We are the longest established professional historic falconers in the UK and were the first to turn historical falconry into a full time profession. We have a reputation for being the best in our field, a reputation 25 years in the making.
Raphael Historic Falconry is a partnership between husband and wife, Mike and Emma Raphael. We are privately based in Suffolk. Established in 1998 after pre-existing careers in commercial falconry, we deliberately customised ourselves for the heritage sector due to a rising demand for historical falconry. Mike previously designed, built and managed two bird of prey centres in the region, where he met graduate Emma, and both later became self employed. Together we slowly built up our new commercial identity until eventually we found our niche. Many years on, we remain the only professional falconers in the country earning our living entirely from history.
Our primary role by demand is the performance of historical falconry displays at outdoor events, sometimes as part of a large event like a Medieval Joust or a Roman Festival, and sometimes alone as an event in our own right e.g. Elizabethan Falconry or Victorian Hawks. We educate, entertain and illuminate audiences with our theatrical style performances brimming with historical fact and period stories. We are exhibitors of authentic period falconry spanning the entire heritage of English hawking from late Antiquity to modern times. We are museum quality, have an extensive knowledge base, strong interpretation skills and a respected style of presentation but most of all we are reputed for our beautiful birds, exquisite period costumes and legendary story-style commentary.
We have an incredible team of experienced birds who make us perpetually proud and we provide them with the best care possible. We fiercely campaign against the stroking and petting of birds of prey and use our public platform to promote their welfare. We NEVER allow visitors at public events to handle our birds like toys, and believe that watching a majestic hawk in flight should be entertaining enough. As is standard practice, our birds are tethered at events because that is the only way to keep them safe away from home, but we have excellent facilities for them back at base which allows them all to be free lofted and offers them heated quarters overnight. Our birds are family and they are treated with love and respect at all times. We will not do just anything to turn a coin.
We fly captive bred birds which are appropriate to history. We take great care to select birds of the right character for each event, and those few species which are not authentic are very cleverly and discreetly represented. If we use a substitute species we always explain the reasons why to our audiences. Because we offer a lot of later periods we have the luxury of flying exotics too, however birds do not have to be native to be "authentic" because falconers have been importing foreign species into Britain since the Dark Ages! We fly ALL the key species commonly used in English falconry history and more.
If you are genuinely looking for the best quality historical falconry, the most broadly knowledgeable practitioners, and falconers who work to the highest ethical standards - that's us!