Maryland’s medieval times tradition extends back to 1969, when an enterprising group of students (including several members of the fencing team) recreated the Battle of Hastings (1066 A.D.) on the South Chapel Lawn. This event led to the formation of a unique student group on campus — the Maryland Medieval Mercenary Militia. The group’s members research, acquire, and create their own clothing for the battles, including weapons, helmets, and armor. The Battle of Hastings reenactment turned into an annual spectacle which lasted from 1969 through the late 1980s. After a hiatus, the club reinstated the battle in 2006.
In addition to the Battle of Hastings, club members perform reenactments of other famous skirmishes, participate in living history events, visit schools to educate children about medieval history, organize medieval feasts, and attend related regional events. The campus group spawned a regional counterpart, the Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia, comprised of medieval enthusiasts from across the Northeast.