Medieval Music in the Dales

A glorious long weekend of all things musical and medieval at Bolton Castle, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales 2nd-4th September 2016

We did it!

On 28th Mar 2016 we successfully raised £6,665 of £3,500 target with 89 supporters in 42 days

New stretch target

Help us pay the artists what they deserve - and also the much-burdened organiser and volunteers! 

So, our initial target was the bare minimum we needed to ensure the project would go ahead. But with the stretch target we can do so much more and make Medieval Music in the Dales a truly viable event into the future.

Many people have come together to make Medieval Music in the Dales happen. When I first conceived the idea I got in touch with a few people I thought might be interested and there was so much good will to make it happen. As part of this, many people have agreed to contribute their art and expertise at well below market rate. They're happy to do this, but I've always made it clear that I want the festival to be a true success and that includes paying them what they warrant. Help us reach the stretch goal and we can do this! Not least, if we do really well then Trouvère can get paid for their performances and workshops as well.

Likewise, the stretch funding will additionally help pay for the small team of staff who will be helping to set up, run, and also record the project as fully as possible. It will also ensure that Bolton Castle gets a proper return for being our venue. Bolton Castle's owners are very splendidly helping us out for no hire fee - just a proportion of each ticket sold. So the more rewards taken - the more the Castle will benefit (and then hopefully they will let us do it all again next year!)

It would also be nice to offer our volunteer team some juicy recompense. We could not do it without them. 

Then again, there is poor lil me. I've always accepted that Medieval Music in the Dales will be a lot of work (and it is!) and if i end up doing it all 'pro bono' as it were, that's fine. But if we do really really well, yay! I can pay myself for at least some of the time spent. 

So keep pledging away good people. We can make this not only amazing but out-of-this-world too...

Thanks all - Gill.

Medieval Music in the Dales brings together musicians, dancers, instrument makers, crafts people, medieval enthusiasts and music lovers for a long weekend of wonderful music-making in an awesome medieval setting: Bolton Castle in gorgeous Wensleydale. Whether you enjoy listening to music, playing music, dancing or just enjoying a wonderful spectacle in a gorgeous setting - this is for you. 
Here's how it works.
We need your support to make Medieval Music in the Dales happen. You pledge money and we get the funds to provide you with a unique long weekend. All our rewards are either exclusive to Crowdfunder or offered at a discount. They won’t be around forever!
If you are new to Crowdfunder, here’s how it works. We need as many people as possible to pledge money to Medieval Music in the Dales in return for tickets and other rewards. Once we have reached our target your pledges will be debited from your account and the money sent to us. We then send you your tickets. It is also worth noting - in the highly unlikely event the festival is cancelled after the end of the campaign it is our duty to refund you your pledge, so there is basically no risk at all to you.

So - what's it all about?

Musical instruments

At the heart of the event is an exhibition by instrument makers from England, France and Italy - all specialising in the recreation of authentic medieval instruments. This will be perhaps the best collection of medieval replica instruments seen in the UK for many years! Instruments featured include harps, gitterns, citoles, lutes, vielles, flutes of many kinds, bagpipes, lyres, shawms, bone whistles and a wealth of percussion. Come and have a try along the stalls and see if you are tempted...

More details about the instrument exhibition (and everything else!) on our webpage.

Concerts at Medieval Music in the Dales

Our concert performers at Medieval Music in the Dales are:

  • internationally renowned medieval harpist Leah Stuttard. Leah has performed with Ensemble Micrologus and Jordi Savall and will be presenting her acclaimed programme of fifteenth-century music 'The Wool Merchant and the Harp'.
  • Britain's leading hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Steve Tyler along with bagpipe and shawm player extraordinaire Katy Marchant. Steve and Katy will be presenting principally fourteenth-century music on hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, shawm, Gothic harp and recorder.
  • the UK's newest and finest wind band Blondel, playing on shawms, recorders and bagpipes. Blondel's latest project is a commission in commemoration of Agincourt and they will be focusing on fifteenth-century music.
  • Yorkshire's own Trouvère: that's me, Gill Page along with my partner Paul Leigh, and singer Richard de Winter. We'll be launching our new concert programme of English medieval music: 'The Revel and the Melodye' at Medieval Music in the Dales.

We will all be coming together for a combined concert on the Saturday night, and also giving individual concerts (with more and different content) over the weekend - all to take place in the intimate fourteenth-century setting of St Oswald's Parish Church, which stands in the shadow of Bolton Castle. We're also pleased to say there will be a further daytime concert on Saturday afternoon from Scotland's leading exponents of medieval music, Gaita, who will also be providing the live music for our fifteenth-century dance workshops. 

Go to our Blog for more information on the concert programme.

The Performer Pass

But it's not just about the headline acts. We want as many people as possible to be involved in the music-making and that's why we have the Performer Pass. This is available only through this Crowdfunder. It offers musicians the chance to play their medieval music as named performers at MMITD on the Open Stages and at the sessions as well as join in on the workshops and attend the concerts. The event will be very fully documented with photos and video and Performer Pass holders will get access to this archive of their work to use in their own promotional material as they see fit. Not least, they also get the chance to camp at the Castle for the whole weekend - it really is our Access All Areas option! 

As ever, our Blog has more information.

The Festival Pass

And if you want to come along to enjoy the music in concert and on the open stages, visit the instrument exhibition, or even join in on a workshop or two - but performing's not for you! - then the various Festival Passes are the answer. They include three-day or two-day passes with or without workshops, one-day passes with workshops, family tickets, and group tickets for societies wanting to come en masse... More information on our Blog of course!


What's this about workshops? It's a great programme:

  • Hurdy-gurdy workshop (intermediate to advanced) with Steve Tyler (Saturday 12 noon)
  • Recorder maintenance with Philippe Bolton (Saturday 2.30pm)
  • Using medieval sources with Gill Page (Sunday am)
  • Singing medieval music with Richard de Winter (Sunday pm)
  • Making and maintaining your shawm reed with Lizzie Gutteridge (in two sessions: Saturday am and Sunday pm)
  • Hands-on introduction to medieval instruments with Trouvère (Friday pm)
  • Beginner bagpipes with Tom Hughes of the Bagpipe Society (Friday pm)
  • Medieval bagpipes (for players with some experience) with Paul Martin. Suitable for G pipes (Saturday pm)
  • Medieval Bowed Instruments (suitable for vielle, rebec, crwth, also modern violins) with Paul Martin (Sunday pm)
  • High medieval dance with Charlotte Ewart: the estampies reals(Saturday pm, repeated Sunday am)
  • Late medieval dance with Gaita Medieval Music: the Gresley Manuscript (Saturday am, repeated Sunday pm)

The Blog has full information on the workshops including exactly when and where they will take place, duration, and of course content.


And there's more...

Medieval Music in the Dales also features a Grand Medieval Feast on the Friday night. Taking place in the frankly awesome setting of Bolton Castle's Great Chamber this offers a sumptuous spread of music and entertainment along with a groaning board and a roaring fire. It's an unforgettable night.

There's also the Medieval Market - a very special form of retail therapy featuring a range of crafts known in the medieval period.

The Venue - Bolton Castle

Bolton Castle is the perfect venue. It's a late fourteenth century castle situated in the heart of Wensleydale. Despite Cromwell's best efforts, large parts of the castle remain intact, providing ideal spaces for our luthiers' exhibition and performance areas. It's arranged around an open central courtyard and looks over landscaped gardens, both of which provide space for the medieval market - and more performance. With falconry shows and Bolton Castle's wild boars to visit, not to mention the splendours of the Dale to explore, there is plenty for everyone to see and do. You could spend a week in the Yorkshire Dales with Medieval Music in the Dales as the focus for your visit.

Who is organising Medieval Music in the Dales?

The event's being run by Trouvère, the medieval music group based in North Yorkshire. There's two of us - Paul Leigh, who is basically in charge of all the music planning and direction, and Gill Page, who gets to do everything else. We've been involved in medieval music for over fifteen years and perform all over the country. But we've dreamt for a long time about an event like this and now we have the perfect venue and - hooray! - so much goodwill from other musicians and instrument makers.

Some more of the nitty-gritty

And crowdfunding is the perfect way to make it all happen.

  • This is the best - and also the cheapest - way to get your tickets for the event. Tickets will be available afterwards (unless we sell out in the campaign!) but they will cost more.
  • This is the only way to get hold of group tickets with great rates for family groups or for societies. You could bring your reenactment group along, or your music society. The Luthier Sponsor is also a great deal for a couple visiting together!
  • This is the best way to get places on your preferred workshops and daytime concerts and it's first-come-first-served. When you make a pledge, we will contact you with a registration form to state your preferences. Get that back quick and we can work it all out. You'll receive your tickets in June with all the details confirmed.
  • it is the only way to get a Performer Pass and come and play at the event on the open stages. We want as much music as possible going on - musicians, please sign up! The basic rule is that you must have a medieval set list (so nothing later than 1500) and you must be prepared to do at least a couple of slots on a couple of days. 
  • It's the only way to get a camping ticket for the event - these are limited so get in quick. Please note there aren't any showers at the venue, but there is an outside toilet block adjacent to the camping area.
  • It's also a way to give something to the event if you can't come and we can offer a range of thank-you rewards from our e-Scroll of Thanks (delivered as a PDF - hey, we're not totally medieval!) to the opportunity to promote your group or organisation as a sponsor.
  • If you are a local business that might have something to offer to the festival-goers we can offer you advertising space in our programme as a Programme Sponsor. Programmes will be sent out in June so you can be part of people's planning for their time in the Dales
  • And if you are feeling exceptionally generous, please consider becoming a sponsor of the Luthiers, of the Concert or of the Artists. You'll get great ticket packages and our undying appreciation.

We know what you're thinking - I want to pledge but there are so many options.... help!  

Well, in summary

  • if you want to visit Medieval Music in the Dales to listen to the music, browse the instrument exhibition and the market and perhaps enjoy the odd daytime concert or workshop then look for pledges beginning 'Festival Pass'
  • if you want to visit Medieval Music in the Dales to do all of the above but also want to play your music on the Open Stages, look for pledges beginning 'Performer Pass'
  • if you want to attend just one of the evening events look for "Concert Ticket' or 'The Feast'
  • if you can't come to Medieval Music in the Dales but want to support us anyway - look at everything else!
  • and feel free to make more than one pledge if you wish to mix and match...

Lastly, the full programme for you to plan exactly what you want to do and when is available on our Blog. And if you want help navigating your way through the pledges and feel you need a flow chart... check out our charts here.

And if you are having difficulty working it all out, please feel free to drop me a message setting out what you would like to do and I'll happily advise on the best Pledge. Use the 'Message Project' button above. 


Medieval Music in the Dales has something to offer for music lovers, history enthusiasts, performers, students, re-enactors... It's a unique event in the UK and we want as many people as possible to come along and be part of it, whether as audience, performers, dancers or simply shoppers. And last but not least - if you can't make it to the event but would like to support it then that is absolutely marvelous and our pledges offer that chance. Let's all make this a weekend to remember!


We're pleased to say Medieval Music in the Dales has already received some part funding from


Open to any individual, business, community group orvoluntary sector body, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund provides a simple and accessible source of money for a range of projects that result in positive benefits fro the National Park, its environment, its economy and its communities, while en-hancing and conserving local culture, wildlife and landscape. It's wonderful that they have decided to assist MMITD in this way. 



Formed in 1986 to bring together players, makers, researchers and people who just love the sound of the bagpipes, The Bagpipe Society is funding the attendance of Italian medieval bagpipe researcher and maker Danilo Turchetti.


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