• Shopping Basket: 0 items
  • Sign in or Register to start shopping

Games and festivities

Games and festivities in the medieval period were often rooted in pagan beliefs, and some of these festivities still survive today. There were many members of the clergy who didn’t approve of this; they felt that it was at best reinforcing local superstitions and at worst was encouraging sorcery or witchcraft. The fact that many people are still superstitious today shows what powerful beliefs they were.

Drama, dance and song were a very important part of medieval culture, along with legends and stories. The cultural traditions of the time tended to be visual and oral, rather than written because of the high levels of illiteracy. Festivals also tended to fit in with, and very much reflect the rhythm of life and agriculture.

The kinds of local events that went on were ‘Plough Monday’, ‘Feast of Fools’, May games, summer games and harvest suppers. They also held miracle plays (a long series of short plays telling Bible stories) and secular plays, and other kinds of story-telling. There is a medieval secular play which still survives, which may have been written in Lincolnshire, called ‘The Cleric and the Girl’. These were popularist at first, but later came to be enjoyed by the aristocracy as well.

Medieval people also enjoyed bull running, bear baiting, wrestling, beauty competitions and many other festivities. Squires’ games would include quintain and tilting.

Customer Notice: Viewing images and Online Ordering

As of January 2021, Adobe Flash Player is no longer supported and therefore browsers are disabling and blocking the software for security reasons. Lincs to the Past can still be used as a catalogue to search our collections for documents of interest, but you will be unable to browse through our digital image collections or view photographs. We are aware of this issue, and work is underway to make the contents of Lincs to the Past available by other means. We aim to complete this project during Summer 2021.



Thousands of object records are still available to view on the website and images can be ordered offline. For instructions on how to place an order please visit the 'Buy Images' page. Please do not use the online ordering system. For any queries about ordering digital images please email archive.copies@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Members of Lincolnshire Libraries can access a number of online that may be of use. For more information please visit Lincolnshire Libraries. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.







Follow us on...

follow us on Twitterfollow us on Facebook


Support Lincs to the Past

Lincolnshire's heritage is a rich, diverse and precious legacy. Your donations will be used to improve your visit through better exhibitions, increased digitisation and conservation work. Your generosity will help to preserve and keep vibrant our heritage for future generations. Thank you for your support.

I want to donate...

Last updated: 3 March 2011

Bookmark with:

What are these?

  • © 2012 Lincs To The Past, Lincolnshire Archives

Powered by Webstructure.NET