Dinthwaite Medieval Village Foundation

Seal of Dinthwaite Medieval Village

I have been working quite steadily on a very important project to crowdfund the beginnings of a new chapter in medieval living history and reenactment. The Dinthwaite Medieval Village Foundation will be a reenactment first village dedicated to the hobby of interpreting and recreating the middle ages.

Our Hobby is Without a Home

In America, at least, we lack dedicated spaces which cater to the look, feel, and particulars of a medieval environment for our events and meetings. Many of us get the most immersion in woods and fields, the rest of us make do with parks, and at worst we ignore the visuals of gymnasiums and convention halls. The spaces that do exist with a medieval vibe always have a different purpose which our community has to work around. Ren fairs are for profit businesses, not playgrounds for immersive living history. Open-air museums often accommodate living history better. But, they have to balance their school groups and public hours. They are often unable to afford to shut the public out and close off clashing modern aesthetics. It does not need to be this way, and I am here to change it.

A Reenactor-First Medieval Village

While there are reenactment or living history groups, no organization focuses on creating, establishing, and maintaining the space for reenactment groups to perform their activities. Likewise, it is difficult to find spaced to conduct long-term experimental archeology . These are all the types of activities enjoyed by those with access to land of their own. Having land is a luxury. While many groups have benefited from “knowing a guy” spaces, these are notorious for their unreliability. Many a reenactor has sunk hours of time and countless dollars into physical spaces which they had to abandon because they no longer have access.

The answer to these issues is to build a medieval village and its trappings from infrastructure to material culture. This village has the the express focus of serving the medieval living history and reenactment community. It will not be an open air museum or a medieval fair or a medieval themed amusement park. Immersion events will not have to fit in around the other business. The village will focus on living history and reenactment events and projects.

Living history is also more than events; it is about recreating and reliving elements of the past. The site will incorporate “open hours,” not for the public to tour, but for reenactors to use the space for immersion purposes. Examples include exploratory experiences, working on crafts, and enjoying garb in medieval ambiance. Not everything requires the pressures of goal oriented events. To this end, the site will be a home for enduring living history projects and experiments. The kind of projects we can only conduct in an authentic medieval environment. Projects such as agriculture, building construction, and tactics exploration. The first step is creating the legal entity which can achieve this goal.

Enter the Foundation

This first step, before buying land or breaking ground or scheduling events, is to create a legal entity which can be set up to run this endeavor. Dinthwaite Medieval Village Foundation will be a not-for-profit nonstock corporation. Corporations must follow and adhere to their bylaws and articles of incorporation. This first fundraising campaign is for the costs of establishing and perpetuating the corporation. Far larger sums of money will be required in the future for buying land and constructing buildings.

The not-for-profit nature of the corporation prohibits anyone involved from enriching themselves with your money. A nonstock corporation cannot issue stock, and will provide no member interest. There will be no external influence to make profit instead of making an accessible and low to no cost resource. The articles of incorporation and bylaws will force the Foundation to follow fiscally conservative financial planning. They will keep the project focused solely on the medieval living history and reenactment community’s benefit.


The intended area of this village is a rural area of Kansas in the American Midwest, outside the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. This area is suited for a project of this nature as it is centrally located to the entire contiguous US. It will be near the expanding Kansas City International Airport. It is close to the intersection of many interstates, including I-29, I-35, I-49, and I-70, making the area accessible by both air and vehicle travel. Unlike western Kansas, where the jokes about endless flat terrain are truer than humor, the area along the border with Missouri still has an abundance of wooded and hilly areas. This makes “hiding” the village feasible. The climate of the area also varies from snowy and cold to arid and hot. This allows for the exploration of a variety of different cultures based on climate throughout the year.


As a not-for-profit community focused project, the Foundation commits to providing access to its services at little to no cost. This is achieve through a variety of internal controls at the foundation of the corporation. This included the not-for-profit status, volunteerism, and minimizing or eliminating expensive executive compensation. Another key to achieving this goal is pre-financing many of the unavoidable expenses of basic operations through self sustaining investment budgeting. We will be using 3% as our guiding principle, as this is well below long term average returns. Years where the market are healthier will add surplus for future projects as well as buffer for years with weaker return.

For example, Kansas’ cost of filing annual reports is $40. Taking $1,400 and investing it in account(s) which return at or more than 3% interest provides the business $40 a year. This Kickstarter seeks to raise enough to cover the cost of having an attorney review the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and waivers. It will pay the initial filing fee and cover future annual reports. It will establish and pay for a domain and website and secure a postal address.  

Incorporating: A Vital First Step

The value of incorporating before anything else cannot be overstated. Once incorporated the Foundation can begin to explore fundraising, financing, grants, and other avenues of fundraising. Many of these are open exclusively or preferentially to business entities. Though a simple first step, it is fundamental to the process of establishing the village. It will be key to and providing the living history and reenactment community the haven they deserve. 

I May Never Visit, And I Will Still Contribute

Correct decision! We live in a technological era where even distant locales are as close as the phone in our hand, if people are willing to put in the effort. I will be making this project accessible to the world through liberal leveraging of technology, offering a wide variety of virtual access through live streams, such as lectures and presentations, behind the scene videos, photo and video updates, live Q&As, virtual tours, interactive 360 photography, video hikes, and more. By the time you make it out in person it’ll already feel like a second home.

Still A Ways To Go

We have a long road ahead to finish funding. Please support on Kickstarter. Rewards begin as little as $25, and for a small investment now you can create a huge change in the future of our hobby.

Arms & Armor Aunlaz Dagger Review

Arms & Armor Aunlaz Dagger Review Thumbnail

I am please to release my review of the Arms & Armor aunlaz dagger. Also, I have a transcript of the video.

“Today I am going to be reviewing the Arms & Armor Aunlaz Dagger.


The Aunlaz dagger is a unique and identifiable style of dagger notable by the shape of its hilt and pommel. Known by other names also such as antennae dagger, it’s referenced as the quillion dagger by the Royal Armories. It has an aesthetics that is vaguely reminiscent of anthropomorphic Iron Age weapons. The guard and pommel sweep away from the grip, making this distinct curl at the end of each bar. Similar in profile to basilards, aunlaz daggers were often found with this curl here wrapped around another piece of metal, such as more steel, or copper, or latten. Though this forward sweeping curl to the crossguard reminiscent of many different types of daggers, the Aunlaz is very distinct for having a pommel that is nearly symmetrical and opposite the design to the quillion. It has a double edged flattened diamond blade which tapers to a strong point. Visual and archeological finds place this dagger in use as early as the 12th century and goes until the end of the 14th when its popularity declined.

Physical Review

This dagger came out of the box clean and shiny, with the finish that you see here. I have done nothing extra to it. As I said, it’s not to an edge, you can’t shave with it or cut paper. I have no expertise with steel types myself, but I am assured it will hold an edge if applied. Make no mistake, it’s still a functional dagger of solid construction and it can hurt or kill anyone you stab with it. So, here’s your general disclaimer: don’t stab people. This is not a toy and it’s not a sparring tool. This dagger is held together with a handsome wooden grip. None of it wiggles or feels loose. Though this blade is no pocket knife when it comes to length, it’s really not a terribly large dagger, especially in comparison to descriptions we have of some extant daggers which really blur the line between a long knife and a short sword. Even more noticeable really, is how short this grip is. While I accept that I have large hands, don’t even get me started on trying to find gloves at Tractor Supply, it really is a bit snug when gripped in hand. Handling it in a gauntlet is absolutely impossible. Now, in comparison, it’s much more roomy in the hand of my wife. In actual dimensions it is about 13.5 inches overall, with a 9 inch long blade, its 3 and a quarter inch long handle. The handle and the blade are all about an inch wide. The whole dagger is 3 inches wide at the quillions which more or less matches the dimensions on the website.

Reenactor’s Application

This dagger is not out of the box a nobleman’s dagger without modification. It could accept decoration that would elevate its status, but out of the box it is appropriate for a commoner impression, or that of the simpler yeomanry. It seems to be more popular in the 13th and 14th centuries based on manuscript imagery. It’s not a utilitarian knife, it’s much more suitable for impressions with a martial angle to them. So, think of an armored impression, but of the simpler man at arms or maybe a peasant levy; this could also be worn on the camp impressions of somebody on campaign in a war setting; it could also be used as part of a para-martial impressions where you think there might be a tussle such as a forester, or someone traveling on dangerous roads. And then think of something you might grab in response to the hue and cry. Things like that. As I mentioned a few times before, this is a functional dagger, and so all the care and consideration is required when wearing this dagger, such as not wearing it with an impression where some friendly combat is expected to happen. Don’t use it as an ornamentation in a HEMA tournament where you could confuse it for a sparring applicable dagger. The same thing if you’re doing, maybe, like a live battle demonstration. This version of the aunlaz dagger is not the best choice.

Final Thoughts

Overall I am incredibly happy with this dagger. I was fortunate to have won it as part of a Swords Without Borders fundraiser, years and years ago now, but if I were to have purchased it today, and received what I have now, it would have been entirely worth the money spent. It has definitely confirmed, to me, the Arms & Armor’s company reputation of high quality, care, and service. Thank you for reading.”

The Real Story Behind Almond Milk

Almond milk is not a modern invention, and in many cases it had a real popularity in the middle ages which has only waned over time, with various upticks in modern interest. Among the nobility and peasantry it was a widely adopted drink and the medieval people we purport to represent with our reenactment or living history impressions would be intimately familiar with the product both as a drink and as a cooking ingredient in medieval dishes and recipes.

October Newsletter 2021

Routine Maintenance and Upkeep

My most important task, keeping the links clean and unbroken, is complete. I did a touch of updating the summaries and descriptions in places where it was needed. The next big update will be an upgrade to the site, and I plan to start adding in plug-ins for some of the more advanced features which I’ve been hoping to access, but have been biding my time for. I suspect I’ll spend much of the winter working on the complete upgrade, so keep an eye out for interesting developments over the next few months.

Site upgrades, and the entire project, is made possible by the support of those committed to making this space a tangible reality. I am honored to add Dominique J Knight to the rolls as a supporting member through Patreon. If you have derived any value from the use of this website or the informative and entertaining content, please consider joining on Patreon, I offer incentives to include early content and creative control over future work whenever possible as an added benefit, and you will be contributing to what makes this the best medieval corner of the internet.

Continue reading “October Newsletter 2021”

How Two Medieval Episode 33 – The Anthropology Perspective with Madeleine Smith

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Episode Audio

Join Matt and me as we talk to special guest Madeleine Smith of the Actually Interesting History podcast about the insights anthropology can lend to the study of the past and by extension living history impressions. 

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Show notes:

Continue reading “How Two Medieval Episode 33 – The Anthropology Perspective with Madeleine Smith”

How Two Medieval Episode 32 – H2M Reacts to The Green Knight and Last Duel Trailers

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Episode Audio

Not only do Matt and I share our initial thoughts on these two films based only on their trailers, but we spend sometime discussing the complicated relationship between the medieval living history community and medieval themed movies produced by Hollywood. 

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Show notes:

Continue reading “How Two Medieval Episode 32 – H2M Reacts to The Green Knight and Last Duel Trailers”

July Newsletter 2021

Routine Maintenance and Upkeep

All links and information on the website is current and functional! There were fewer dead links this month than there have been in the past. Perhaps that’s a good thing on behalf of my continual pruning, or perhaps it’s just the community on the internet is better about keeping their sites running. I’m inclined to assume it’s the latter, optimism is healthy.

Continue reading “July Newsletter 2021”

How Two Medieval Episode 31 – Event Cooking

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Episode Audio

Join Matt and I as we provide an overview of cooking at events or when camping, which generally involves cooking over an open flame.

Also a shout out to Mike Baker and his new podcast Deconstructing History.

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Show notes:

Continue reading “How Two Medieval Episode 31 – Event Cooking”

June Newsletter 2021

Routine Maintenance and Upkeep

My how time flies when you have an infant. I have kept the website clean, however, and continue to add descriptions to the tutorials section. Likewise I have added some living history groups to the Groups Billboard as I find them. If I’m missing someone, let me know! I want everyone to be included. Speaking of making sure people are included, I am quite pleased to add Matthew Blacks, the Captain of the Guard to the member roll of the Household of Dinthwaite!

Continue reading “June Newsletter 2021”