item for thousands of years throughout history. Wood was once a very popular material, being a resource that was easily available. Then an array of pottery items began to come onto the scene, with an assortments of finishes and glazes being added for decoration. These later became an identifier for certain regions that became well-known for their wares. Glass then came into being, with plastic now being a much used material.

Wooden bowls have since lost therir appeal - unless it is a work of art - but the making of them is of interest. Starting with a simple carved vessel they later became an item that was turned on a foot-powered turning machine similar to the lathes of today. Pictured is a medieval version of a lathe and a bowl made with the similar machine.

This illustration of The Black Prince has been coloured in so therefore would normally be in black and white.

Bayeaux Tapestry

The Bayeaux Tapestry is a 70 metre long hand embroidered wall-hanging which was made in Britain after the conquest of William the Conqueror in 1066. It was made in several different panels and ends with the battle of Hastings. It is on public display in its home of Bayeaux, Normandy at the Centre Guillaume le Conquerant.

 The four panel shown in our picture were executed on a slightly smaller scale by Lady Kate of the Guild of Wessex and Mercia here in Australia.

The Lewis chessmen

Probably made in Scandinavia, thought to be Norway, about AD 1150-1200. Found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

The game of chess spans some 1500 years. The game originated in northern India in the 6th century AD and spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently, through the Moorish conquest of Spain, spread to Southern Europe.

Medieval bedroom

In larger manor houses and castles - and even in the Tower of London - a lady's bedroom was something of style. With four poster beds, complete with heavy brocade curtains to keep out the cold, fur bed covers and bolster cushions they were very luxurious.