Raphael Historic Falconry is a fully professional live-action performance and education team that travels all over the UK all year round. We do not have other jobs....this IS our job! From preparation to delivery every aspect of our work is executed to exemplary standard and we are confident that whoever you are you will like our work. We are the premier historical falconers in the country!
Our public flying displays are the most slick and professional you are likely to see because historic falconry is our full time job and we're pretty darn good at it! In this field we are unsurpassed. Our focus has always been on the quality of the flights that we present AND engaging our audience so we aim to deliver a thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable display containing a variety of different birds with a powerful narrative. We are not a flying circus so you will find no cringe-worthy or cheesy stunts, instead we encourage natural behaviour and a genuine style of flight from all our birds. That means the lightening stoop of the Peregrine, the powerful military style chase of the Hawk, the careful ambush of the Lanner, the cheeky flitting flight of the Kestrel, the graceful glide of the Owl, the fearless pursuit of the Saker and the beauty of the majestic Gyr Falcon. And now we have added the spectacular flight of the Eagle, the exciting combat style flight of a Cast of Falcons and the miniature rocket that is the Merlin to some of our displays too!
We are the only historical falconers to offer up to 3 daily flying displays; each containing a different selection of birds and each theme distinctly different to the last. Every bird is flown in individual and impressive style accompanied by an eloquent commentary revealing how its species was used and valued in history. We weave a seamless story throughout our displays demonstrating training, hunting and flying techniques in live action using a variety of period props. There is a relevant public interaction element to many of our displays and our performances are suitable for audiences of all ages and sizes. At larger flagship events we draft in fellow professional falconer, friend and falconry legend Ben Long (manufacturer of the best falconry equipment and director of The Falconry School). Using modern techniques and his experience as a pilot he helps us recreate the ancient art of kite hawking which is a truly stunning spectacle - only surpassed by flying at robotic prey which we collaboratively launched in 2016 at The Battle of Hastings.
If you need us to we can supply our own top quality rechargeable PA system as we require hands-free microphones, we can also provide our own H&S arena equipment and safety signage. As the law requires we carry £5million public liability insurance, possess the NEW Animal Activities Licence, carry a Welfare in Transit licence and have a comprehensive company Safety Policy incorporating site-specific risk assessments. Copies are available by request on completion of booking. We are fully self-contained and require nothing from a venue other than vehicle access and water.
All falconers are expected to provide a selection of birds on perches to view between displays, we are no exception but we have gone to exceptional lengths to make our historical static display one of the best in the industry. The historical place of rest for falconry birds was The Hawk Mews; we have recreated various period mews using carefully crafted historical tents because like stage scenery they help to create the right period ambiance as well as providing all-weather shelter for the bird team. Each tented mews is lavishly decorated with sumptuous period fabrics, hand crafted perches, furniture, props and equipment off-setting the birds beautifully in a period-appropriate surrounding. It is a visual feast for the eyes and an attraction in its own right!
The mews is open for external public viewing only and encourages visitors to chat to the costumed falconers, take photographs and see the birds at close quarters. On a sunny day the birds are often placed outside with water baths and can be seen having a jolly good splash! Visitors with dogs are always asked to keep a little distance as a welfare measure and signs are displayed accordingly. What we don't do is place a name sign in front of each bird, the birds are members of our family not scientific specimens so we treat them with respect. Our purpose is to talk to visitors and tell them about the birds not ignore them and point to a sign.....so we will happily tell everyone what the birds are even if we have to repeat ourselves 1000 times!
We are very flexible in terms of the type of events that we are suitable for inclusion at. Much of the time we work alone as sole performers providing period falconry as the entire event, we are fully equipped and experienced to do this and can offer a full daily programme of flying displays, talks and show-and-tells. We also work equally well at large multi-performer and multi-period events like Jousting Tournaments, Roman Festivals and Victorian Fairs. Wherever we work there are certain geographical requirements we need to be able to perform both well and safely. Not all venues and events are suitable for falconry due to their size, location or activity content so do please get in touch if you have any doubts. We are the best people to advise you and can often make recommendations or devise a "best fit" plan. Falconry is NOT a suitable activity to include at military events which include explosions e.g. cannon, gun fire and battle recreations incorporating gunpowder.
RATES & BOOKING
We do not charge a single standard rate because of the variety of services we offer. Our fees are calculated on an individual basis depending on distance, duration and content. We do not charge an inflated price for bank holidays, we do offer discounts for multiple bookings or events of more than 2 consecutive days and our rates are fully inclusive of all expenses. We will take single day bookings at weekends however a nominal fee for the loss of the second day may be charged. If you are interested in making a booking the best thing to do is contact us by email for a written quote. Give us a brief outline of your requirements and location and we will respond as soon as we can.
Our company is VAT registered so all charges will be plus tax. We charge a non-refundable deposit to secure all bookings and issue written confirmation with terms and conditions included. Please note we do not put out donation buckets to boost our income as this is illegal unless a registered charity! If you are booking an animal performer to exhibit animals at your event they must by law possess an Animal Activities License.