About Us

•09/11/2011 • 2 Comments

Skipton Castle with the Red Wyvern Society in 2008

North Lakes Historical Fencing Society is a collection of like minded enthusiasts who are dedicated to understanding and practicing the historical martial arts of Western Europe. We base our training on the evidence of these fighting systems left to us by the 14th and 15th Century medieval masters themselves, such as Johannes Liechtenauer, Fiore-dei-Liberi, Paulus Kal, Hans Tallhoffer and others. We also study the unattributed sword and buckler treatise known simply as MS-I-33.

The works of these historical masters are cryptically written since they were designed not to advertise their secret craft too openly. Therefore our training is based upon the works of recent scholars who have interpreted these old texts for us. In particular we currently use: 

v     Fighting With The German Longsword/ In The Service Of The Duke/ In Saint Georges Name ; Christian Tobler

v     Sword In Two Hands; Brian R Price 

v     The Fighting Man’s Guide To German Longsword Combat; Michael Thomas

v     The Swordsmans Companion; Guy Windsor

v     The Medieval Art Of Swordsmanship; Dr Jeffery Forgeng 

v     Medieval Combat (Hans Tallhoffer); Mark Rector

Our source material is continually expanding and we openly encourage (and thoroughly enjoy) debating (and trying!) new historical techniques as they are revealed to us by our or other peoples studies.

North Lakes Historical Fencing Society was founded in 2006 by Nathan Williams, a very fine fellow and worthy swordsman.

We meet in Cockermouth,Cumbria at the Kirkgate Centre on the first and third Sunday of each month.

So, if you are over 16 years old, interested in joining us in discovering our forgotten European martial arts, then come along to a training session to meet us and see first hand what we are all about.


Sunday 6th and 20th January, 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•05/01/2019 • Leave a Comment

Hi Everyone, hope your Christmas and New Year were merry!

This year we will try to get back to basics and re-build technique where we have fallen into bad habits starting on 6th we will try to do more slow speed sparring during our training. Also we will try to make our way through the impenetrable 3rd Section of Harleian Manuscript…and maybe look to doing some spear work later in the year?


Sunday 2nd and 16th December, 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•30/11/2018 • Leave a Comment

Sunday 2nd usual techniques an sparring session

Sunday 16th customary end of year ‘bring your toys’ session. Sparring with anything followed by a quick trip to the Bitter End.

Sunday November 4th and 18th 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•29/10/2018 • 1 Comment

Harleian Manuscript – Part 2 both sessions.
We’ll take the individual lessons slowly and do some slow speed sparring to explore the movements and concepts to try and embed them better.
Normal sparing opportunity at the end of each session as usual.

See you there.

Sunday 7th and 21st October 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•06/10/2018 • Leave a Comment

Both sessions will be continuing with the Harelian manuscript with sparring at the end to test the techniques we have covered.
Continuing through Section 1 and hopefully into the beginning of Section 2 by the second week.

See you there.

2nd and 16th September, 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•31/08/2018 • Leave a Comment

Not exactly sure what we will be doing at each session yet.
Probably a Fight Camp download from David on the 2nd and then get back into some Harleian techniques on 16th.

See you there.

Appleby and Cockermouth Sessions In August

•23/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

We only have the hall booked for Friday 3rd and 10th of August. So a short month

3rd will be a session working on flow drills and movement, which Gavin will lead.

10th will be a short focus on Harleian plays and then an extended sparring session Bring your fencing toys and plenty of water.

All welcome. 7-9pm

Sunday 19th August 17:00 to 19:30 ish
General sparring with whoever turns up. It is unusual for us to have an August session at Cockermouth and this one clashes with Fight Camp.

Sunday 1st and 15th July, 17:00 to 19:30 ish

•22/06/2018 • Leave a Comment

Sunday 1st will be usual working on Harleian.
For our newer starters working on zornhau and doing flow drills.

Sunday 15th will be our last session before the August break (due to the Keswick convention…)
Sparring, bring your toys…Newer starters can either have a go at sparring at a comfortable level or we will work on some drills of some kind.