28th December 2022
We had 42 event days confirmed in the diary and have just received confirmation on another 55. Our contractual obligations of the past have gone so we take bookings on a first come first served basis, so if you are thinking about instructing our services – get in touch asap before the opportunity is lost.
A little bit of exciting news! Next year sees us become a more frequent feature of the event programme at Alnwick Castle with multiple visits of longer duration throughout the year. We have a new flying location which has enhanced our appearances and forms a closer link between the castle and the outlying gardens. We thank the Head of Ventures for working closely with us to create a new home for our services. We hope our residency at the castle will continue to expand in the future.
There are no planned changes to our bird team, the avian influenza situation in the UK remains a serious threat to our business and so we must focus on keeping our birds safe and finding a way to continue trading despite the many challenges. We had 5 events cancelled in 2022 due to the virus, national mourning, and a heatwave – we do not want a repeat! So we enter 2023 with hope and confidence that things surely must get better soon!
4th March 2021
This is the title of our new show and a separate branch of service. New for 2021, The History Birds is our second commercial identity distinct to Raphael Historic Falconry. We are the same people but offering two very different services. Our primary ID is synonymous with falconry and flying birds in public demonstrations, but we understand that this limits our appeal to venues as many do not have the right spatial or geographical requirements for falconry. It’s a shame those venues miss out on staging events of our nature. Not any more! Now we can offer you The History Birds instead, perfect for museums and heritage sites with limited outdoor space. We can even stage The History Birds indoors.
The distinction is simple, Raphael Historic Falconry focuses specifically on falconry practice, past and present, i.e. demonstrating live birds in flight and hunt simulations. Conversely, The History Birds does not focus on falconry at all, it is specifically about birds in story – so historical storytelling. We still bring live birds but there is no flying display and no mention of falconry. The focus is purely on the birds themselves, on the history of natural history, genuine historical tales involving birds of prey, and folklore.
The stories are not period specific, that would be too narrow a field, so they are drawn from across the centuries and woven into an enchanting tapestry of tales. Presented in historic costume and with real birds for reference, The History Birds will hopefully become a popular addition to our repertoire.
3rd March 2021
After years of searching for the perfect late medieval headdress in which to perform, something sturdy and robust enough to cope with an active wearer, Emma has perfected the art of making the HENNIN. Sometimes known as the flowerpot hat, its proper title is the truncated hennin, in other words a cone with the point lopped off. The pointy cone style, the steeple hennin, was more fashionable on the continent, but here in England the truncated hennin was popular; some plain, some wired with veils and some sculpted into the style of butterfly wings. Of notable practicality is the truncated hennin with chin strap – particularly good if you fly a falcon or ride a horse!
Our headdresses are of various styles and sizes, all covered in pure silk, lined with white linen and decorated with contrasting metallic braiding. They are constructed of buckram and wire so they hold their shape well and can be easily restored with a steam iron should you get caught in a rain shower. Veils, where included, are also pure silk. Every headdress is completely hand made – not a machine stitch in sight. They range in price from £50 to £85 so are utterly affordable for their superior quality. Prices include postage but delivery within the UK only.
If you would like more details you can either scroll through our facebook page and find each headdress advertised in our posts, or you can drop us an email and we will send you information and pictures.
23rd February 2021
Sadly our first public event of the year at Easter has been cancelled following the government’s announcement of the pandemic road map. It is bitterly disappointing that outdoor venues are being forced to remain closed until after the Easter holidays. Many businesses were relying on a partial re-opening to start their financial recovery but now face yet further losses. We can only hope that venues will be allowed to open in mid April as planned.
17th February 2021
We have just launched a new page on our website; a publishing page, which can be found in the first section after you “enter” the site. When you click on the tab it will take you to an area specially dedicated to the publishing of information. Here you will find stories and articles of interest, published periodically through time, which will appear for a limited time only. To kick off the development, you can read Emma’s original work which will be published chapter by chapter over a period of weeks. It’s a short story about the life and adventures of her favourite bird who passed away in 2020. It is free to access so we hope you enjoy it.
22nd January 2021
We are pleased to announce we have been awarded the English Heritage Falconry Services Contract once again. That makes it year 17 of being official supplier to the organisation and charity. Things have changed a lot behind the scenes courtesy of the pandemic, so this season will run very differently. Events will be fewer and mostly focused in the summer and autumn months, they will have lighter content and may not be confirmed until relatively late. This does not make it easy to continue trading in the manner we always have, so you may notice some changes to our service too. We hope to be able to announce some dates very soon with events hopefully commencing at Easter.
9th January 2021
We are still here and still trading! There is no doubt that 2021 is going to be another challenging year, not the year of recovery as hoped. Having said that, bookings are trickling in and we have dates for Alnwick Castle and The National Trust confirmed and in the diary. So we are open for business and taking bookings from Easter onwards. We will be offering more private falconry sessions this year too and ramping up our school programme ready for the big autumn return.
24th October 2020
For those of you who don’t keep with us via Facebook you may be wondering what’s happening for the rest of the year and into 2021? We have now completed our short run of rescheduled public events for English Heritage and sadly that sees us finished for the year. We would normally have Halloween, half term and Christmas events on the books but they were not reinstated after being cancelled in April. None of our other clients have rescheduled cancelled events. So our working season has been cut short by 2 months which is a shame, but at least we had some work this year which is more than many. So, no further public appearances in 2020.
We have started taking bookings for 2021 and yes they are slowly rolling in. Mother’s Day weekend and Easter are already booked and more promised. We have survived 2020 but the recovery in 2021 will be just as challenging if not more so. To aid this transition we are forced to cease putting 2 demonstration teams out on the road so there will be no more double bookings. Unfortunately this will greatly reduce our availability. It has been wonderful to work with actors and presenters, guest falconers and performers over the years but we can no longer afford to pay contractors. We have been forced to down-sized our bird team this summer, rehoming 4 to private individuals and retiring 1 who will not be replaced. We now exist at a manageable size for a more sustainable future. Fingers crossed.
There is nothing more to report at this stage. News and/or events will be posted in the coming months.
6th August 2020
We are offering private falconry sessions in Suffolk throughout August, midweek dates available and just a couple of weekend dates still free. It is a rare opportunity to join us in beautiful surroundings for a totally private and exclusive falconry experience. Watch our amazing eagle fly up close, see a hawk chase a lure, learn to fly an owl, do a little hawk walk and help fly the falcons. Small, private groups only. For more details drop us an email requesting information.
25th June 2020
With the government lockdown easing we are now able to commence work from 4th July as long as the venues we work for adhere to current health and safety requirements. As such, our main client, English Heritage, is putting together a small event programme ready to launch in the early autumn and because we are a Covid secure activity we are lucky to be a part of it. There are now some confirmed events on our Diary Page. We expect a few other clients to confirm dates in the next few weeks. It is expected that visitors will be required to contact venues to BOOK IN ADVANCE for all events due to limited ticket availability. This will be the only way to control visitor flow and maintain social distancing.
Because all our summer events were cancelled in panic…..we now have availability so WE ARE TAKING BOOKINGS FOR JULY AND AUGUST. We are normally never available this time of year so do not miss this rare opportunity!
Can public falconry displays be staged? The answer is yes but it depends entirely on the venue. Social distancing must be possible, mass gatherings are not permitted and visitor flow must be actively managed. Most of those responsibilities lie with the venue, however as a public performance we too have a part to play. We are an outdoor, open-air event which ticks the first box. We are an arena based event which requires the audience to disperse over a wide geographical area and watch from a distance. We can perform without any direct contact with visitors. We deliver our performance via a public address system meaning our audience does not have to gather in one location. We will not be opening our exhibition tent for public viewing, we will only perform flying displays from behind a safety barrier. These measures make us a Covid compliant activity.
If you wish to book beautiful historic falconry displays at your venue and do so in the knowledge that your guests will be safe and entertained – drop us an email soon.