Newcomer Information

Greetings, and welcome to the Principality of Insulae Draconis!

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a worldwide association of medieval history enthusiasts who participate in a wide range of activities which explore various aspects of life in the middle ages, covering the period before and not surpassing 1600 AD. The Insulae Draconis Web page is dedicated to SCA events and groups in the British Isles and the Rep. of Ireland.
The Society for Creative Anachronism was founded on May 1, 1966 (Anno Sociatatis I) in Berkley California by a group of science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts (including authors Diana Paxton and Marion Zimmer Bradley, among others) who decided to hold a medieval tournament. It was such fun, they agreed to do another one, and it just kept growing from there. After their first major display at the World Science Fiction Convention in Berkley, held in 1968, things really began to pick up; many of those who saw the SCA in action found it irresistible, and went home to found new branch groups. By 1970, there were four “Kingdoms”, in 1978, six and today, there are nineteen, comprising thousands of members, spread across the globe, from Australia, North America, Europe, and the Far East.

There are many aspects to the SCA: there is the research and practice of Medieval arts, crafts and even sciences (alchemy, medicine, herbalism etc.), the activities such as armoured combat, rapier combat, archery and equestrian sports and the re-creation aspect where we have reigning Kings and Queens, hold Royal courts, tournaments and feasts. In feasts and revels, we partake of authentic medieval recipes for food and drink, enjoy the music of minstrels, and other entertainment such as period drama and dancing; in tournaments, the excitement of combat between individuals and teams of knights, squires and men-at-arms is enjoyed. The largest of SCA events is a War, in which hundreds and even thousands of folk set up a tent city and enjoy a weekend or more of medieval living, with the impressive spectacle of armies of fighters doing battle. Archery, tournaments, feats of sport, competitions, shopping and trading, feasting, reveling and nights around the camp fires are all a part of the SCA experience.

We are not, however, a performance society. We do not set scenarios for an audience, nor are we hired by historical venues or organizations in order to entertain the visiting public. Everything that we do, is volunteer-based for our membership and is a totally immersive experience. That being said, if we are lucky enough to secure a castle or ancient building as a site for one of our events, we are more than happy to allow the general public to watch our activities and most of us are used to, and more than happy to answer questions.

If you are interested in attending an SCA event in the British Isles, please take a look at the event calendar. If you are interested in joining the SCA, then please goto the Groups Page to find the nearest group to you. For more detailed information about the SCA in general and groups around the world, click here to visit the main SCA Home Page.

Your local group will host regular monthly group meetings and craft workshops as well as fighter practices, separate to the events listed on the website. The website of your local group will list these gatherings on their calendar of activities. Some will be in costume and others not, but this will be specified in the description of the meeting.

Please also feel free to browse other documents listed in this section, which include:

A Welcome page that explains all about the SCA in greater detail can be found in the Newcomers Guide page.

In short, please take a look around our various websites and drop us an email or a phone call – we are a lot of fun, and new people are always welcome! I hold the position of Chatelaine of Insulae Draconis, which means that I am responsible for welcoming new people into our group and introducing them to the many and varied delights therein, and I am always available to answer any questions you may have. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Yours in Service
Viscountess Suzanna of York
Chatelaine of the Principality of Insulae Draconis