Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

pavilions-msg - 10/20/18


The making of medieval pavilions.


NOTE: See also the files: p-tents-msg, p-tent-const-art, tent-alt-msg,

tent-making-msg, tent-fabrics-msg, tent-sources-msg, tents-weather-msg,






This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that

I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some

messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with

seperate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes

extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were

removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I

make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the

individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these

messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this

time. If  information  is  published  from  these messages, please give

credit to the orignator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  Lord Stefan li Rous

   mark.s.harris at motorola.com            stefan at florilegium.org



From: DEGROFF at intellicorp.COM (Leslie DeGroff)

Date: 9 May 91 18:58:03 GMT


An changing topics still again

   Yaakov  HaMizrachi

> 50 5x6 ft peices of fabric for a bedoen tent  750 sq ft <

Its the right order of magnitude for a medium sized one,

   ? Were you including a floor... those types of tents typically

did not have floors, rugs and cushions were extra.  

Size may depend on your intent, if it's mostly to camp in

you might get by with half that.. if you wish to entertain

as a proper wealthy nomad might, a roughly 20 by 20 , 6 ft

at drop point,8 ft in the center tent would take about that

much (with out a floor, more if you modernize)



Estrella Weather

Date: 24 Feb 92

From: dlc at hpfcso.FC.HP.COM (Dennis Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Hewlett-Packard, Fort Collins, CO, USA


mary at ossi.com (Mary Seabrook) writes:

> Hindsight, being the best way of predicting anything of course, says that

> there was an announcement in court on Saturday evening about the imminent

> arrival of a cold front.


> This brought high winds (I think 75 mph gusts were mentioned) and some rain

> although that was minor in comparison to the wind.


> Having chosen prime battle-front property for our encampment, we discovered

> that the large expanse of open field just gave the wind a clear access to

> the camp!


> I didn't hear of any major problems, and the Ramadas were set up as

> temporary sleeping areas for those people who had lost thier accomodations.


By all accounts that I got that Saturday evening, and again Sunday morning

it seems that about a third of the tents went down temporarily or permanently.

It was a BIG wind.  I am happy to say that even though the sturdy mundane

tents took a beating, the two "Tentmaster's" period pavillions in the barony's

encampment ignored the wind completely!  Those pavillions took in the orphaned

that night.  It was kind of fun anyway, lots of off-the-cuff bardics were

spawned by the storm 8*)

> Elizabeth





Pavilions - Cost - Materials - Time to Erect

Date: 19 Jun 92

From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


I built my pavilion because I was tired of living, with my family, in a dome

tent for the two weeks I was spending at Pennsic each year. The pavilion has

been slightly revised a couple of times since then.


Cost to reproduce in its current form ~ $350


Materials -     { roughly 45 yds of 60" twill, 6 board foot of Ash,

                 8 x 8' by 1" Schedule 80 PVC pipe, 100' 1/2" manilla

                 or sisal, 200' 3/16" nylon cord, 2 sq ft oiled leather,

                 11 large wooden stakes, 15 small stakes (6" plastic),

                 40 grommets, 16" of 2" galvanized iron pipe, 11' of 3/4"

                 dowel }


Time to Erect - 30 to 45 minutes working alone (extra bodies do not help much)


Size - 15 foot diameter circle, 5'6" high walls, 15' ground to roof peak.

       The fabric and poles are carried around in a kit bag with the

       poles sticking out of the end. The ropes stakes and mallet are

       carried in a milk crate.


The fabric I bought was fine twill labeled either gabardine or sailcloth and

is an appropriate weight for making raincoats. As such it can be (and was)

sewn without problem on a household sewing machine. I considered treating

the cloth with a waterpoofing agent but eventually neglected to do so because

of the cost. I chose to use polycotton because I fine that polycotton wears

well and blocks evough UV to prevent my skin from burning.


The pavillion saw more rain at Pennsic that it has in the Great Northwest. It

has not been waterproofed but is effective at keeping rain out. The tension

on the roof fabric and the slope of the roof seen to be adequate to shed

rain. There is no point at which bellies can form on the roof so the water

runs down the dags and onto the walls. The things is big enough that it is

easy to avoid contact with the wet walls. As might be expected, heavy rain

punches through the fabric as a mist. We keep a supply of drop cloths and

tarps to protect stuff from such mist.


Canvas seemed like overkill to me. Perhaps it would make sense if the

pavillion were to be exposed to the elements for longer periods each year. As

it is, the pavillion is in its fourth year. It has been used for between 10

and 20 days every year and the only signs of wear are a few spots where the

dye has run, or the grommets failed, or the fabric is trying to pull at a



The roof is a cone made in ten triangular panels. The panels were cut from

60" wide cloth and the length of a seam is 11'6". To produce a round roof,

rather than an angular one, the roof edge was arced instead of straight,

and arced with a radius of 11'6". Laying the panels out and cutting them was

one of the more difficult steps. I ended up making a pile of five layers of

cloth on the patio and playing with chalk and string to mark the cuts. Each

layer of fabric provided one complete panel and two half panels.


There is a 3" diameter hole at the peak which is reinforced by a wide strip

of oiled leather inside and out. The strip is pierced by four grommets. Pieces

of rope are passed through the holes to form to loops. A rope is tied to these

loops and then to the top of the center pole to suspend the roof.


A cloth tube is sewn to the edge of the roof. This tube is just big enough to

carry the PVC pipe. The PVC pipe is cut into 11 sections, 5' long. A piece of

dowel is fastened to one end of each section of pipe. The pieces of dowel are

6" long and 3/4" in diameter and they are fastened so that 3" of dowel

protrudes from the end of the pipe. When collopsed, 10 of these sections of

pipe are left in the cloth tube and the roof is folded along the seams between

the panels. To erect the tent, the edge of the roof is stretched out and the

sections of pipe are joined together. Forcing the eleventh setion of pipe

into the tube and closing the sections into a ring provings all of the

needed rigidity. The cloth tube should be slightly longer than is necessary

for the hoop. That way the PVC is completely concealed when the hoop is in



I bought a lump of ash at a timberyard. It was 6' long, 6" wide and 8/4 or

2" thick. I had the man rip cut it into three sections, roughly 2" square

and 6' long. The hardware store provided some 2" diameter galvanized pipe

for the sockets. Some time in the workshop was necessary to shape the ends

of the ash sections to make them fit. The top section of the pole was also

carved down so that ropes tied there would not slide down the pole. I believe

that this pole is much heavier than it needs to be, but I am not willing to

spend money on replacement, lighter, versions (it ain't broke so I ain't going

to fix it!).


Having tied the roof to the top of the pole, I tie the center of another rope

to the top of the pole, giving me three guy lines to the top of the pole.

I knock three stakes into ground centered on the foot of the pole. I tie two

of the guy lines to two stakes. I then use some spare stakes to form a box

for the foot of the pole in the direction of the third stake. I can then,

singlehand, pull the pole up by the third guy line. Once the pole is up, I

tie the guy line to the stake and adjust the tension on all of the guy lines.


The edge of the roof also carries the dagging and a set of 'crows foot' lines.

There are eight groups of crows foot lines, evenly spaced around the roof.

Each group consists of two lines that make overlapping loops. The loops lie

outside the dagging but the ends are threaded between the roof and the dags

and are spliced around the tube carrying the PVC pipe (I am sure that

simply tying them would work but I enjoy splicing rope).


With the roof set up, the next step is to stake down the crows feet. A guy line

is tied through both loops of a group to a stake so that the guy line is close

to vertical. The guy lines may need to be adjusted to get the edge of the

roof to be horizontal. It is very easy to get one guy line too short and so

distort the roof line.


The walls can now be attatched (this is amusing in high winds). The walls are

simply a long strip a fabric, 5'6" wide. They need loops at the bottom edge

to take stakes and they need small loops at the top edge to take toggles

or some other form of button. The buttons or toggles must be attached to the

edge of the roof or around the pipe tube. I have a button every 12 inches or

so. Making sure that you have absolutely regular spacing of the buttons and

button loops means that you can start anywhere (I didn't do that so I waste

time trying to find the start point and orienting it so that the door is

where I want it to be). All of my loops are made by means of rope through

grommets and the grommets that last are through pieces of leather.


My walls come in two pieces so that I have both a front and a back door. The

back door is rarely used however. My walls also have a 5' overlap at the front

door. This was so that one could leaving or enter during a storm without

letting rain into the tent. The overlay has been put to another use at the last

two events. Unbuttoning a few more feet of wall from the roof allows the ends

to be tied to the center pole to provide a shetered nook for visitors while

maintaining privacy for the contents of the pavilion, i.e. allowing me to

concel the mundanities of the rest of my gear.


A possible improvement would be to carry a few sticks that are the height of

the wall and have fitments to care the hoop at the top. These could be used to

support both the hoop and the wall on the upwind side of the tant. Today, when

the wind blows, the upwind wall bellies into the tent, lowering the roof edge.

The downwind edge does not move, or it rises if the tent wall was inadequately

staked down.


The interior of the pavilion is huge. The reason for the size to allow a

double bed to be set up at one side of the center pole (anything less than

14' requires that there be no center pole. The walls are high enough that one

can stand erect anywhere inside the tent (although anyone over 5' tall must

duck under the dagging to get it. My family is too undisciplined to be tidy

so our possessions tend to spread out untidily to fill the space. On the

other hand, as a Lord, is not my duty to be extravagant?


I realize that this description may not be adequate to reproduce my pavillion

but I hope that it might encourage someone else to try. In addition to the

materials, I would guess that I spent about 40 hours putting the pieces

together. I feel that anyone who can afford a new cabin tent can probably

afford to build a pavillion and that the trade off between authenticity and

convenience is not that great.



       Aquaterra, AnTir



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Arval Benicoeur)

Subject: Re: Pavillions

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1993 18:17:08 GMT

Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research


Greetings from Arval!


Robur wrote:

> What are the plusses and minuses you have found with owning a pavillion?

> Ones that come to mind for me are the ground cloth not being an

> integtral, and hense bug free, part of the pavillion.  Or, stability in

> wind of a 14 foot high sail.


I own a 14 ft. mitred octagon pavilion made by Tentmasters, and I have

absolutely no complaints.  I have not run afoul either of the problems you

listed. The walls of my pavilion drape onto the ground and are well-staked

into place; I have a separate heavy plastic tarp which I use as a

groundcloth; it covers the entire floor and folds up about three inches all

around. I've never had any problems with bugs or moisture getting in under

the walls.  A well-designed pavilion should have no problem standing up to

anything short of serious stormwinds.  At Esterlla last year, the windstorm

knocked down many pavilions; I am told that not a single Tentmasters

pavilion blew down.  Tentmasters products aren't cheap, but you get what

you pay for.  I recommend that you buy their full package, with poles,

stakes, ropes, and bags.  They make fitted groundclothes; I didn't get one.


The two annoyances that I've had to deal with are transportation and

cleaning. My car is not suited to transporting 9 ft. tent poles; if you

have a larger vehicle or a roof rack, this should be no problem.  A

pavilion needs to be put up for cleaning and thorough airing and drying

before it can be stored; otherwise, the fabric will rot.  If you don't have

a place to erect your pavilion convenient to your home, this can be a pain.


Arval Benicoeur                                       mittle at watson.ibm.com



From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pavillions

Date: 20 Apr 1993 18:58:09 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


I have a pavillion I made myself. It is about 15' across and about the same

high. It has a single center pole and a sectional PVC pipe hoop. It is made of

polycotton sailcloth. I can set up camp in about an hour. unassisted if there

is no wind. Helpers are necessary if there is and noticable wind. Teardown

takes about as long, mostly due to time spent packing stuff.


The pavillion provides a lot of space and encourages the family to be

excessively untidy (including myself).


It has been used at Pennsic and has survived both wind and rain there. A

couple of drop cloths are recommended. Rain tends to punch through the

fabric as a light mist and get everything exposed damp. The huge air volume

makes the tent slow to react to temperature changes. It stays warm longer

in the evenings and cool longer in the morning. Bugs have not been a problem.

I consider the lack of an integral groundcloth to be an advantage as my

biggest problem used to be puddles forming on top of the groundcloth. We

put down groundcloths where we are going to pile our possessions. Any water

that creeps under the walls tends to seed into the ground before it can

do any damage.


The volume also means that it is no hardship to keep everything away from the



The height and striking color of the pavilion makes it a landmark in any camp

and thus makes it easier for our children to find their way home (my apologies

to obsessive autocrats but I feel that children have a right and a need to

send some time out of sight of their parents). Commercial pavillions tend to

be monochrome and thus this may not be a general advantage.


One of the biggest advantages for me is that it simply looks more



A possible disadvantage is that it becomes a little more difficult to hand

your tent to an 'advance party' and expect to find it set up when you arrive.

The tent is bulkier and heavier than a modern equivalent. If you have to

teardown in the rain, it will be that much more of a problem to dry it out

after you get home. Use of natural fibers means that you will have to

worry about mildew and insect damage to the fabric.



        Aquaterra, AnTir



From: DEW at ECL.PSU.EDU (Baron Dur al-Jabar)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Tent Fire-proofing...a solution is found!

Date: 17 May 1993 02:24:22 GMT

Organization: Orluk Oasis




Countess Mariake asked me earlier this year if I knew of a fire-proofing for

tents. At the time, the only thing I knew about was available commericially

and not cheap.


Enter Palymar (comming in with the two best "solutions" of Pennsic so far)

with information and sources for this material.


In short, it is a water soluable spray that you can apply yourself to your

tent (it is non-toxic), and it will "fire-proof" the tent.  (We did a demo

using some cotton fabric that we lightly treated with the spray.  After it

dried, we soaked the fabric with an accelerant and set it on fire.  The areas

that were treated _didn't even scorch_, while the rest just burned away.)


The pricing on this is not set (nobody retails it yet), but it might be

something around $20/qt or $65/gal (a qt will cover 250 sq ft, and a gal

covers 1000 sq ft).




(Next time you see Palymar, remember to thank him for the other "solution" of

Pennsic, the hand-washing dispensers in the porta-castles.  And you thought he

was only a stick-jock...)


Dale E. Walter     |Dur of Hidden Mountain          

dew at ecl.psu.edu    |Orluk Oasis on the War Road (of Aethelmarc)



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: whheydt at pbhya.PacBell.COM (Wilson Heydt)

Subject: Re: Error in Complete Anachronist

Organization: Pacific * Bell, San Ramon, CA

Date: Fri, 21 May 1993 22:48:06 GMT


In article <1993May21.193414.28909 at umr.edu> asparrow at cs.umr.edu (Aethelynda d'Eath) writes:

>Puzzled greetings from Calanais.

>My lady mother and I are constructing a

>A-frame Viking Pavillion as per the CA "Pavillions

>of the Knowne World"

>However: Figure four of the article has nothing

>to do with what the text says it does.  It should

>give the dimensions of the tent's end, but instead shows an example

>of opposing frame decoration.

>I have done the calculations for the triangle

>and would like someone who has made such

>a tent to confirm.  The dimensions are (not counting

>seam allowances) 4' base, 7' height, and a bit over

>8' on the hypoteneuse.

>If anyone has any other suggestions on tent-making,

>I would be interested.


Having been using this type of tent for something over 20 years....


My ends are 8-foot equilateral triangles, so that makes the end flaps

what you've calculated.  It is, however, a good idea to allow them to

overlap a bit.  You can also drill holes (about 1/2") in the bottom

board, stick a rope loop through the hole, put grommets near the edge

of teh flap and tie the loop to the grommet to keep the flaps closed.

For heavier weather, have a row of grommets all the way up and either

lace the flaps shut or otherwise fasten them together.




       Hal Ravn, West Kingdom

       Wilson H. Heydt, Jr.,  Albany, CA 94706,  510/524-8321 (home)


Hal Heydt                    |    

Analyst, Pacific*Bell        |  If you think the system is working,

510-823-5447                 |  Ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

whheydt at pbhya.PacBell.COM    |    



From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: tent size

Date: 26 May 1993 21:16:35 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


Greetings from Fiacha,


Thank you for the encouragement Winifred.


This is going to be as brief as I can make it but it will still be long.


permission is granted to reproduce this as much as anyone cares to.


As Winifred pointed out I made two round pointy pavillions. The first was a

prototype and is little more than a store tent. The second one was intended

for me and my lady to live in at Pennsic and is roughly 15' internal diameter.

The minor guylines go out about 18" but the three main guy lines go out

about 6'. Fitting the pavillion in a 20' square is reasonable and keeping

my youngest daughter in the tent gives us about 130sq ft each for a large and

imposing period pavillion.

(Note. The reason for the 15' diameter was that it allows a double bed to fit

between the pole and the walls. My goal was a 14' diameter but I was not

going to waste material when the roof panels provided a little extra.)


Cost.  Last time I calculated the cost, I estimated $350 to replace the

pavillion, including all ropes, poles grommets and other incidentals.


Packing size. The fabric, ropes, pegs and hoop sections make a 5'6" bundle.

The main pole was intended to be 3 6' sections but I forgot to allow for the

joints and have since shortened one of the sections. A second attempt would

make them fit in the 5'6" bundle. I can't swear to the bundle being a foot in

diameter but is not much bigger than that.


Weight. The pavillion weighs about 100 pounds all told.


Time to erect. Under most conditions, I can erect the pavillion, without help,

in under an hour. One or two helpers can get it up faster. More than two

helpers are a waste of energy. High wind can make life difficult if not

impossible. There are a number of designs that require precision placement

of guy lines (Designs that have the guy line be integral with a roof seam) but

I rejected them as being too fussy to erect. The hoop is very forgiving in

this respect. One of my worst experiences was with rocky ground which tended

to break my wooden stakes.


Design. The pavillion consists of a roof and a set of wall panels. The roof is

held up by a single center pole. The edge of the roof is held out by an

integral hoop. There are three guy lines to the top of the center pole.

There are eight crows feet to the hoop. The walls button onto the roof at the

hoop and are staked to the ground.


The roof is made as a smooth circular cone. The tip of the cone is a 3" hole

reinforced with a leather collar. The collar is pierced by four grommets

through wich a harness is tied. This harness is lasthed to the top of

the center pole. { I tried to use Cariadoc's system of a pulley and hoist to

raise the roof. With the light fabric used I found it faster to lash the roof

to the pole and hoist both at the same time. )


At the edge of the roof is sewn a line of dagging and a cloth tube which

carries the hoop. The inside of the tube is smooth so that there is nothing

for the hoop sections to catch on. Assembling the hoop is the slowest part of

the erection process. The hoop consists of 11 lengths of Schedule 40 3/4" PVC

pipe. A 6" dowel plug is screwed into one end of each section so that 3"

protrudes. Ideally, 10 sections are left in the cloth tube when the roof is

taken down. (Since the roof consists of 10 panels, this matches the

obvious folding pattern).


At regular intervals, crows foot ropes punch through the seam between the roof

and the dagging and form loops around the cloth tube. There are eight sets of

crows feet and four lines to each crows foot. There is a 3/4" hem between the

tube and the dagging. This hem is pierced with grommet holes for the lines

and the the buttons to which the walls attach. I believe that it is important

for the lines to loop around the hoop, so as to avoid the lines pulling

out of the roof.


The walls are simple strips of cloth. They are not shaped to provide a flair.

The top edge has a series of grommet holes for the buttons, the bottom edge

has a series of stake loops. The walls are long enough to overlap by 6'. This

allows people to move in and out when it is raining without letting the rain

into the pavillion. It also allow the walls to be run in to the center pole

on sunny days, turning about a third of the tent into a public sun shade.


The walls are 5'6" high. This puts the buttons at eye level, speeding erection

of the pavillion. The dags are 12" tall, so it is necessary to duck to enter

the pavillion (unless one is a child or really short).


The pavillion is made from polycotton sailcloth or gabardine. It has not been

waterproofed. Nevertheless, it keeps the rain out (except for a fine mist

when the rain is hitting rally hard. The tension on the roof seems to persuade

the rain to bounce or run off. The walls tend to saturate in heavy rain but

the pavillion is large enough that it is easy to keep away from the walls.


The roof consists of 10 panels cut as sections of a 11' radius circle. They

were cut from 60" wide fabric. (Actually, the thare 5 full panels and 5

panels made from two halves). I used french seams to join the panels and a

dressmakers sewing machine for all of the sewing. I wanted a better than 45

degree angle to the roof so the roof panel radius needs to be about 1 1/2

times the radius of the hoop.



   |------______                                                          |

   |            ------______                                               |

  |                        ------______      half panel                   |

  |                                    ------______                       |

|                                               ------______           |

|                                                           ------_____|

|     full panel                                            ______-----|

|                                               ______------           |

  |                                    ______------                       |

  |                        ______------       half panel                  |

   |            ______------                                               |

   |______------                                                          |



The dags are sewn to each other as well as to the roof. If the dags are not

sewn to each other, the will flip up in a light wind and expose the gap

between the walls and the roof. Ventilation might be good but letting the

rain in is not such a good idea. I used 55 dags, roughly 12" wide.


The walls can be as tall as the maker desires. Add panels the width of the

fabric until they are long enough. I made mine in two sections to allow a

back door into the tent. In practice, this door is rarely used and the fabric

is light enough that the full length is easily managed.


The center pole I made from 2" square ash. I bought a length of 1 1/2" iron

pipe for the joints and used a rasp to shape the ash to fit the joints.

This is seriously heavier than it needs to be but it does mean that I have

no fears of it failing while I am asleep or out of the encampment. The

ropes are heavy manilla for the same reasons. The top 9" of the center pole

is shaved down so that the guy lines will not slip down when tied to

the pole. I tie one line to the top of the roof with a sheet bend and then

tie it to the pole with a clove hitch. The other line is twice as long and

I use a clove hitch to tie the center of it to the pole.


The pavillion is now in its seventh year and is beginning to show signs of

age in that some seams are beinning to pull.


Steps to erect pavillion.

1. Lay out roof. Lay out hoop sections in rough circle.

2. Fit sections of hoop together and lock into full circle.

3. Assemble pole and poke tip through hole in top of roof.

4. Tie guy lines to roof and top of pole. Move base of pole to desired

   center of pavillion position. Set stakes for guylines in rough

   equilateral triangle centered on base of pole.

5. Move top of pole to midway between two stakes. Add pennent. Drop guy lines

   on two stakes.

6. Use helper or additional stakes to stop bottom of pole from moveing while

   hauling on third guy line. Once pole is vertical drop guy line over third

   stake (Steps 5 and 6 assume that the pavillion has been set up before so

   that the guy lines are close to the right length and that the stakes are

   in the roughly the same places). Having a helper on each guy line is a

   good idea, provided that they can adjust the guy lines.

7. Tie a guy line to each crows foot (I use a sheet bend). This guy line

   is staked close to vertical to resist the roof lifting.

8. Stake down each guy line line.

9. Button the walls to the roof.

10. Stake down the walls


8a. Move all of your belongings into the tent. It is a lot easier to do this

   before the walls go up because you can walk through where the walls are

   going to go.


Note. Crows foot. This is a fan of lighter lines than a guy line which goes

from a guy line to the edge of the roof of the pavillion in many drawings

of period pavillions. I believe that the intent is to spread the strain of

holding the tent against the wind over a large section of the hoop. Using

a single line would focus the strain a one point which might break the hoop

and thus cause the tent to collapse. My crows feet consist of two loops that




               |      |      |      |

               \      \      /      /

               \      \     /       /

               \      \  /        /

                 \      \/       /

                  \      /\           /

                   ------  -------


The guy line ties around both loop tightly enough that the strains can

be equalized between the elements of the crows foot.


Shopping list.


6' x 6" x 8/4 Ash   (get the lumberyard to ripsaw it into 6'x2"x2")

12" of 1 1/2" galvanized iron pipe     (hardware or pumbing supply)

                                      (use hacksaw to cut in half)

44yds 60"polycotton sailcloth           (fabric store)

150ft 1/2" manilla                (hardware store)

200ft 1/4" manilla                (hardware store)

2 sq ft 2-3oz leather                    (leather supplier)

6 12' 3/4" Sch40 PVC pipe               (hardware or pumbing supply)

6' 3/4" dowel                              (hardware)

24 1/2" countersunk wood screws         (hardware)

lots of grommets.                 (hardware)

36 toggle buttons                 (fabric store)

11 big stakes for guy lines             (hardware store or local smith)

12 smaller stakes for the walls        (camping supply)


The leather is to reinforce the grommets as wells as form the collar.

Grommets have a depressing tendency to pull out if simply set into the



The cloth gets used like this


        3yds = 1 plus 2 half roof panels

        15yds = complete roof.


        2yds = one section of wall

        24yds = complete wall


        2 yds = tube

        3 yds = dagging

There is no need to make a plain tent. Mine uses five colors because that

was what they had in stock when I went shopping.


The main guy lines need to be 25' to 30'. The crows foot guy lines need to

be 8' to 10'. The light manilla is for the crows feet which take 2 6' pieces

each and for the button strings. I run one string between two buttons. Absolute

ruglar spacing is a must, otherwise the wall will only fit one way and you

nedd to work harder putting the tent up (or you live with the door in the wrong

place). Extra light line will find a use (lacing walls shut, hoop to center

pole partition lines, etc.).


When making the poles fit the sockets, make one side fit tightly. Make the

other side fit and then soak in linseed oil and shape to a loose fit again.

If you ignore this step, the joint will swell in the first rain and you

will not be able to separate the joint when the time comes to pack up and go

home. The choice of oil is not critical, getting the wood saturated with

something that will not dry out is critical. Galvanized iron pipe will

resist rust better than painted.






                             / _________seam line, with breaks for crows

                            / /                              foot line

                           / v    grommeted hole for button string or

                           =====  |        crows foot line

                           =====  v

                          | ====== ===========\

                          | ====== ===\  tube  \ Cloth tube should be a

                          |            \ for   | close fit for the PVC

                          |             \hoop /  pipe but not tight.

                          |              -----




Choose toggle buttons that will fit through your grommet holes or grommets

that will fit your toggles. A button every 18" is adequate and a ground stake

every 5' (i.e. at every seam) has worked well enough. Extra stake options near

the door can simplify life. Placing a stake under each button in this region

is a good idea.



From: ilaine at panix.com (Liz Stokes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: tents and bugs (Re: Tent size for Pennsic)

Date: 29 May 1993 06:54:03 -0400

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC


        Last year was the first year I camped with my pavillion, and I

learned just how many flies can fit in a large comfy tent. For Christmas I

was given a copy of 'A Medieval Home Companion: Housekeeping in the Fourteenth

Century' and among other extrememly interesting bits of information -

mosquito netting is period :) - there are instructions for several ways to

rid a room of flies:

        "If you have a room or a house where many flies gather, take little

bunches of ferns, tie them together, shred them at the edges, and hang them

up: all the flies will lodge on them in teh eening. Then take down these

fringes and throw them away.

        In the evening, close up your room well, so that there is only a little

hole in the wall toward the east. As soon as dawn breaks, all the flies will

go out through the hole, whih should thenbe closed up.

        Take a dish of milk and a hare's gall [anyone know what this is?]

and mix them together; then put two or three dishes of this in places where

flies settle, and all those who taste it will die.

        Fasten linen cloth to the botom of a pot that has a hole in the ase.

Put this pot in a place where flies gatehr, and smear the inside with honey

apples, or pears. When it is thoroughly full of flies, put a trencher over the

mouth and shake it.

        Take raw red onions, crush them, squeeze the juice into a dish, put

the dish where flies congregate, and all those who taste it will die.

        Have paddles for killing them by hand.

        Have limed twigs on a basin of water.

        Have your windows so tightly sealed with waxed cloth, parchment, or

something else, that no fly can get in. The flies that are inside may be

killed with the paddle, or by one of the methods described above, and no

others will come in.

        Have a hanging cord soaked in honey: the flies will settle on it. In

the evening let them be caught in a sack.

        Finally, it seems to me that flies will not setle in a room where there

are no covered tables, benches, bupboards, or other things on which they can

light and rest. For if they have nothing except flat walls to grip, they

won't settle at all. Nor will they stay in a place that is dark or wet. So it

seems to me that if a room is well dampened, well closed, and well sealed,

and if nothing is left lying on the plate, no fly will settle there."


        whew, my fingers are tired :)




Liz Stokes         |      Vikings? There ain't no vikings here, just us honest

Ilaine de Cameron  |      farmers. The town was burning, the villagers were

                  |       dead. They didn't need those sheep anyway. That's our

ilaine at panix.com   |    story and we're sticking to it.



From: james at nucleus.cuc.ab.CA (James Prescott)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Compact Pavilions

Date: 28 May 1993 22:14:22 -0400

Organization: Nucleus BBS - Calgary, AB CANADA + 1 403 531-9353


To: sca at mc.lcs.mit.edu


Dennis O'Connor and Aliskye MacKyven Raizel ask about compact



My pavilion appears to be a circular medieval tent with a tall conical

roof and nearly vertical walls, with a flag flapping at the peak. The

inside diameter is 14 feet (two double beds plus stowage), and the

total height is about 12 feet. It is in vertical black and red (well,

pink nowadays) stripes. There is a single central pole, and 16 guy

ropes from the edge of the roof. There is a bright yellow cloth

please-do-not-trip-over-these-guy-ropes strip on short stakes

around the perimeter of the guy ropes. There is an interior floor.

It has so far proven bomb-proof in hostile weather. The whole thing,

including the hammer, weighs just 42 pounds. The pole sections fit

crossways inside a Rabbit. It is air-transportable, at least in theory.

The whole thing can be erected by one person in just 30 minutes,

without heroics or great mental effort, at 5:30 am in a rain storm

by a very tired person who has just been driving for 12 hours straight.


It appears thoroughly medieval. From a respectable distance.


From close up you find that almost all the materials are modern,

from the heavy nylon packcloth walls and nylon snap buckles and

nylon ropes to the galvanized top rail from a chain link fence. Four

short sections of these galvanized poles, with their swaged ends,

form the centre pole. Apart from the shape, just about the only

period detail is a custom brass fitting at the peak for the centre

pole. The whole thing took me something over 200 hours, which

includes *all* design time, *all* shopping time, etc.


James Prescott (james at nucleus.cuc.ab.ca), (403) 282-0541

Thorvald Grimsson, OP, OL, OGGS, Baron of Montengarde, Yeoman

Royal Archer for Crown Principality of Avacal, Kingdom of An Tir

... and in Iceland 'tis the year of the White Christ 973 ...



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: hwt at bcarh11a.BNR.CA (Henry Troup)

Subject: Re: Compact Pavilions

Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd., Ottawa, Canada

Date: Mon, 31 May 1993 12:43:39 GMT


|>It appears thoroughly medieval. From a respectable distance.


Last year, I saw a camoflage pattern dome tent.  From a moderate

distance, it looked like a wattle and daub hut.  Really it did, quite amazing.


Henry Troup - H.Troup at BNR.CA (Canada) - BNR owns but does not share my opinions



From: haslock at rust.zso.dec.com (Nigel Haslock)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: In tents questions...

Date: 1 Jun 1993 23:58:09 GMT

Organization: Digital Equipment Corporation - DECwest Engineering


A few responses to Bertram's questions. Please note, these are not answers as

I have no data to support my suppositions.


1. Grommets. I would be most surprised to discover grommets in period tents.

   Instead I would expect to find a piece of leather sewn to the cloth and a

   hole cut through both leather and fabric. Another option I have tried is

   to stitch down a ring of light rope or heavy cord to the edge of the hole.


2. I suggest that only nomads and nobles who spent a lot of time either on

   campaigns or at tourneys had tents. Travelling merchants are a form of

   nomad. Pilgrims would not have had tents and would spent their nights at

   religious establishments of one sort or another, or at inns if their

   pilgrimage was merely an excuse to travel.


   With a town every 15 to 20 miles along every road worth mentioning, and

   a village every 5 miles or so in the gaps, finding an inn should not

   have been a problem.


3. Assuming that one is on campaign, implies a retinue and a wagon for

   supplies. Nomads are more likely to pack everything on horses, mules or



4. Equating recreational use of tents to attending tournaments, I would

   imagine that the insides were filled with more expensive equipment to

   try to impress visiting nobility.


5. Why assume that waterproofing was an issue? A little dampness can be lived

   with if any rain punches through the fabric. If the fabric saturates, the

   water will simply run down the roof and walls to the ground (where the

   appropriate drainage ditches will carry the water away). As long as the

   structure will support the weight of saturated fabric, waterproofing is an

   unnecessary expense.


   Felt is a little different as saturated felt may not be able to support

   its own weight and so self destruct. My local expert asserts that milk

   is the only medium that will successfully waterproof felt.


   Another choice is to assume that some tents were made of leather, in which

   case, again, waterproofing should be unnecessary. Oiling the leather

   might be necessary to extend the life of the leather and have the side

   effect of keeping the water out of the leather.


6. Why assume that nobles lived in tents in winter? Nomads did and nomads

   used blankets and quilts and had indoor fires. As far as I can tell,

   western europeans did not hold campaigns or tournaments during the

   winter months.


   Warmth would have been more of an issue for the lower classes who did not

   get the priviledge of sleeping inside the tent. I know of little evidence

   for fur lined cloaks. One Irish leader issued his men with sheepskin

   cloaks, with the fur on the inside. However, this is remembered because

   it was highly unusual. The Irish brat, like the Scot's kilt, is a rectangle

   of fabric that will easily double as a blanket.


   I would expect a noble to equip his pavillion with a bed and bedding so

   that warmth was not an issue.  


7. The earliest pavillion picture that I know of is an illustration in

   Alphonso's compendium of games, created around 1270. It shows a pointy

   top pavillion with lots of extra ropes. This does not match the modern

   arabic tents in any way.


   Using Asterix the Gaul as a secondary source for roman tent designs, we

   see squad tents and officer tents. The officer tent, being round and pointy

   topped, looks like the origin of the design of the arming pavillion.


   Thus, it is my feeling that Arabic tent designs did not enter western

   Europe and that, until very recently, all tents were variations of the

   Roman design. Note that the Viking ship shelter also did not get used by

   anyone else.






Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Tent size at Pennsic

Date: 2 Jun 1993 18:57:14 -0400

Organization: from SUNY College at Buffalo, NY 14222


   Sebastian wrote:

"Seriously... What alternatives are there for pavilion material?"

There are many.   Waterproof canvass can be had for $3 a yard for 60" wide,

from National Canvas in Buffalo,  NY.   I know a member of my household who

makes pavillions for sale: a 10x10 can cost about $200.   I am currently

making one for Duke Sir Morguhn Sheridan in bright leaf green and gold/orange

(his colors) that will cost about $150.  I am basing it on a roof made out of an 11x14 8 oz canvas tarp that cost me $45 at Builders Square, and I am adding

the green stripes (from another water resistant cloth material) to that.

Ditto for the triangular ends & the walls - they are being built from

6x8 tarps that cost $16 each.   This is a far easier method than the

green & white striped, 18x18 pavillion I built from scratch last summer, and

merchanted from.  May I also point out that I am an over 30, self-supporting

adult who is also going to college (and paying for all of it), and hold both

a regional office & two local offices?  Making a pavillion involves more

steadfastness in not giving up than it really does anything else, and I don't

feel it took all that much time - less than 2 weeks working on it part time.

It would have helped a lot if I had had anyone to help me turn and MOVE

that much canvas!

       So it really doesn't have to cost alot of money to have a pavillion.

ANd it doesn't take that much work - at least, not compared to the silk on

silk embroidered garb I do!

       As for me, this year I'm merchanting in a professionally made tent

I picked up at the bankruptcy auction of a caterer's business.


       Some mention has been made of the earliest date of sources for tents

& pavillions being about 1200.  The book on how to build pavillions that

Mediaeval Miscellanea puts out also shows many different styles of pavillions

copied from manuscripts.  They show some from 9th & 10th century manuscripts - around arming type is listed as a Moorish tent from the 10th century.


       May I also point out that it was not just the tent size that led to

the Pennsic restrictions?  It was how people laid out there encampments.

This is why you must submit a "floor plan" of how you will place tents and

use the space - and why these are checked.  Some people had a tent, covered it

with a larger tarp, set up a gathering space area under another tarp, had a

common area - also sometimes under another tarp, etc.  Enough of this in

any group meant a huge amount of space -especially when the encampment was

laid out to maximize space between tents.  And there were those encampments

that 1) set up their own tourney/practice field; 2) set up a practice archery

range (by the solar showers one year.).  Etc, etc.


       To thoses gentles who e-mailed me asking who is now King's Champion

of the East, my apologies for not mentioning it when I posted on the two

knightings. Out of the 630+ gentles who attended, 126 entered the tourney.

Sir Wulfstan Thorhallson emerged the victor.

       Her Majesty, Genevieve, chose from the unbelted for her champion,

Lord Everard, whom I am not familiar with.  Her decison to choose him for

his courtesy and chivalry during the tourney, as well as his fighting skill,

met with many vivats and applause from the many gentles assembled, however.

Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh

Shire of Glenn Linn, EK



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: goobers at iastate.edu (Tom R Dennis)

Subject: Re: Period Tents (Viking Ship Shelters)

Organization: Iowa State University, Ames IA

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 00:09:46 GMT


>Could any one who's made a Viking tent send me details on the dimensions,

>materials, joinings, waterproofing, door construction, etc. that they

>used. Please don't suggest I go to Wal-mart or some other specific

>business as there probably aren't any here (Ealdormere) or use brand

>names but do describe what materials are used in detail so I can find

>something equivalent.  Let me know too how much time and money it took and

>how pleased you are with the results.


        Hell yes I've made a Viking tent, and it works fabulous.  What you

need for a 10 x10 x 7.5 high tent.  1) heavy fabric unbleached canvas about

11.5 to 12 oz. 11' x 20' square, best to have too much than not enough.  2) 4

- 10' 2 x 6 pine boards (it's worth one's while to go through a whole pile of

boards to get the best quality). 3) 2 - 1" x 5' steel water pipe and 1 coupler

(forms the ridge pole). 4) 50' of 1/4" cotton rope (or better if you have the

cash ).  and 5) 1 10' 2 x 6 pine.


        Construction: Buy fabric and sew til you drop. We used french seams

and a very stout old Singer machine.  It took about 2 -3 days for me to sew it

together and 3 cases of Coke.  You see we had a 36" wide bolt.


        Beam construction.

Using the 10' 2 x 6's measure up about 2" from the bottom and mark. Then

measure 9' up and mark.  At the 2" pt. drill a 1.5" hole and at the the  

9' pt. drill a 1" dia hole. (be sure to do all 4 beams).  The extra foot

between the 9' mark and the end can be carved for decoration.


        Ridge pole construction:

Join the two steel pipes together using the coupler.  At each end weld in a

1/2" - 13 nut (be careful not to screw up the threads).


        Bottom side pole construction.

Take the 10' 2 x 6 and saw lengthwise into two equal pieces.  At the

end of each new piece, shave to fit the 1.5" holes in beams.




                 |                  ---+----------------------+

                 |                     |                      |

                 |                     |                  |     

                 |               |                    |

                 |                       |                    |

                 |               |                    |

                 |               |                    |

                 |               |                    |

                 +---------------------+---                   |



        Layout the poles on the ground in this fashion.  The 4 cross pieces

are the 10' 2x6's, the middle vertical piece is the ridge pole, and the 2

vertical end pieces are the bottom side poles.  


        Secure the ridge pole to the outer beams using a 1/2 -13 bolt,

fender washer, and lock washer. (One can decorate, or hide the end of the bolt

as they see fit).


        Secure the bottom side poles by drilling 1/4" holes through the main

beams through the bottom side poles and then driving a long 1/4" steel rod

into the holes.


        Lay the fabric over the frame (it will not fit very well until the

supporting ropes are installed later).  


        Best erection method (use protection).  Have a person stand at each

end of the ridge pole.  Then in unison, raise the ridge pole up until the

desired height is reached (we prefer a 10' spread between the bottom side

poles as it gives about a 7 1/2' middle height inside the tent. Prevent main

beam spread using rope secured around the beams underneath the bottom side



        At this point the canvas sags in the middle.  To control this, use a

cross bracing of rope on the inside of the tent to hold out the canvas. For

best results, string the rope in a multiple X fashion in the sides.  There is

no standard as to how the ropes should be installed, so try out various method

to see what works for you.  Pull the excess canvas under the bottom side

poles. Note that the canvas is not set up for tent flaps and one should

consider a way to put them in.  Burlap added for flaps works good as a period

looking bug screen and it even works.


        To water proof the canvas, try some Thompson's water seal or wood

preservative. This stinks a bit, so be sure to use plenty of ventilation and

space to allow the fabric to dry.


        To finish the wood, one could either  use the same wood preservative

or use boiled linseed oil and apply on a hot sunny day to really bake the oil

on the wood.


        This is a great setup,  my cohort and I have set this up in virtually

all situations.  The first time was in the dark with lanterns as our light.

It's waterproof, wind proof, and it looks really cool.  Later the beams can be

carved to add splendor to your accomplishment.   We found almost no

documentation for the inside arrangement and thus we faked it as any good

viking would.  So don't be afraid to experiment with the design.


{ Tom R. Dennis  (515) 292 - 0747   /  Money, it's a gas.  Grab that cash  }  

{ aka   Alric the Sot                /  with both hands and make a dash.    }

{         goobers at iastate.edu        /                       P. Floyd       }




From: palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu (sharon ann palmer)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Tents (Viking Ship Shelters)

Date: 3 Jun 1993 00:10:43 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University Dept. of Computer and Info. Science


>>Could any one who's made a Viking tent send me details on the dimensions,

>>materials, joinings, waterproofing, door construction, etc. that they


This may not be historically accurate, but it looks Ok from the road,

is stable and easy to put up.  No ropes needed.


4 12ft 2x6, 5 12 ft poles, 35 yards of fabric  at  $1.00


Ask around at your local fabric stores, often they will have discount

tables. Locally Hancock Fabrics has $1.00 a yard sales several times

a year.  We went to six branches and found little this year.  But 2 years

ago, I had been keeping my eyes open and happened on a bolt of heavy cotton.

A little over 20 yards around 40 inches wide (as I recall), cut in three

panels gave a "sail" of roughly 20 ft by 12 feet.  If you could

find 60 in wide, you would only need 14 yards.  I used felled seams,

like blue jeans, as they are *much* stronger.  Like this:


        ----+-+-  |    the +'s are the thread

        |  -+-+----


I turned the long edges back about 2 in. for strength and to hide the selvage.

Then I put a pocket at the short edges that takes a pole


So you fasten the uprights to the center pole. Still on the ground

drape the tent over the center pole.  Slide in the bottom poles.

Now you really need a second person for a minute.  You each hold a

leg and push the center up.  The fabric stabilizes the whole thing.


I wanted a floor for my tent and that same lucky shopping trip

found 7 yards of a very heavy broken twill 60 in wide.

I cut it in two panels and put a felled seam down the middle and

a pocket on each end that fits in a second set of poles - above

the first.  This stuff is so heavy I broke 4 blue jean needles on it.

            \   /                 \  /

             \ /                   \/


             / \                     \

            /   \                     \

           /     \                     \

          /       \                     \

        -o----    -o                     \-

        /|         |\                     \

      -o-|         |-o-----------------------

      /  |_________|  \                     \

This is not even close to being to scale the holes at the bottom are

around 7 and 12 inches.

I got around 7 yards of fabric for the doors.  I would have used the

same as for the top, but they didnt have enough.  It is lighter weight

than the top and lets breezes in nicely.  Cut it in half and each in

half on the diagonal.  Seam two for the back.  I put the tent up to

fit the doors so they would hang right.

I put some velcro as a fastening, but I think I will change it.

So wants to hear velcro rip at the war?

I put a plastic ground cloth down, then the floor and tuck the edges up

under the beams.  This keeps it nearly out of sight. And a damp top

doesnt touch the floor.

I havent yet been caught in a real storm, but it shed showers nicely.

I have friends that put plastic under the roof to be safe.

I waterproofed the tent top and boards.  The floor and doors didnt

get waterproofed yet, but probably will.

The poles have a hole drilled on each side of the board, the first

year we used a clovis pin, but a friend has promised to forge some.

I also want a shelf across the back.  And a rain shelter for cooking.


The inside is roughly 10x9, and held a double bed for us, a single

for our son. Several chests for food and clothes, 3 inkle looms, 2

baskets of spinning fiber I bought, a box for books, more stuff I

bought, 2 bows, 2 quivers, still more stuff I bought.  

(Yes, Veni, Vici, Visa)  An oriental rug on the floor.


The top is light grey with a narrow white stripe, the doors dark grey.

I will be at Pennsic, somewhere on the flat part, Probably in single

camping because I have arthritis and cant handle the hills.

If you want more details, send me email and I will send you plans.

If you see it stop in and say hi.  I am hoping to be there 2 weeks

this year.


Sorry if this has rambled.     Sharon Palmer

Ranvaig                        palmer at cis.ohio-state.edu (until June 14)



From: doconnor at sedona.intel.com (Dennis O'Connor)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: General tent stuff (Re: Tent Construction Info Needed!)

Date: 28 Jun 93 11:17:04

Organization: Intel i960(tm) Architecture


ck290 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Chandra L. Morgan-Henley) writes:

] I should have said, in my earlier post, that there are 3

] main requirements for a tent I wish to build.


] 1. It needs to be tall enough (at least in the center) for me

] to stand up in.  I am about 5'6" tall.


] 2. It should preferably have no center pole ...


] 3. Ideally, it should use no more than the 30 yards of fabric

] I have already purchased.  It is possible, however, that I could

] 10 yards or so if need be.  Money is very tight, so the tent

] also should not require elaborate/expensive frameworks.  I can

] budget about another $20-30 for tent materials



I post feeling the topic is of general enough interest.


I fear the frame for a gher (mistakenly called a "yurt" by soft

European city-dwellers) might overtax your present resources.


What might work well for you is a French Arming Pavilion. A geometric

description of this item might be : take a cone, cut it in half

vertically, move the two halves apart and connect them with planes.

The tent floor is shaped like a rectange that has two semi-circles

appended on the ends of it. The door is an openiong in the flat sides

or IS one of the flat sides, held up by poles to make a "porch" awning,

or just entered at the edge.


A frame for it is easy to build : Minimally, you could just use

three poles, one going up to the peak of each semi-cone, and other

connected between those two. OR you can use 5 poles to form

a "swing set" frame, which would provide a completely "clear-span"

structure, easier erection, and better wind reistance. You could

probably even get away with just two poles (one at each end).


The flat sides are easy to sew (I'd suggest using a single peice

for both flat sides so there's no possibility of leaks at the peak).

Leave enough extra length so you can overlap the cones. Sew ties

to the peak of the roof canvas to secure it to the ridge pole.

Sew reinforced loops at the bottoms for stakes, and sew ties

along the side edges to secure them to the end panels.


(Note that I prefer ties and sewn-on loops of webbing to grommets:

I've seen too many grommets pull out of fabric.)


The end semi-cones are made by sewing together triangluar peices.


Don't forget to put "storm flaps" on the bottom of the wall. These are

folded inside the tent to make a say foot-wide edge on the ground the

inside the tent, and your ground tarp goes over this, along with chests

etc. Keeps the wind and rain out.


Such a tent with a 10wx8dx8h foot center area and two 4 foot radius

8 foot high semi-cones at the ends would use a 25'x12' center canvas

(note allowance for overlap) (300 sq.ft.) and the end semi-cones use

50 sq.ft of canvas each, for a total of 400 sq.ft. of canvas. This

is 45 sq.yds of fabric, or 35 yds. of 45" fabric, or 27 yds. of

60" fabric (it's not clear what you mean when you said you had

"30 yards" of fabric.). Since the peices are all rectangles and

triangles, there should be very little waste. If you use the

"swing set" frame, this tent requires 4-12' poles and 1-10' pole.

Using the simpler 3-pole arangment only 2-8' poles and 1-10' pole

are needed.


This tent uses no guy-ropes (you stake the canvas). It's a period

design I'm told. It takes up only 130 sq.ft of ground space (well

under the Pennsic limit of 250 sq.ft. per person). Provides about

as much interior space as a 10x12 room does. During the day

you can lift one side with poles to provide another 80 sq.ft of

covers area, or you can sew a separate 10x12 flap onto one side

of the center canvas to serve as both a "storm door" and fair-weather

porch awning.


Caveat: a friend has a tent like this, he likes it. I have a 16'

diameter psuedo-gher (someday it will be a true gher). Take my

suggestion here and play with them. Note that my description

doesn't attach the end canvas to the side canvas : you might

want to do that, at least on one side of the tent.


N.B. any tent with vertical walls : IMHO, tall walls serve only as better

sails to catch the wind. No wall should ever be more than 78" (6'6")

tall (standard door height: tall people are used to ducking under it).

It's really a pain to hang 7'+ high walls, especially for non-tall people.

My gher has 5' walls and a 10' peak height, and it work great: put

chests around the edge and people can sit on them, plenty of head

room in the center. The shorter walls also make the interior look larger.

And, people have to duck to get through the door, so if they are enemies

they are more vulnerable, and if they are not, they have to bow to

you to enter your tent :-). I mainly went with short walls because that's

what Mongols used, but still, keep all this in mind, eh ?


Dennis O'Connor                          doconnor at sedona.intel.com

Intel i960(R) Microprocessor Division    Solely responsible for what I do.



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: tbarnes at silver.ucs.indiana.edu (thomas wrentmore barnes)

Subject: Re: Painting designs on a Pavillion

Organization: Indiana University

Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 18:07:45 GMT


In article <CMGKp9.DCH at world.std.com> rmccown at world.std.com (Bob McCown) writes:

>We'd like to decorate our Pavillion for Pennsic

>this year, and are wondering what the best type of paint to

>use for this.  Obviously, cloth paint would be the best (and

>the most expensive).  The Pavillion is fire retardent beige canvas at t

>the moment.


        After a number of years doing small projects and getting paint

on my clothes doing it, I learned that standard craft paint works just

fine for painting on cloth. Later, I learned that standard craft paint

is, essentially, acrylic latex paint. This sort of paint cleans up and

thins with water until it dries. Then it is pretty-well waterproof.

        So, when I painted my tent last year, I bought a couple of

gallons of matte acrylic latex interior paint in the colors I wanted. You

can get bright colors in quart containers, but you have to scrounge in

order to find bright colors in gallon containers. (I got mine as a

special mix).

        I found that it took about three coats to get good coverage over

the red fabric I was using for my tent. Something that is lighter (like

beige canvas) might take fewer coats of paint. You can cheat by using a

cheap matte white latex paint as a "primer" and then putting your more

expensive bright colors over that.

        I used a standard 2" house painters brush to do the thick lines

on my pavillion and then touched up the edges of the lines by outlining

them in black using a 1/2" artists stiff-bristled brush for use with

oils or acrylics.

        The project was still messy and time consuming. If you decide to

paint your tent, make a thumbnail sketch of the pattern you want before

you start, and then make templates and stencils of the relevant designs.

Then, when you've got your design worked out, use your stencils and

templates to lay out your design in chalk. THEN start painting. Be

careful, because paint is a bitch to get out of cloth and is very

obvious if you don't get it all out. I tried to cheat by getting a color

of paint that was close to the color of the fabric and using it for

touch-ups but it didn't really work very well.





From: ccjoe at showme.missouri.EDU (Joseph Heck)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Painting Pavillions

Date: 11 Mar 1994 14:14:54 -0500

Organization: The Internet


> We'd like to decorate our Pavillion for Pennsic

> this year, and are wondering what the best type of paint to

> use for this.  Obviously, cloth paint would be the best (and

> the most expensive).  The Pavillion is fire retardent beige canvas at t

> the moment.  




My lady & I painted our oval pavillion with gothic arches using fabric paint

from 'Dick Blick' - an art store in this town. We bought water-soluble paint

that we heat set with and iron, and it's stood up beautifully and didn't

make things too difficult. We waterproofed the pavillion with 'Thompson's

Waterseal' as well - we had to go over the painted areas a little thoroughly,

but in general it was an amazing effect!


Terras, Shire of the Standing Stones, Calontir


joe                          (314) 882-5000

ccjoe at showme.missouri.edu    University of Missouri - Columbia  



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: kreyling at lds.loral.com (Ed Kreyling 6966)

Subject: Re: Painting designs on a Pavillion

Organization: Loral Data Systems

Date: Fri, 11 Mar 1994 18:40:06 GMT


In article <CMGKp9.DCH at world.std.com> rmccown at world.std.com (Bob McCown) writes:

>We'd like to decorate our Pavillion for Pennsic

>this year, and are wondering what the best type of paint to

>use for this.  Obviously, cloth paint would be the best (and

>the most expensive).  The Pavillion is fire retardent beige canvas at t

>the moment.  

>Robur of Roestoc


Master Sean de Carrikfergus and I have had great luck on everything from banners, to tablecloths, to tents with acrylic paint cut with water.  Ironing after painting seems to help when practical but is not imparative.  Good luck





Ed Kreyling                 | Master Erik of Telemark O.L.,O.P.

kreyling at world.lds.loral.com | Shire of Brineside Moor

Sarasota,Fl. USA           | Kingdom of Trimaris, SCA




From: meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org (meg)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: re:painting a pavillion

Date: Tue, 15 Mar 94 00:58:56 EST

Organization: Stonemarche Network Co-op


Acrylic paint is a good modern medium for this purpose.  Be sure the

color you choose are light fast, or they will fade in the sun before the

war is over.  Cut the paint with acrylic gloss medium (buy it by the

gallon, it's cheaper that way) to maintain a good flexibility on the

cloth. Do not cut the paint with too much water or else it will run and

bleed into the cloth.


If you wish to use period materials and techniques, ground pigments in a

linseed oil binder will do the job nicely.  It will yellow with age,

however, and is prone to cracking. But there is something extraordinarily

wonderful about sleeping in an authentic period pavillion.

Have fun.





In 1994: Linda Anfuso

In the Current Middle Ages: Megan ni Laine de Belle Rive  

In the SCA, Inc: sustaining member # 33644


                               YYY     YYY

meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org      |  YYYYY  |





From: darrell.markewitz at ambassador.com (Darrell Markewitz)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Pavillions - CHEAP

Date: Mon,  7 Nov 1994 21:15:36 GMT

Organization: AMBASSADOR BOARD (519) 925-2642 V.32


Having made a few pavillions over the years, may I suggest the



Make your cover out of unbleached cotton canvus  - painters drop sheets.

These are available from paint or large hardware stores. Size about 10 x

12, cost me about $30 each. You need three - two sown together along a

10' seem for the sides, the third cut into one large triangle, 12' at

the base and 10' high, and the remaining two smaller tringles. Big

triangle makes the rear wall., the two small ones the front door.

Frame of 1 x 12" so called 'barn pine' which runs about .75 a ft. Ripp

into two 6" wide planks - you need three - 12' lenghts. (3 pieces for

each end frame. Also three lenghts of 2x4 - cut to 2x3 and either bevel

cut on a table saw or round with a draw knife.

This will produce a close approximation of the tent in the Oseburg ship.

It will be about 11 1/2 by 11 1/2 ft on the base, and stand about 7 1/2

ft inside at the peak.

I can set it up myself in about 5 minutes - and two people can pick it

up and move it arround. It needs no pegs - mine was up in a 60 kph wind

storm and stood up fine.


Sorry this is so brief - but if anyone wants details - or has questions,

just post me!


A happy and WEALTHY viking:





Hamlet of Wareham

RR #2, Proton Stn

Ont, CDN -  N0C 1L0

(519) 923- 9219

wareham.forge at ambassador.com



From: Kelly.Coco at mvs.udel.EDU

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Tents, walls, encampments, etc......

Date: 2 Dec 1994 11:03:07 -0500

Organization: The Internet


   Steiner sends Greetings unto the Rialto!


   A couple of points from my FWIW file;


   Having started out my medieval experience with a (ugh!) dome tent, I

   quickly found a way to make it less of a visual eyesore (in my own

   eyes that is!) Easiest and cheapest would be to erect a bedsheet "A"

   frame tent *over* the dome tent. Noone can see it, the sheets don't

   need to be water proofed and there is little additional burden to haul.

   Eventually I got a large heavy duty painters canvas drop cloth, water-

   proofed it and hung it on a line A-frame stlye. I *still* use it and

   the various molds and mildews that have come to reside in it have given

   it a nice look. I do use a plastic tarp underneath, but noone can see it.

   If you're broke, and who has'nt been, become a *good* scrounge, Most of

   what you will need can be found cheaply, or free!



   The chronicles of Joinville, that of St Louis, I believe in Ch. 10 has

   a wondrous description of the Sultans encampment. It is very much worth

   the few minutes it take to read for those unfamiliar with the work.

   The camp is described as being surrounded in walls of blue fabric, the

   same material as the pavillions are made of as well. Towers are described

   as made of poles and again covered in blue so that from the outside of

   the camp all one sees is a jumble of blue shapes. The good sultan even

   had a pavillion in the Med itself for bathing and a covered walkway, you

   guessed it, in blue, leading down to it. In many ways this is what we do

   at Pennsic albeit with more varied and personnal designs.Aside from the

   obvious privacy obtained, our *anachronisms* are out of sight, everything

   *looks* more medieval and the atmosphere is enhanced. Walls. Gotta lov'em!




                     (Who always dreams of a more period camp)



From: Bob.Upson at f333.n142.z1.fidonet.org (Bob Upson)

Date: 04 Dec 94 13:04:00 -0500

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Misconceptions about pavillions

X-Mail-Agent: GIGO+ sn 28 at blkcat vsn 0.99 pl1

Organization: Fidonet: The Dragons' Lair * 203/621-3461 * HST 14.4 V42bis


>>I love camping events, but I *cannot* and will not in the foreseable

>>future be able to afford a period camping pavilion. Not only would I

>>have to buy-make it, I would need to buy-rent a *much* bigger car to

>>get it to events.  I don't see being able to fit a pavilion into a

>>Nissan Sentra! :)

> For several years I transported an 8x10 pavillion (longest pole 8.5')

> in a Mazda 323.  It can be done.

I can second that sentiment!

When my wife and I bought our first home together, it was a 15' x 24' marquee

style pavillion (18' x 27' at ground level -- we sublet to assorted varlets

<g>). The amazing thing about this beast is that it *doesn't* take up a lot

of space. Folded up it's slightly larger than the venerable 10' x 14' Hillary

cabin tent I retired two years ago.  The only significant increase in space

consumption is the inclusion of perimeter poles (30 of them).  They aren't

period, but they reduce the tent's footprint for space limited camping (aka


Without the perimeter poles (it can be set up either way), there's just the

ridgepole and uprights.  They're large and ride either in my Pennsic war

wagon (utility trailer) or on the roof rack, but then our tent is a bit on

the huge side...  Round pavillions don't have to have the perimeter poles

either and don't need a ridgepole.  They can be had at prices comparable to a

high quality mundane tent and they look marvelous.

The real only drawback to period tentage I've come across is that they

require *scrupulous* care in storage.  Unlike nylon, canvas has little

tolerance to being stored damp.  But treated carefully, canvas will last for




Fidonet: Bob Upson 1:142/333

Internet: Bob.Upson at f333.n142.z1.fidonet.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: gl8f at fermi.clas.Virginia.EDU (Greg Lindahl)

Subject: Re: Virgin Pennsic-goer

Organization: Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia

Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 19:50:52 GMT


In article <3lsp07$41q at mailer.fsu.edu>,

Rob Maxwell  <maxwell at huey.fsu.edu> wrote:


> but what do y'all do for low budget period outings?


I use an A-frame white canvas tent sold by many Civil War outfitters.

They're essentially identical to Elizabethan A-frames. Mine cost $110;

it's 6' tall, 9' deep, 8.5' wide on the ground, and I only needed to

add 3 pieces of wood.


Many people pay much more than this for modern tents, without

realizing that some period tents are quite inexpensive.



From: wildgoose at gateway.ecn.com (Keith Cunningham)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: celtic tent designs

Date: 5 Jun 1995 19:51:06 -0700

Organization: West Coast Computer Products


Thanks for writing back.  it wasn't your fault the server at this end was

acting up last week.


Here goes.  Roman style wall tents are period and were used for

everything from the 1st Century BC thru the American Civil War. They are

available and fairly cheap to make or buy.

A Viking/Norman wedge tent was used by everybody that bordered on the

north sea.  They are very easy to make and use.  I reccommend one that is

11 feet long [2panels of canvas sewed with an overlap]. The sides should

be 7 feet 9 inches by 7 feet 9 inches by 7 feet 9 inches. An equalateral

[sic] triangle that way all of your poles are the same size.  Some people

say to buy closet poles for the long [11 foot] span. I rec that you buy

12 foot 2x4 and then shave the ends down round.  These are more expensive

at first but outlast closet poles are more period and are stronger.  This

design gives lots of space, very airy, has hanging bar inside, and if

need by the entire  tent can be picked up and moved by 4 people[without

disassembly]. 2 people can set the tent up in 10 minutes.  The first one

I ever built was set up by two women in the dark, without any directions

or training after a 300 mile drive in 30 minutes.

If you have anymore questions write to me here.


Cain Macrob MhicMiron Connyhaim of Connyhaim.

Keith Cunningham



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: doug_brunner at hp-corvallis.om.hp.com (Doug Brunner)

Subject: Re: period tent making ... help!

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 07:02:12 GMT

Organization: Hewlett Packard Inkjet Comp. Div.


Guess it depends on what you want. We just finished our new pavillion. It's

an octagon, with 7 foot sides. It's 17 feet across and 11.5 feet tall. We made it

in 5 major sections. Two side panels covering 3 sections each, two panels

covering one section and the roof. The two single panels are red. We use these

as doors. The rest is natural color. We're going to install a fringe around the

bottom. We've installed a line of 16" tall dags, all the way around it. I still have

to make a penant pole for the center bar. The frame is 1 3/8" aluminum tubing.

I still have to prime and paint them. Probably something kind of woody. We also

found, over the weekend at Kriegstriber, that it's fairly water tight. This is

great considering we haven't treated the roof, yet.


Yes, we're very, very happy with it. But, after all of the work, we figured we

saved about $400. I hope we don't have to do this again. At least not in the

near future.


Bruno vonBrunner

Woods Crafter/Merchant

An Tir



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: period tent making ... help!

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 20:53:14 GMT


There is an article on making a pavilion in the _Miscellany_, which is on

the web at http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/cariadoc/miscellany.html.

If I were rewriting it now, I would probably replace the frame of dowels

from which the walls are hung with something simpler, perhaps a rope sewn

inside the roof near the edge for the ropes to attach to with the walls

buttoned on (one of our people did one along those lines). Countess

Susannah Griffen of Calontir seems to know more about period tent making

than anyone else, but I do not know if she has EMail access.



DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu



From: mcs at unlinfo.unl.edu (M Straatmann)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Pavilions

Date: 19 Jun 1995 20:04:39 GMT

Organization: University of Nebraska--Lincoln     


Greetings and abasement from Mikhail Nikolaevich


John-H (jahugi at xmission.xmission.com) wrote:


: My Lady and I are in pusuit of purchasing a period pavilion.  We are

: presently comparing between Tentmasters and Panther.  We are looking at a

: 13X18 Oval Marquis.  I am posting this in request for recommendations

: either good or bad for either of the above tent makers.


: Tentmasters does not do colour striping, something we have always thought

: we wanted.  We are also asking anyone if they have had any problems with

: a colour striped pavilion.


: We are sure that there are owners of both styles of pavilions upon the

: Rialto, so we are putting these companies to the test here.  I don't

: believe this information would be useful to anyone else so you may

: respond to us directly at jahugi at xmission.com, or if you think anyone

: else could use this information we will read it off the Rialto.


:              Christian & Ethereal Trewren of Cornwall

: Shire of Cote du Ciel, Principality of Artemesia, Kingdom of Atenveldt

:                     <jahugi at xmission.com>


If I am remembering the tents you have mentioned, I am under the

impression that these have shade type things attached to the walls.  

If this is the case, then I can reasonably assert that these are not

"period pavilions".  The only documentation that I have ever seen has

been for Turkey or Persia after about 1560, and then it is iffy.

This info was the result of a research competition between a

tent-making/research laurel, her household, and several else of us.  

BTW, if anyone has documentation to the contrary, I would LOVE to have

it. ;-)

As for colored striped tents.  There is no real difference in the

tents. Stay away from purple for its UV properties.  

The fire retardant and mildew resistance of some of the canvases are

nice, but regular cotton sportswear works just fine.  The colored

tents are far more period than the plain white ones.

Sorry to sound grumpy, but the plain white ugliness that most of these

people try to sell as medieval tents belong more at a rendevous than a

medieval tournament.

I have made quite a few of these things, and all you need is a decent

sewing machine, about 30-40 yds of fabric, lots o'needles, and some

time with a little bit of creativity.  Anyone who can sew a straight  

line and can do simple geometry (I mean pocket calculator simple, if I

can do it, anyone can!), can build a good looking period tent.  The

fabric can often be purchased on sale for 1-2 dollars a yard.  

In addition, the more interior support structure (wall poles, etc) a

tent has, the more likely it is that it is a non-period structure.  

Again, many of the pre-purchased have unnecessary structures in them.


If anyone has questions, comments, etc, please let me know.  I have

nothing against these businesses.  I am sure that they build good

tents, however, they do not build good medieval recreations of tents.

Just my two cents.  


Mikhail Nikolaevich, Calontir



From: mjc at telerama.lm.com (Monica Cellio)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Viking Tents (was SCA in NOT authentic blah blah)

Date: 28 Jun 1995 13:47:32 -0400

Organization: Telerama Public Access Internet, Pittsburgh, PA USA


Bronach asks about the cost of building a Viking tent, and thinks it's

higher than the price of her modern tent.


I just bought some canvas (for a fly) as part of a group order.  The price

came to $2.50 a yard (including share of shipping) for flame-resistent

10oz (maybe 12oz, but I think 10oz) canvas, 58" wide.  If you were to use

this to make a tent a little under 10' long and 10' tall, it would take

approximately 15-20 yards of this fabric.  That would be up to $50 for

fabric. The lumber is probably another $30-40 (you'd need about 40' of

2x6 and then whatever your four posts are made of).  And you need a little

rope. All in all, I'd think you could do it for under $100 if you're building

it yourself.  That's comparable with small modern tents, but if you compare

to tents with the same amount of space, I don't think a mundane tent will

beat the Viking tent on cost.






Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Viking Tents (was SCA in NOT authentic blah blah)

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 05:36:29 GMT


> I would like to ask someone to justify the statement

> that a Viking Tent is cheaper than a modern tent.  I am not asking

> for this to be argumentative or prove some point, I am asking

> because I would lvoe to make one, and all of my estimates so far

> have been very far out of budget, and beyonf the price of the

> modern tent I currently own by at least 2 times.


> Bronach


Wilhelm the Smith provided one answer, but it was for a much better (and

probably more labor and skill intensive, although not more expensive)

viking tent than I was thinking of.


For a 6x6x8' long Viking tent, which is a reasonable size for one person,

you need about two six yard lengths of cloth at least 48" wide plus another

4 yards for the doors, for a total of 16 yards. With reasonable fabric

sources, you should be able to get something reasonably strong that looks

about right (cotton canvas if you are lucky) for $2/yard or so. That

assumes you are willing to look for specials, etc., and it probably does

not work if you are somewhere where you can only reach one fabric store or

are in a hurry. That comes to $32. I think our local record (for a larger

tent than that) is about $8, but that was using a very inexpensive source

of material.


You will also need 6 1x4's about 10' long plus three "closet pole" dowels

about 9' long for the frame. I am afraid I have forgotten the lumber store

price for those, but I don't think it is all that high. So the total should

be around $50. You can do much better than that if you are good at

scrounging scrap lumber, finding deals on cloth, etc., and much worse if

you end up having to buy $8/yard canvas (although that is usually 60"), but

I think the figure I cite should be about normal for someone willing to

take some trouble to hold down cost.


I don't have a catalog from a good source for inexpensive tents; Beans,

which is surely not the least expensive place, lists nothing below $130. I

would guess that $50 is about  right for a small pop tent from an

reasonably inexpensive source, but perhaps someone with more recent

experience in that market can correct me.


For two people, you would want to scale up to about 8x8x8, raising your

cost to about $65.


DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Cost-effective & compact Pavilions

Date: 28 Jun 1995 19:07:26 -0400

Organization: The Internet


Stefan MacMorrow ap Rhovannon <scj427 at aol.com> writes:

> Ok, big question time.  Is there such a thing as a period tent that

> is light enough and compact enough to pack on a motorcycle?  I think

> I have an idea for a "period looking" type but I need to find a

> cargo parachute for the material.


It probably depends on where you intend to use your pavilion.  The

light materials I can come up with (non-ripstop nylon) are not very

warm. This might work for a day shade at an event, but probably

wouldn't work well at war. Compact materials could include cotton,

silk, etc.  It's poles that might be the problem.


I saw a "mini-yurt" once done with 2' or 3' poles for the outer walls,

and a 5' or 6' center-pole.  You might be able to do this with the

centerpole collapsing into 2 or 3 pieces with joints to secure them

when standing.  Of course, the best yurts have no center pole, but I

have a hard time picturing the roof piece going on a motorcycle.


If you're not looking for compact, but cost-effective and more

"period" looking, you could try a variation of our family's day shade.

Our day shade is a "Thrift Store" product -- two white king size

sheets at $0.50 each, sewn together to make a long rectangle; four 6'

redwood poles from the nursery  at $0.40 each, and 2 8' redwood poles

at $0.65 each, a role of twine  at $1.00, and 10 large tent stakes  at $0.50

ea. The white cotton shades us well, and we use a large "persian" rug

on the grass underneath, again thrift store or yard sale, ours was a

find at $30 and is the length and width of the two king-size sheets

end-to-end. Sometimes we bring our 5 sheepskins to lounge around on

(& a number of large pillows), a yard sale bargin at $35 for 4 skins

(the 5th was $1 at an SCA sale once).  No walls, and only gale-force

winds snapped the twine once.  We'll probably go buy "real" rope soon.


I agree with the people who have been discussing the "Viking A-Frame

suggestion for 16th C. Italians" ... this should be recommended as an

interim solution for folks who want to build *anything*.  But there

are cheap ways to build any pavilion.  One of the best cost-cutters is

using painter's-cloth for the canvas.  Very large pieces for very

little cost.  Careful if you want to dye them -- many have been

treated to be water-resistant, so they might turn a pastel shade

first. Ask me sometime about the "pansy-pink Viking A-frame" story...


Eilidh Swann of Strathlachlan  ###  Darach Shire, Caid

Christine (Cat) McGlothlin     ###  Production Editor, Journals

Cat_McGlothlin at SAGEPUB.COM      #   Sage Publications, Inc.



From: hendle1 at aol.com (Hendle 1)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Viking Tents (was SCA in NOT authentic blah blah)

Date: 3 Jul 1995 11:34:26 -0400


Having built my first Viking tent in 1991 and used it through many events,

even hosting large numbers of mordern tent owners during thunderstorms, I

will attest to the worth of a period pavilion of almost any kind. I am on

my third set of poles more because I love doing the dragon heads and

inventing new ways to make such a large Viking tent and poles break down

for shipping and storage. And, also very important, when the sun comes up

in the morning my tent doesn't heat up till nearly midday, not mid



Aelfric of Sarisberie, AoA



From: hendle1 at aol.com (Hendle 1)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: (those darn )viking tents

Date: 5 Jul 1995 07:34:57 -0400


A wedge tent is a tent set up with two poles at the ends with just the

canvas itself and two ropes supporting it. A Viking tent utilizes a

ridgepole, two angled supports at each end, usually topped by carved

dragonheads, a support across the entrances front and back connecting the

foot of each of the angled supports and a support running on each side

from the front foot to the back. The whole point of the Viking tents,

beyond the supposed beginnings as a sail and five oars, was that it could

be lifted as a complete unit from onboard to shore and back again without

disassembly. And that is one of the advantages of it in our camping

experience today...and unlike a dome tent it doesn't roll away in a big




From: ansteorra at eden.com (7/7/95)

To: ansteorra at eden.com



        There are several types of "beach pavilion" on the market.  The

        free standing, square type, with a center peak are in fact not

        that different from pavilions used in period (save the lack of a

        center pole).

        The center pole has been eliminated from modern pavilions because

        it is inconvenient.

        My personal favorite of these free standing type pavilions is the

        Academy Broadway (not affiliated with the Academy Sporting Goods

        chain) model 292.  This model retails at discount stores for about

        $110 (lower on sale), and has a waterproof shell.  The shell is

        made of a plastic that is not shiny, and is quite durable.  The

        frame is steel.

        If the waterproof plastic offends you, you may sew a fabric cover

        that will fit the frame (HL Kaitlyn McKenna made one with sides,

        that worked very well).

        I do not think it likely that pavilions in period had metal poles.

        I am *not* willing to state, positively that they did not.  Metal

        poles can be painted/coated/covered if they bother you.

        The major fault of these free standing "beach pavilions" is that

        *we* know what they are.  Transported back in time, they would

        only draw attention by virtue of their clever frames, and the

        cunning fabric that shed water.


        If you want a fabric pavilion, and haven't hundreds to spend, then

        I recommend the following approach.

        Most large hardware stores (especially Ace hardware), sell canvas

        "drop cloths" for about $40 for a 12' x 15' piece.  You needn't

        sew anything at all (though I do recommend gluing & sewing

        reinforcing on the grommet areas).

        The poles can be 2 x 2 if square is acceptable, or if you need

        round poles, I recommend at least 1-5/8" doweling (the standard

        1-3/8" is a bit too weak).  The larger size doweling may require a

        bit of searching.

        If you want something more colorful, you may add pennants/dagging

        to taste.

        This design has a lot of potential for innovation, be creative

        (it's our middle name).



        langj at mail.syntron.com



From: ansteorra at eden.com (7/6/95)



>> Further--gee, I

>>wonder if there is some way we could ban those gawd-awful aluminum frame

>>beach pavillions?  For a little work and a lot less money one can have a

>>period tourney shade-pavillion.

>last I checked Period Pavilions were orders of magnatude more expensive than

>the beach ones, are an utter headache and 3/4 to haul around (impossible if

>you don;t have a truck), and are a royal pain to store.



Actually, we made a 14' high, 18x18 pavillion with sides for less than

$300.00 and it packs into two Air Force parachute bags, plus poles.  What I

am talking about is a 10x10 shade pavilion without sides, just for the

listfield. Those damn beach things run around $190.00.  We have samples

and everything from a place in Florida called Trident which carries all

sorts of canvas, fireproof, waterproof, water resilient, in a wide range of

colors, plus grommets and grommet cutter/setters.  If 2 or 3 people get

together and order a bolt or two, it's about $2.30/yd.  2x2 poles are a

couple of bucks and sisal rope to make your ropes is dirt cheap.  Large

spikes (they look like great big 10-penny nails) with washers on them make

great stakes.  a regular household machine sews the canvas just fine (it's

a little tougher if you order the waterproof stuff, but waterproofing a

small list-side pavilion is not a big deal).  If anyone is interested, I

will ask my lord, Sir Conor, if he would teach a class in pavilion making

at A&S.  A list-side pavilion like that would take up hardly any room at

all and the poles can be made to break down.  It is really worth the little

extra effort to keep those butt-ugly pavilions off the field--keep 'em at

your camp if you want.




Nan Bradford-Reid

The Department of English

The University of Texas


n.b-reid at mail.utexas.edu



From: tariqyazid at aol.com (TARIQYAZID)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How can I build a pavillion? -any help available?

Date: 8 Aug 1995 21:13:54 -0400


Medieval Miscellanea publishes a "Period Pavilions" Period Plans manual

that contains several different patterns.  My wife and I made a 10x20

pavilion for Pennsic based on the instructions here.  Their address:


Medieval Miscellanea

6530 Spring Valley Dr

Alexandria, VA 22312


While the manual is a good starting point, it helps to have a thorough

knowledge of sewing to "fill in the gaps" in the instructions.  Also, the

ability to improvise as needed will come in handy as well.  Our pavilion

uses a steel conduit frame, which was bent and mangled when high winds

caught it before it could be lashed down.  It's in the process of being

reworked using 4 inch PVC pipe.  Also, be patient, and don't rush.  Sewing

your own pavilion is a huge project, and it's better to take a break for a

few days when things don't seem to be working as planned than pressing on

and finding out the canvas was cut or sewn wrong or it doesn't fit the



Good luck!

Tariq Yazid



From: brettwi at ix.netcom.com (Brett Williams )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: How can I build a pavillion? -any help available?

Date: 9 Aug 1995 16:59:46 GMT


In <40924i$nhg at newsbf02.news.aol.com> tariqyazid at aol.com (TARIQYAZID)


>Medieval Miscellanea publishes a "Period Pavilions" Period Plans manual

>that contains several different patterns.  My wife and I made a 10x20

>pavilion for Pennsic based on the instructions here.  Their address:


My lord and I built the large rectangular pavilion from the Medieval

Miscellanea plans, with one revision-- as my lord husband is 6'2", we

adjusted the height so he could walk in without either stooping or

whacking his head against the frame.  Our pavilion's frame is made of

2" wood doweling; my father-in-law carefully welded pipe joints for

joint sleeves. The cover was 62 yards of rust colored cotton canvas

duck, bought wholesale in the Los Angeles Garment District. The sewing,

my responsibility, involved some careful calculation due to my

preference for lapped seams, but it went without a hitch.


It worked like a charm. The wood frame is, admittedly, heavy and bulky

to transport, however, it stood up to 40 mph wind gusts one Estrella

without anything more annoying than a little bit of canvas flapping.

We staked each corner pole with a pair of ropes and also staked the

canvas down around the bottom edge to prevent the fabric from creeping

up the poles in the wind.  However, this is not the sort of pavilion

I'd casually take to an event as it's just about as large as our Caidan

Royal pavilion....


Someday I'll paint the canvas and waterproof it!  :)


ciorstan macAmhlaidh, CHA, AoA



From: gwydion at afonlyn.midrealm.org

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Norse Tents

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 10:13:35 EST

Organization: Shire of Afonlyn, Midrealm


leifthoreson at usa.pipeline.com(Leif Thoreson) writes:


>Do any of you have planes for a Norse Long tent, or any other  

>tent paterns ?


>Leif Thoruson


Plans for a Saxon Geteld can be found here:




Matt Stum                                                Ball State University

gwydion at afonlyn.midrealm.org                             Muncie, IN  USA  



From: "Maureen Martinez" <Maureen_Martinez at ccmail.us.dell.com>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Mon, 19 Feb 96 15:31:31 CST

Subject: Medivial Pavilions- LONG


Gordon asks:

I have been researching the subject of medivial pavilions to prepare to

design an build one of my own.  So far I seem to find details on round

pavilions, square pavilions, and rectangular pavilions.  But I was thinking

of making an octangonal pavilion.  So are octagonal pavilions period?

Should I build one any way?  Would it realy matter? (except to the authenticity

police?)I mean it's not that hard to convert an octagonal design into a round


Other questions:  I have seen designs that use a center pole and designs

that use a frame.  Can anyone relate experiences that would indicate that

one method is prefered over the other?

Of course any other input is apprieciated.


   From Jenny Winslow:


   If you look closely at many of the illustrations that show "round"

   pavilions, they often have many poles and ropes.  Using multiple poles in a

   'circular' pattern usually indicates that you have a x-sided pavilion

   (8-sided, 10-sided, etc).  I know of no way to use multiple poles to

   support a truly round design.


   I have seen two "round pavilions" in real life. Both of these used a rigid

   ring to support the walls.  The only pole used was the center pole.  The

   walls were supported at the top by the ring, and pulled out at the bottom

   by stakes.  Making a "sided" pavilion, eliminates the need for the support

   ring, and your walls are supported by the poles at the top and stakes at

   the bottom.  Note that both of the round pavilions I saw were small in

   floor area.  They seemed to be limited by the design of the supporting



   I suspect that often artists found it easier to illustrate "sided"

   pavilions as round.  (or maybe the pavilions had many more sides that 8

   making them look even more round).  


   I believe that either round or octagonal could have been possible in

   period.  In real life, I believe the octagonal design to be easier to



   Generic Pavilion Suggestions - (regardless of design)


   1. Think HARD about the setup and take down.  Make this as easy as

   possible.  If it takes you three hours to set up your pavilion, you are

   less likely to want to use it.  


   2. Keep pole length manageable.  Our longest pole length is 8 foot.  For

   the longer pole requirements, we use sections poles that are put together

   using a metal sleeve.  (make sure the sleeve is long enough to support the

   joint well).   It will make transport much easier.


   3. Think about the advantages of attached walls versus walls that are

   separate.  (Separate walls may be more versatile and easier to clean, but

   usually require more setup time.)  Everyone seems to have their own

   preference here.


   4. If you do go with detachable walls, make sure there is LOTS of overlap

   at the top where your dagging is.  (I recommend at least 6 inches).  You

   will thank yourself on that windy, rainy night when the rain does NOT blow

   into your pavilion.


   5. Use pretreated canvas!!  You cannot match the waterproofing of a

   pretreated canvas, no matter how much Thompson's waterseal you use. (Also,

   remember waterproofed canvas is more flammable, so do be careful)

   There are a few mail-order sources for different types of canvas if you

   find your local fabric store too pricey.


   6. Flare the walls of your pavilion, regardless of the design.  If you are

   making a square or rectangular design, you will have to 'miter' the corners

   (i.e., add a triangular section) to allow for the flared walls.  What this

   means is that if your pavilion is 12 x 12 (like one of ours), your

   effective floor section is, say, 16 x 16 (flaring 2 feet per side).  This

   will give you more usable area, and keep the rain off a little better.  


   (A little trigonometry never hurt anyone!)


   7. Reinforce the grommet holes with added layers of canvas or even leather

   sewn down.  This gives the grommet more to hold onto.  Sewing down a small

   cross section for the grommet location also distributes the loading on the



   8. Use overlapping seams for your construction. (like on your blue jeans).  

   It sounds like a lot of work, but it is worth it.  


   You will probably spend several hundred dollars before and many hours on

   this before you are through.  Do it right, and you will have a pavilion

   that will serve you well for years.


   Umm...I guess that's enough babbling for now.


   If you have additional questions, drop me a line at

   Maureen_Martinez at us.dell.com.


   Good luck!  


   Jenny Winslow

   MKA Maureen Martinez



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: lindahl at deshaw.com (Greg Lindahl)

Subject: Re: Pavillions

Organization: D. E. Shaw & Co.

Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 03:30:04 GMT


In article <4rcgsu$f91 at newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

DeeWolff <deewolff at aol.com> wrote:


>We too own a Panther tent . We have had it for one year and still sing

>their praises. They are the least expensive


Actually, for A-frames and the "civil war officer's tent" style, there

are many Civil War outfitters which sell them for much less than

Panthers. A-frames are good for a variety of periods and I've seen a

few of the (bigger) officer's tents in paintings/woodcuts of

Elizabethan encampments. It's a shame nobody has such economies of

scale for, say, oval pavillions. Sigh.


Gregory Blount



From: drgnlair at nai.net (Bob Upson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mundane vs. Period Pavilions

Date: 2 Aug 1996 20:12:33 GMT

Organization: The Dragons' Lair www/BBS


In article <4ttjjq$n7r at panix2.panix.com>, dpeters at panix.com (D. Peters) says:


>I know people that swear by their medieval-on-the-outside tents with

>internal skeletons, and others that swear by perimeter poles.  I

>swear by the Calontiri method, myself....If you're going to

>Pennsic this year, do the Parade of Homes:  walk around the site,

>and if you see a pavilion you like, ask the camp if the owner is

>about, and ask the owner (if he's willing) any question you can

>think of about how his tent works.  Most people will be happy to

>explain or offer advice if they've got the time.


Although it's agreed that perimeter poles aren't period, we decided

to order them with our pavillion anyway because of events like Pennsic

where space is at a premium.  Using the perimeter poles our pavillion

takes up very little space that isn't usable tentage.  Set up *without*

them (as can be done when space isn't a problem), the tent's footprint

more than doubles and creates a spider's web of trip hazards all around.


'Center poles only' is more period, but using perimeter poles is a mild

concession I strongly recommend for practical (and courtesy) reasons.





From: Kirk Poore <kirkpoor at basenet.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mundane vs. Period Pavilions

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 1996 22:26:24 -0700


Bob Upson wrote:

> Although it's agreed that perimeter poles aren't period, we decided

> to order them with our pavillion anyway because of events like Pennsic

> where space is at a premium.  Using the perimeter poles our pavillion

> takes up very little space that isn't usable tentage.  Set up *without*

> them (as can be done when space isn't a problem), the tent's footprint

> more than doubles and creates a spider's web of trip hazards all around.


> 'Center poles only' is more period, but using perimeter poles is a mild

> concession I strongly recommend for practical (and courtesy) reasons.


> Macsen


My wife and I have put together a fan-shaped "back porch" by sewing a

separate tent extension which drapes over five ropes of our single-pole

pavilion. It attaches to the rope attachment points, and has loops on

the lower edge to hold it down.  It also has triangular end sections to

enclose the porch.  We use it to store rain-insensitive items such as

coolers and blue Rubbermaid tubs. We also store other stuff there

(wagon, armor,etc.), but cover them with a tarp when rain threatens.   We

can keep the back of the tent open except when it is actually raining,

and the tent seems much larger.


Kirk FitzDavid



From: sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu (Stephen Bloch)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mundane vs. Period Pavilions

Date: 3 Aug 1996 18:07:37 GMT

Organization: Adelphi University, Garden City, NY


sthomas728 at aol.com (SThomas728) wrote:

>>a period tent has one center pole and only perimeter poles.


William Dalton <wdalt at wam.umd.edu> replied:

>Actually several of my friends have period pavilions with no perimeter poles.

>The tents have one or two center poles, depending on the size of tent.

>From the center poles, spokes hold the tent wall at a height of about 6'.

>(looks like half a wagon wheel laid on its side)

>On the outside of the tent ropes run from the spokes down to stakes in the

>ground and the bottom of the tent fabric is also staked down.


Or you can do without the spokes.  The pavilion we built over the past

few months, and which we put up for the first time last weekend, has two

center poles, a ridge pole (which I _think_ we could have done without),

a gazillion stakes, and no other rigid parts.  The guy lines run through

channels in the roof, out at the shoulder, and straight out to stakes in

the ground.  This is Version 2: the pavilion we built two years ago with

one center pole proved too small.


Having few long, unwieldy, heavy parts makes it possible to carry a

good-sized pavilion and the other necessities for a week at Pennsic

in a compact car.


                                       mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                Stephen Bloch

                                          sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu


                                       Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University



From: Nils K Hammer <nh0g+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Tents

Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 20:16:40 -0400

Organization: Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


I made my own tent for pennsic this year and was quite content with it.

It was less than 10 feet square, and had the so-called "viking tent"

sloping walls. I understand the pride of owning a magnificent pavillion,

but what with pennsic land-grab not always providing much space, some of

them seem awfully large. I would like to remind people planning a period

pavilion that when you have a bed to shove stuff under it can practically

double your usefull space. I had more space than I knew what to do with,

except for post-battle mess time, when things were strewn about over

and under the furniture.


You may want to do as I did. With a special deal my cost for the 20

yards of 59" material was $58, plus about $5 for rope, a few dollars for

closure straps, and almost none for the 5 pieces of scrounged 2x4 and

the re-bar tent pegs.


I have to admit the design-it-yourself-perfectionist headache could be

considered a non-trivial expense.


Of course if you need to store several elizabethan gowns space efficiency

will be hopeless.


I must be an efficiency geek. The tent I used for the previous 15

pennsics was about the size of one gown by itself, (7' hex)and the

one for  pennsic 9 fit into my shirt pocket when folded properly.


Nils K. Hammer

nh0g at andrew.cmu.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: lindahl at deshaw.com (Greg Lindahl)

Subject: Re: wall tents

Organization: D. E. Shaw & Co.

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 22:39:36 GMT


In article <6c6_9610080600 at magsystems.com>,

SYBELLA <SYBELLA at f77.n377.z1.magsystems.com> wrote:


>LI>>I've pointed this out before, but it probably bears repeating: canvas wall

>LI>>tents come in the 10x12 size-range and are only $200 (not including

>LI>>poles) from civil war outfitters. So you can do it for much less than a

>LI>>Panther, if your finances are tight.

>LI>>Gregory Blount

>true, but that is without the polls, stakes, ground cloth, and all the

>other necessities.  I have been pricing both since last january, and

>to get into a 10x12 wall tent will run me not much less than a panther

>pavilion of the same size...and that wall tent, is it Sunforger,

>waterproor/flameproof or plain old canvas?


I paid around $35 for poles, ropes, and stakes. The total cost was

still much less than a Panther of the same size. The canvas was



Gregory Blount



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: lindahl at deshaw.com (Greg Lindahl)

Subject: Re: wall tents

Organization: D. E. Shaw & Co.

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 22:41:34 GMT


David M. Razler <david.razler at worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>Question: Is a wall tent any more period than an Equinox dome? OK, the

>material is closer to period but:

>Did anyone in period use a tent remotely shaped like an Amer Civ War wall

>tent? I *think* (repeat, *think*) the answer is no.


Fair question. If you look at pictures of Elizabethan military

encampments, you'll see a 80% A-frames, 15%+ "medieval pavillions"

(you know, the round/oval things with non-straight walls), and less

than 5% wall tents, which look exactly like the ACW things.


So the Elizabethan camp on the lake has too many of them, but they are



Gregory Blount



From: odlin at reed.edu (Iain Odlin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: wall tents

Date: 10 Oct 1996 05:59:16 GMT


arborimg <arborimg at mail.ic.net> wrote:

>Sheldon Lobel wrote:

>> (snip)

>> The tents which I thought were used during the US Civil War are virtually

>> identical to Roman tents.

>You're right, 19th century wall tents are very similar to Roman tents, but

>"Roman" isn't period either.

>Gunnbjorn Gunnarson


Now *there's* ground to avoid...


As for wall tents being period, I point people to pictures of Henry VIII's

camp at Marquise (conveniently reproduced in Medieval Miscellanea's

"Period Pavilions" book).  There are several tents depicted that look

sort-of like wall tents, and at least one is shown in clear enough detail

to see that it *is* what we call a wall tent.  Same shape and pole structure

as mine (except I added external side-poles to shorten rope-span and

increase stability).

------------------------- Iain Odlin, odlin at reed.edu -------------------------

                     42 Clifton Street, Portland ME 04101



From: WISH at uriacc.uri.edu (Peter Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Bell-Wedge Tent

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 97 14:42:34 EST

Organization: University of Rhode Island


>        I am interested in making a Bell-Wedge tent. Can anyone give me info.

>                A. Canvas weight

>                B. Dims or proportions

>                C. anything else

I used 8' 2x3s for the uprights of mine, and 35" Sunforger

marine canvas (mildew, fire, and water resistant) for the

membrane.  Two 6 yard lengths sewed together sideways

formed the wedge, and two 3-yard lengths cut diagonally and

sewed back together formed each 1/2 bell.

The crosspeice was cut to fit (about 69")

the result was an 8' x 14' oval footprint, with usable space

about 6'x12' inside.  Spacious for 1 person,

awkward for 2,  Usable by up to 4, with planning and tolerance.

The total used about 24 yards of canvas, with no floor.


From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Subject: Re: ISO Known World Archite

To: mark_harris at quickmail (Mark Harris)

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 10:55:04 -0500 (EST)


"Deborah and Steve's Plausibly Medieval Pavilions" began as a way to

show off pictures of the two pavilions we've built, based on pictures

in the 15th-century "Le Cueur d'Amours Empris" (aka "King Rene's Book

of Love") and on the Calontiri Scrolls pavilion special issue.  But

we'd like it to also be an impetus to discussion and exchange of

reconstructive pavilion technology.  The page discusses construction

details for both pavilions, as well as for another we've used, and

includes a calculator form to compute floor area, fabric and rope

measurements for any pavilion on the same basic design (perhaps with

different dimensions, number of segments, number of poles, etc.)  It

also includes links to (as of today) 9 other people's Web pages on

medieval pavilions, tents, and rigid structures.  


Check it out at




From: Nils K Hammer <nh0g+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Tents

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 22:17:01 -0400

Organization: Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


I have been working on my webpage with a description of my

tent that I first used last pennsic. Since people have expressed

an interest in making their own tents I thought I should share it.




I was very happy with it last year. I spent more time figuring it out

than sewing it up, so I will be very interested in other peoples



If you replace the 2x4 frame with 5 boat oars it will be a viking tent.

If you replace them with 5 spears it will be a landsknecht tent.

As is is, the 2x4 can't be seen from the outside, so it is a rather

period looking SCA tent.


Nils K. Hammer

nh0g at andrew.cmu.edu



Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 10:19:04

From: Sheron Buchele/Curtis Rowland <foxryde at verinet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: French Double Bell Tents


On 30 Apr 97 at 8:50, Katy Corey wrote concerning Re: E.P.M. segue & Tents:

>Don't forget that Double bells are an option too.  Pick up a catalog from Tent

>Masters, Panther Primitives, or another tent company and start looking.


My lord and I had a double bell wedge for many years and *loved* it.  It

withstood incredible storms at Pennsic and Lilies.  At the giant Estrella

storm several years ago, mostly only period pavillions were standing at the

end. And people who owned the double bells were most glad of them.  It

also has 3 poles, no ropes, and folds down into a very tidy package to

pack. 2 or 3 people to set it up and you are good to go.  There is storage

in the bell ends for armor, clothes, dogs.  It's a nifty tent.


They can be a bit warm, but we had a big door flap put in ours (not period

but very comfortable).  


We sold the one we had and are in the process of designing and building

another with some modifications.  


A tentmaker here, Unser Hafen, Outlands, got some of the treated for sun

and mildew canvas which was very slick and smelled bad.  It also ripped

along the sewn seams like 'tear along the dotted line'.  So I would urge

getting a sample and checking it out!


Good luck,

Baroness Leonora



From: Tanya Guptill <tguptill at teleport.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: New PAVILION web site

Date: 12 May 1997 02:55:18 GMT

Organization: Teleport - Portland's Public Access (503) 220-1016


My new web page is up and running, and has over 35 sites dedicated

to tent-making, including yurts/ghers and pavilions.  Please stop by

if you wish at



I would welcome your comments, or your sharing of any pertinent

links I may have missed.





Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 13:47:41 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Shannon R. Ward" <sward02 at mail.coin.missouri.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: tents (French Bell or otherwise)


On Tue, 13 May 1997, Muirgheal wrote:

> The cost of buying a period tent, or the amount of work it

> takes to make one, are beyond what many people are able to spend.  So

> basically, no one thinks of a modern tent as wrong, it's just that

> period ones are better.


But really, a period tent can be cheap to make. My bedouin cost about

$50 to make. Nothing but straight seams.  I've found illuminations with

large period pup-tents. There is a web page that shows what is called

an Anglo-Saxon "Geteld" <http://blah.bsuvc.bsu.edu/nfps_geteld>; which is a

version of a pup-tent, but I have no documentation other than the web page

(has anyone heard of this?). There are viking tents that are of a similar

design but need more hardware. None of these are difficult to sew or

put together.


Now granted there are hundreds of excuses you can come up with to counter

all the positive points of a period pavillion. Any one who really doesn't

want to make the switch from modern to period will find a convenient

excuse. But if I can do it, me - a dirt poor college student/secretary

with no sewing machine, two mouths to feed, and the sewing & mechanical

know-how of a stale cracker - anyone can. What you need is the drive.


Once you try a period tent, you'll refuse to go back. :)


Tatiana Dieugarde

Kingdom of Calontir - Land of Period Pavillions



From: "Peter O'Briaroak" <harlequin at spnt.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pavillion!

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 09:49:28 -0800


>I just found out last night that I *might* be able to purchase a

>pavillion........ cheap!!!  It doesn't have any hardware, just the canvas,

>but that's not a problem.

>However, I haven't seen the thing yet since it's a non SCA friend trying to

>sell it, and judging by the description it sounds like one of those plain

>white, house-shaped tents


take a good look at it before you buy it.

specifically look for ripped rope attachements, torn out grommets, sun

bleached fabric, torn fabric, missing or broken zippers, lanyards, and tie

straps, resewn seams, integrity of the seams.

don't even think about buying a tent unless you can set it up or at least

unfold it completely and take a look at the whole thing



From: Tanya Guptill <tguptill at mail.teleport.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Medieval Pavilion Resources Web Page

Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 15:37:29 GMT


Just wanted everyone to know that there are some new features on the

Medieval Pavilion Resources web page.  It now has an area to post

pavilions for sale, a page to view classic artwork for documentation,

new links and tent plans, and a better list of books and resources.


As always, I welcome your comments and additions to this page.


Your servant,

Mira Silverlock McKendrick



tguptill at teleport.com



From: ghita at my-dejanews.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Cheap Pavilion Ideas--Was Re: Pennsic Thoughts From a First-Timer

Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 17:47:28 GMT


We took one of the metal carports with the attached tarp overhead (costs

about $200 at Sam's Club). We then painted the poles (pole painting is

period, I'm told), and made a canvas cover that tied to the frame (roof and

walls). It looks like a canvas pavilion, can be roped down by tying ropes to

the junction pieces and the tarp underneath the canvas cover keeps the water

out from the top.


It has withstood pennsic storms of great note (last year's final storm), and

we use it as our selling pavilion.


One recommendation; get one that has the roof tarp that  _overlaps_ the

bottom of the roof frame or the water will drip down just inside the walls.


Ghita/Susan Earley



From: slh1500 at aol.com (SLH1500)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: On the subject of tents/pavilions

Date: 31 Jan 1999 07:38:27 GMT


I took one of the striped picnic pavillions and made sides out of canvas that

were then treated for waterproofing. It isn't quite as good as a Panther or

other professionally made one but I have had several complements on it, I have

been told it is an improvement over a mundane one and it is much more

comfortable than a mundane one. It cost me about $200.00 altogether, packs

easily, looks vaguely eastern european, and has withstood some pretty nasty




Subject: Tent

Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 12:50:51 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: tguptill at mail.teleport.com, stefan at texas.net





Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 08:36:27 -0700

From: Mary Haselbauer <slaine at stlnet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Period Pavilions


I'm just getting caught up on email since Lilies and I wanted to

respond to the commments about windows on tents.

We made a tent based on the one illustrated in King Rene's Book of

Love. For the window I cut a gothic arch with simple "Y" shaped

tracery. I "glazed" the window with mosquito netting.  The options

at the time were olive drab and white.  I chose the olive drab.

Rain is kept out with a flap that is be tied down over the

windows. In an effort to seal the

windows more throughly I framed them with red velcro.

The extra ventilation was nice and the velcro holds through all but the

most terrible of storms.

The other useful thing about my tent is that the walls are attached to

the roof with buttons made of washers and rivets.  Sewing 80 button

holes wasn't fun but they are in a 3 inch by 40 foot flap that was sewn

into the seam between the valence and roof.  The buttons are

6 inches apart. The wall is in two parts and we have at times used only

one wall to make a shade fly at a demo.





Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 13:53:20 -0500

From: "j'lynn yeates" <jyeates at realtime.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: pavilion construction - attachments


On 22 Jun 99, at 8:36, Mary Haselbauer wrote:

> ...   The other useful thing about my tent is that the

> walls are attached to the roof with buttons made of washers and rivets.

> Sewing 80 button holes wasn't fun but they are in a 3 inch by 40 foot flap

> that was sewn into the seam between the valence and roof.  The buttons are

> 6 inches apart. The wall is in two parts and we have at times used only

> one wall to make a shade fly at a demo.


a technique self has used in the past to do the same thing (connection of roof

& wall sections of a shelter) ... on the lower section, used a grommet setting

kit to add metal grommets into a reinforced section ... then match that above

with "toggle buttons" corded to a matching reinforced section above (ran cords

from toggle through a suitablly sized grommet and then through a larger backing

button ...  leave the cords long and by changing the tie point, you can loosen

/ snug each individual attachment point  as you desire ... ie, for ventilation

or easy repair)  ... system makes fast, easy attachment, secure, and last time

i saw that creation it was still working well for being 12 years old.





Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 11:19:52 -0800

From: "J. Kriss White" <jkrissw at earthling.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu (SCA-Arts mailing list)

Subject: Fwd: al-jisr: Fw: Stand back - the wind's kicking up


Interesting information on Bedouin tents, forwarded from the al-Jisr list

(devoted to middle-eastern interests):


>From: "Adam MacDonald" <twobears at cts.com>

>To: "al~jisr" <al-jisr at al-mustarib.org>

>Subject: al-jisr: Fw: Stand back - the wind's kicking up

>Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 10:15:32 -0800


> In answer to Wijdan regarding Bedu tents, I have prepared two (2) sets of

> answers.

> 1. Nifty tents, however, in order to 'work' they require **FAR** more space

> than would be tolerated at an event like Pennsic (where space is at a

> premium).

> That's the short, smart-ass answer.

> Now before y'all go climbing my rack, let me explain.  First off, I'm a

> former architect in training, who has made a study of tensile architecture

> (tents), believing that culture shapes housing and vice versa.

> Tents are often more complex than they seem, regarding such things as

> building stresses, and circulation.  A mistake I often see being made in

> historical tentage is trying to improve upon thousands of years (in some

> cases) of in-the-field testing.

> These tent are also often designed for a VERY SPECIFIC climate...Let's

> examine the black tent of the Bedu first.

> The black tents, named for their appearance, are constructed from long,

> narrow strips (about 48" wide) of dark goat's wool cloth.  This strip are

> often pinned (!) together to form a large rectangle.  The interior is

> supported by a system of poles, with the center ridge held up by a pair of

> crossed poles set into a carved wooden cross piece known as the shoe.there

> are also smaller, single poles around the perimeter of the tent - these tend

> to be 3.5 to 4 foot tall.

> First off, the Bedu live in a very arid and windy enviroiment and the tent

> is designed for this..

> Rain:

> Waterproofing is unnecessary in their case as rain is an infrequent

> occurance.  The small amount of precipitation the tents see is handled by

> the fibers of the goatswool swelling and becoming somewhat less permeable.

> A real rain means the family gets soaked (no biggie, the weather will change

> back to normal soon...).

> Wind:

> The way to keep what is essentially a very large sunshade from becoming a

> kite, is to distribute the force of the wind as widely as possible.  In the


> of the black tent this is done with main ropes that vary from 50 to 100 feet

> long!  The extreme length of the ropes gives the necessary 'give' needed to

> avoid becoming airborne.

> Does this sound like Pennsic?  Doesn't even sound like Estrella!

> Shortening the ropes means weakening the overall weather-worthiness of the

> structure drastically.  That coupled with this tent's inability to shed rain

> make this, in my opinion, a somewhat poor choice for the Pennsic enviroment

> This doesn't mean I'm trying to discourage you (or anyone else) from

> building one - just that certain elements of design that ARE REQUIRED to

> make the tent viable are at odds with the very enviroment in which you will

> be using it.

> The black tent is a fabulous, lovely piece of portable architecture, in fact

> I'm planning on that being Tent Project 2000 (Tent Project 1999 is a set of

> four -4- matching 16' gers for Estrellla, Oy!).  But, I also live in a

> coastal desert that has (relatively) small amounts of rainfall and campsites

> where I can Use 30 to 40 foot lines (at least at our Potrero wars - late

> spring and late summer).

> Suggested reading (should be required IMO)

> The Architecture of the Nomads by Thorvald Faegre

> This is the Bible for anyone foolish enough (like me) to want to build their

> own version of historical and/or ethnic tentage.  It has everything from the

> Mongol ger to the Plains tepee, to Berber black tents (yummy!) to ?!.  It is

> long out of print (but comes up on BestBookBuys quite often...)

> Shelter Published by Shelter Publications in Bolinas CA

> A great picture book, large format.  Published in 1976 during the height of

> the "Woodbutchers'  homebuidling/homesteading era" this is also a must have.

> These folks also have a WWW site (don't have the URL handy...)

> Tanya Guptil's Amazing Pavilion Page

> (http://www.teleport.com/~tguptill/toc.htm)

> Do not wait... Go there now! (what?, you're still here?) She also (bless

> her!) is hosting the archive of the late, lamented Society Architect's guild

> newletters....

> Anyone who wants to talk tents, let me know...

> Sasha (who is thinking of changing his name to 'Khayyam')

> *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*

> Mykola Alecksandr Shlahetka

> Khakhan of the Mangudi

> Known among the Tatars as Sasha Khan

> (and the Arabs as al-Dubbun)

> Barony of Calafia - Kingdom of Caid

> (san Diego, California)


Lord Daveed of Granada, mka J. Kriss White,

Barony of Calafia, Kingdom of Caid



From: New Saje [mailto:jesa at direct.ca]

Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 11:33 PM

To: SCAbyzantine at egroups.com

Subject: [SCAbyzantine] Pavilions and Things


  A while back I wrote about creating an "onion" style

dome for the top of my Byzantine Pavilion. I had hoped

someone might have suggestions about this puzzle.


   I've continued to work on the problem myself and

thought I'd send along my discoveries and hopefully

help anyone else wanting this sort of embellishment.


   I studied the "onion" style golden domes on the local

Russian Orthodox Church until I was quite clear on the

actual shape and then found the wire frame from a

lampshade that was the closest.  With some additional

lengths of clothes-hanger wire and my soldering gun/iron,

I had the shape almost perfectly.


   I decided to cover the wire shape initially with papier

mache, to fill out the shape more fully. This posed rather

a problem - particularly in AnTir - the rainy Kingdom - and

I knew something else had to cover the papier mache or

my golden dome would melt.


   I used a medium weight cotton canvas - dyed an old

gold shade - cut into narrow strips and then used the

same process as papier mache - but used silicon - the

stuff you use around the bath-tub.  It's certainly water-proof.

I painted the silicon on with a brush (rather than dipping)

and layered the dome. I also painted a finish coat of silicon.


   It dried well, but maintained a little flexibility which I like.

Next problem was the gold colour - to look like real gold.

I decided to try a metalic gold car spray paint. It adhered

to the silicon and canvas - and is also quite water-proof.


With good drying time between coats, and several sprays

later, I am now the proud owner of an "onion" style dome

for the centre of my Byzantine pavilion roof.


   (I tested the water-proofness by setting the sprinkler on

it overnight - was perfect).  I've also sewn a quilted carry bag

for my creation - all this effort shouldn't be damaged.  :-))


   Hope this inspires someone else.

        My regards,    Zhenia



Subject: [MedEnc] Onion Dome from Byzantine List

Date: 15 Oct 2000 04:01:08 -0500

From: medievalencampments-l at drakkar.org


wandap at hevanet.com wrote in a message to All:


wh> Sorry for the cross posting, but I picked this up on the Byzantine

wh> list, and can think of several people who might be interested in

wh> such a project here. There are probably several other methods of

wh> achieving the right shape and style, and I'd be interested in

wh> seeing what others came up with.  This has the advantage of having

wh> been tried and worked for Lady Zhenia.


wh> Improvements?  Suggestions?


wh> (Thank you Zhenia for permission to cross post to other lists.)


wh> Regina Romsey (AnTir by way of Drachenwald


Feel free to crosspost back as long as you keep my entire message



As for improvements... I can think of one or two ;)


Consider making the pieces a more period way ;) obtain same basswood from your

local lumber supplier, decide what diameter you want the finished piece to be

and then decide how many layers of your basswood you will need. Example,

finished piece diameter is 3", basswood is available in 3/4" thickness. You

will need 4 pieces of basswood to glue together to make the finished piece.

rough cut them to the size you want using a simple bowsaw (or jigsaw or bandsaw

whatever you have available) cut a rough outline of your finished piece onto

your 4 layers making the two outer layers progressively smaller to leave less

wood to remove. Using a wood rasp, sharp chisels, sharp carving knife, spoke

shave, draw knife etc remove the extra material until you are left with your

desired shape.


Alternatively you can use a simple bowlathe, mount the rough sized piece

between a pair of points, wrap a leather thong around the wood and attech the

ends to a tensionable 'bow' (no not an archery sized piece but smaller) such

that when you pull the bow back and forth the wrapped leather causes the piece

to rotate between the two points. Use a sharp turning gouge to shape the piece

to it's final size.


Oh, are onion spires even period or are they a more recent adornment? And if

they are period, were they found adorning tents and such?


Haraldr Bassi, Frosted Hills, East

haraldr at drakkar.org


Dave Calafrancesco, Team OS/2

dave at drakkar.org



Subject: Re: [MedEnc] Questions on Tents and tapestries]

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 21:26:45 -0400

From: "'bella" <smprice1 at bellatlantic.net>

To: MedievalEncampments at egroups.com


willbrian1 at aol.com wrote:

> I was wondering, what is the consensus on sod flaps?

> Do they work on certain style tents better than others?

> Are they necessary?

> Any bad experiences? Any good?

> Lord William of Wroxeter

sod flaps... mmmm, well,  I have had tents with them and without...

they have thier good and bad points.. without... wind and/or rain can seep

in.. with, you can tuck them under the plastic... keep out both

they are designed to be removed and an new peice sewn on..


have a freind who added rubberized canvas to her pavilion, worked like

a charm.. but was nasty to clean..

think I like canvas myself..


btw.. you can use trigger cloth.. it lasts ages, as tent material.

If you do not believe me, come to pennsic, down to trimaris and take

a look at lady marguerites blue and gold tents... she gets the stuff on sale at joann's for about $3.50/yard... it comes is wonderful colors..

when it is on sale you can order it in the quantity you want, put down

50% and pay the rest when it comes in.


To waterproof... use Behr's waterseal...NOT not thompsons.. [read the label]

behr's runs about ten bucks a can... take the tent roll it up, stuff it in a

bucket..or something large and deep... dump the behr's in till it covers the

tent.. let it sit till it stops wicking up the stuff and pour a  bit more

in... to make sure.. it is not a cheap process, but it works..you can save

the left over water seal to paint onto those spots that inevitably get missed.


Jaquard makes wonderful textile paints.. and dyes for tents.

or you can do like me...go to target get a 14 ft diameter screen room,

and make a cover for it...  it is period looking, and waterproof...





Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] Advice for Pavillion Building...

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 21:23:28 -0600

From: <tarythe at attglobal.net>

To: <bryn-gwlad at ansteorra.org>


> http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/tents/kuijt.article/

> This is the pavillion I am working on currently. I like the tension idea of

> the spoke wheel design.

> Jutta


This design is a great one.  My father has made two of these (he got the

idea from a friend of ours, Daffyd ap Gwystl), including one for me to use

while I'm at events with him (yea! I love my pavilion), and he's in the

process of making a third one for our household.  The spoke design is

wonderful, and Daffyd does a great job of explaining it and documenting it,

as he usually does with everything else as well.


The spoke design is extremely stable, though one would not think so by first

looking at it, and if it does manage to fall over in a storm, it is usually

still together so that it needs only to be stood back upright.  We took it

to Pennsic a few years back, and we caught the edge of a tornado.  If I

remember correctly, ours was one of the few still standing at the end of the

storm. It is also extremely easy to put up (I can put it up alone as long

as I have a stepstool of some sorts, if that tells you anything).  Plus, it

is exactly what you asked for..."round(ish) pavilion with a single center

poll." You can either go to the link that Jutta suggested, or go to

www.greydragon.org (my father's website) and look under "medieval tents" (go

figure). I can't say enough good things about this pavilion!!!


A couple of things you might want to think about while you're building your



1) Shrink the fabric, THEN measure and cut out.  It's a real pain trying to

decide exactly how much the fabric is going to shrink, and cutting it out

before you wash it.  Just do it the easy way and pre-wash it!


2) Use the polyester-wrapped-in-cotton thread.  The polyester will provide

the strength needed, while the cotton will expand when it gets wet, sealing

the needle holes and (mostly) preventing leaking through the stitching.


3) Reinforce the top of your pavilion!  One of the weakest points of a

pavilion is the top hole, where the center pole is placed.  For details, go

to www.greydragon.org/pavilions/pavalino%20details.html


4) You might want to consider making a center pole that breaks down into two

pieces. Depending on how tall you want your pavilion to be, the center pole

might be a pain to handle if it is one long pole!


Lady Marissa



Date: Tue,  6 Apr 2004 19:36:15 -0400 (EDT)

From: "Theodora (AKA Rachael)" <ladythea at myway.com>

Subject: RE: [SCA-AS] My own Small Bell Tent?

To: artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org


If I may suggest a wondrous webpage on Medieval Tents...



This is researh done by an SCA member and she has a ton of resources there.


Happy tenting,


(HL Theodora of Trebizond

Barony of Sentinels' Keep

Kingdom of Artemisia)



Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 20:30:11 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Subject: Re: [SCA-AS] My own Small Bell Tent?

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>


Theodora (AKA Rachael) wrote:

<<< If I may suggest a wondrous webpage on Medieval Tents...



This is research done by an SCA member and she has a ton of resources



Happy tenting, Thea (HL Theodora of Trebizond Barony of Sentinels'

Keep Kingdom of Artemisia)


--- On Tue 04/06, Anna Troy < owly3 at yahoo.se > wrote: From: Anna Troy

[mailto: owly3 at yahoo.se] To: artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org

Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 22:00:38 -0700 (PDT) Subject: [SCA-AS] My own

Small Bell Tent?


I quite like the look of Past-Tents Small Bell Tent

http://www.past-tents.demon.co.uk/med.htm Seeing as it doesn't look

too hard to make I was wondering if anyone on this list has or they

know of a site that talks about how to make this model, I've also

seen it<br>called a "conical" tent. Anna de Byxe "So many books, so

little time. "Anna's Crafts Links Page"



Artssciences mailing list Artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org




Run by Tanya (Guptill) Clapshaw

tguptill at teleport.com 1/00  probably not current.

TentGuild at Ansteorra.org.



MedievalEncampments at yahoogroups.com

Subscribe: MedievalEncampments-subscribe at yahoogroups.com

Unsubscribe: MedievalEncampments-unsubscribe at yahoogroups.com

List owner:  MedievalEncampments-owner at yahoogroups.com


This is a very chatty high volume tent list.

It has a searchable backlog.

Personally I would log on as read only on web and just search it.

I was on the list for about four years.

It was meant to be apart from the general SCA Tent list and was

created to cover items for camping besides tents - only the whole

tent list slid into it.


There is now another list for woodworkers and furniture makers.

MedievalSawdust at yahoogroups.com


Send email to medievalsawdust at yahoogroups.com

If you do not wish to belong to medievalsawdust, you may

unsubscribe by sending an email to

medievalsawdust-unsubscribe at yahoogroups.com


My personal view on a French Bell Tent is I'd rather just go with

an Anglo-Saxon Geteld and get something with a door in the end as

opposed to the side. The ends are usually rounded as well and it

has a Pi shaped top bar on supports. You can decorate either and

size them up or down.


Getelds - Carolingian Tents too.

http://www.42nd-dimension.com/NFPS/nfps_geteld.html Anglo-Saxon Geteld




http://www.greendragon.net/field.html The Battlefield -Green Dragon


You might also want to look around at http://www.regia.org/ for their



Carolyn Priest-Dorman's sources for researching getelds from a list post:

<<< The Utrecht psalter is 9th century Carolingian, and it is positively *filled* with depictions of getelds. Illuminations of the geteld can be found in several manuscripts, especially among the copies and

imitations of the Utrecht Psalter.  They span the period between the

eighth century and the twelfth.  Here is a list of the manuscripts to

which we found reference.


The Aelfric Hexateuch:  British Library Cotton Claudius B IV (second

quarter eleventh century), folios 50-51, 74-75, 77-78, 80, 99,

156-58, 248

Psalter: British Library Harley 603, folios 44-45, 61, 103

The Bury St. Edmunds Psalter:  Vatican City, Biblioteca

Apostolica, Vaticana MS Reg. Lat. 12 (second quarter eleventh

century), folio 9

The Canterbury Psalter:   Trinity College (University of Cambridge).

Library. MSS. R. 71.1 (eighth century), folio [not sure; rechecking]

The Book of Maccabees from St. Gall: Cod. Periz. F.17, University

Library, Leiden (circa 924), folio 22r

Vienna Nationalbibliothek 12600 [Suppl. 372], a German Romanesque ms.

from the end of the 12th century in der Benediktinerabtei Pruefening

(priefling) bei Regensburg ausgefuehrt.

The Utrecht Psalter: Cat. Cod. MS. Bibl. Rhenotraiectinae I, Nr. 32

Prudentius' Psychomachia, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 23,

pt. 1, folio 6 Prudentius'

Psychomachia, British Library Cotton Cleopatra C VIII (circa tenth

century), Folio 4 Prudentius, Psychomachia, British Library MS

Additional 24199, folio 4


Here are some bibliographical references we consulted for

illuminations of the geteld.


_The Canterbury Psalter_, with introduction by M. R. James.  London:

The Friends of Canterbury Cathedral/P. Lund, Humphries & Co., Ltd.,



Campbell, James, ed. _The Anglo-Saxons._ Harmondsworth:  Phaidon

Press Ltd., 1982.


Dewald, E.T.  _The Illustrations of the Utrecht Psalter_.  Princeton:

Princeton University Press, 1932.


Harrison, Mark.  _The Anglo-Saxon Thegn 449-1066 AD._ Osprey Warrior

Series 5.  London: Osprey, 1993.


Hermann, Julius Hermann. _Die Deutschen Romanischen Handschriften_.

Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der illuminierten Handschriften in

Osterreich, Band VIII, Teil II.  Leipzig:  Karl W. Hiersemann, 1926.


Nicolle, David.  _The Age of Charlemagne_. Osprey Men-at-Arms Series

150. London: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1984.


Ohlgren, Thomas H.  _Insular and Anglo-Saxon Illuminated Manuscripts:

An Iconographic Catalogue c. A.D. 625 to 1100_.  New York /London:

Garland Publishing Inc., 1986.


Tselos, Dimitri Theodore. _The sources of the Utrecht Psalter

miniatures_, 2nd ed. Minneapolis, Minn.: published privately, 1960. >>>


Use Ash for the framing members. High winds tend to break other woods

particularly in Viking A Frames. Stake the things down really well.

At least that is Regia Anglorum's wiser experience in such things.

a Geteld takes three framing members versus 9 for a Viking A Frame.





From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Pavilion materials

Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 05:28:20 GMT


"Don Gill" <don at fivegills.com> wrote:

>Hey all. I just came back from my first event and was in awe of all the

>great looking period encampments. As jelousy has kicked in and a careful eye

>on my ever-thin purse, I am trying to pull together an inexpensive pavilion.

>While I would love a period pavilion, I was thinking about starting off with

>something simple: a 10 X 10 sunshades they sell at Walmart and just sewing

>together some sides.


An alternative you might consider is a simple period tent--not a

pavilion, which is a fair amount of work to make, but a gjeteld or

something similar.


A gjeteld is basically an oversized pup tent, except that the sides are

wider at the bottom than at the top. That means that you don't need

ropes front and back, or any ropes at all--the tension on the sides

(which are staked down) substitutes for them. If you can use a sewing

machine, you should be able to make a gjeteld in a day pretty easily.


I have an article describing how to make the small one I did for our

children webbed at:




along with another article on how to do a pavilion (not written by

me--but describing the design I now use).


I expect there are other articles on gjetelds that other people have

webbed, and better pictures of better gjetelds than ours.






From: "Valerie Frank" <argenthal at comcast.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re:pavilion materials

Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:54:05 -0400


Have you looked at Reyna Caumlo's article "Pavilions on a

Budget? I think the URL is www.hci.net/~rlbradwell/pavilionw/budget.html .

It's a detailed description of using a 10x10 frame and sheets from Wal-mart

to build a good approximation of a pavilion. Not period but very affordable.


                            Anna von Argenthal



From: Marlin and Amanda Stout <ldcharles at sbcglobal.net>

Date: January 20, 2007 4:51:04 PM CST

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] military surplus


Brett Chandler-Finch wrote:

> the army-navy store on N. Lamar has grey and green

> wool blankets for $10 each  also  I was looking for

> tents today, when I came across a gp medium for sale

> on ebay with a $500 buy it now.


The things to be warned about when buying a GP tent;

-This thing is huge, probably bigger then most period tents you find.

That's a lot of weight to haul around.

-This thing is green. Dark green. So it swallows light on the inside,

and can get quite warm in the sun. You can get a light-colored liner for

it that makes the inside brighter, but it adds to the weight problem  


-You'll need a gang of friends to det it up on site, these things are

designed to be set up by squads of soldiers, not 2 or 3 people.

-At Gulf War you'll need really serious stakes to keep it set up. Last

year Anna and I borrowed a Panther Marquis (which is actually smaller)

from HL Jason and HLy Pegasus. We fought a week-long running battle

trying to keep it up, and had the entire side we were sleeping in fall

on us when it rained one night. I'd suggest something wide and long,

like military engineer stakes, for any large canvas object being set up

on that kind of sandy soil.

-Even more important, you don't know what shape it's in. It could be

fine, it could have foot-long rips in the roof, and thus be as

watertight as the Titanic. And it always rains at GW.


Of course, like any tent, it depends on what you like and what your bank

account will sustain. For myself, I doubt I'd go for it. It is a nice

big tent, but there are nicer ones that you can get. But I'm not the one

who'll have to live with it, so take my opinion with the appropriate

amount of salt.





From: Anna Troy <owly3 at yahoo.se>

Date: February 24, 2007 2:30:25 AM CST

To: Drachenwald Mailing <dw-l at drachenwald.sca.org>, sca-librarians at lists.gallowglass.org, Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

Subject: [Sca-librarians] A Pavilion book


Dragonwing Pavilions has just published a new book...



Anna de Byxe



From: Cennet Bahcesi <cennet.bahcesi.coffeehouse at gmail.com>

Date: September 12, 2007 5:58:58 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] patio umbrella "pavillion"


On 9/12/07, Kristi Johnson <kristi_johnson1972 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I recall a couple of years ago I saw a tent that was

> constructed from a patio umbrella and some fabric

> panels.

> I was wondering if anyone remembers who had it or how

> it was constructed.  I am interested in doing

> something similar.

> Kristi J


How to do it would be relatively easy.


Mount D rings at each of the arms of the umbrella.

Mount a hook on the fabric, which would be cut to length and hemmed.

An extentsion pole for the umbrella would probably be used, to give it  

extra height.


I've seen a couple people with them at Pennsic this past year.



From: kandace harris <thetexladi at sbcglobal.net>

Date: September 12, 2007 7:01:58 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] patio umbrella "pavillion"


      I saw one at Gothic about 2 yrs ago .It was nice. He used a  

metal pole (about 12-18" long) a little larger ( in diameter) than the  

Umbrella pole to put into ground for stability and then , depending  

on how wide you want it , The sides are pulled out and staked  

down.....It was an easy-up and easy-down... This guy had plenty of  

room inside. He used a reg. tarp for the floor and I think he used  

Velcro to make the tarp rise up (on the edges) to meet the side wall.  

That way, rain couldn't get in. The tarp it self was the kind you'd  

buy at Walmart. He put brown side up so it looked like dirt  

floor. Then he just use reg. rugs every where.


     My thought was, you could change material to match the weather.  

Lite cloth for summer and more of a heavy cloth for winter. But it  

was, as I said,...easy-up ,easy-down, and he did do the O-rings and  

they were set at the 1st joint in, on the Umbrella so the top over  

lapped the walls.




<<< Kaitlan Roisendubh <kaitlan_kiera at yahoo.com> wrote:

   I saw one on ebay the other day... was bigger than an umbrella but  

was nice looking.


Kaitlan Roisendubh


Cennet Bahcesi wrote:

How to do it would be relatively easy.


Mount D rings at each of the arms of the umbrella.

Mount a hook on the fabric, which would be cut to length and hemmed.

An extentsion pole for the umbrella would probably be used, to give it  

extra height. >>>



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "bryan gibson" sabakakrazny at hotmail.com sabakakrazny

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:41 pm ((PDT))


the trick to round pavilions is two fold - they are round, which may seem obvious, but therefore their center pole is dead center of the living space. As such, while decidedly period they are not the most space efficient. As such, the smaller rounds can be claustrophbic.


Two, while they can be put up by one man ( or lady) this isn't the simplest tent to do so - if such is a consideration an extra set of hands is a definate asset.


An alternative and equally period tent would be either the marquee wedge or the wall tent - while they may be less distinctive both are far more effiecient of living space and present no more grief in erecting on site.


The Marquee or wedge is a period tent from the middle era, while the wall tent was a design used from the Roman era forwards, and with some variations by military as well as civilian households. Both have reasonable footprints and ample living space with minimal loss of convenience. Of the two, the wedge is , I think, the prettier, while the wall tent, with the poles situated at the ends and offering a fully clear floor offers the most interior space. (hence their favor among merchants or folks with camp furnishings)


Revival I believe makes a good product, Panther pavilions http://www.pantherprimitives.com/products.html also seem well thought of. I can add a personal reccomendation to Tentsmiths -  http://www.tentsmiths.com/ I have owned one of their tents and it served very well for several years, and was handed down to a friend in 99 and who still uses it. Their work was and still is top drawer.


Whatever your choice, please allow me to reccomend spending the extra money on the fire retardant canvas, especially if you routinely camp with a crew that likes bonfires.



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "M & M Le Compte" mlecompt at bellsouth.net squiregeorgtaylor

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:52 pm ((PDT))


On 3/31/2010 3:50 PM, Giada Madonna wrote:

<<< Anyone have advice on their experience with revival (or another

company's) round pavilions? Or is anyone selling a round (hub style)

pavilion? I'm thinking of going with revival since I saw them at GW.


Giada >>>


Although I don't own one I have set up one of the hub style pavilions on

more than one occasion.  It takes more than 2 to set up effectively, but

2 can do it with some practice.    There is a very specific order for

the spokes with ropes  to be staked out. You will need a ground cloth

and some extra rope for wind ties on the very top.  You WILL need the

wind ties especially if it is like this years GW.   The Revival does

pack down into its own duffel quite nicely after you get the hang of

it. I find the rounds a bit small for my tastes especially for long

events like GW YMMV.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Sir Brian" marshal at darkwoodarmory.com swordmaniac

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:09 pm ((PDT))


Although they are not billed as a spokewell tent Midwest sells a very

cost effective round tent that can be set up as a spokewell style. The

quality on the tents is very good and they are made in the US.


Sir Brian



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Diane Wagner" brianna950 at gmail.com wagnert42

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:39 pm ((PDT))


I love my round!  The spokes provide ample hanging space (we use many

curtains on hooks suspended in a variety of arrangements that make "closets"

and dressing areas) and the round is fabulously stable during heavy storms.

(My husband prefers his geteld.  It is very easy to erect, packs smaller,

and needs fewer poles.)


Both our tents came from Panther and I can't speak more highly of that

company - their customer service has been unparalleled!





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "bryan gibson" sabakakrazny at hotmail.com sabakakrazny

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:41 pm ((PDT))


<<< I, And two other Legion Brothers - noticed at GW, have the 16 ft round soul pad. It is very nice. Easy up and down except in heavy winds. And I found it quite spacious for my queen slat bed and all of my things.


Michelle Peterson - froggie >>>

<< I went to the soulpad website....are those period (Italy, 1400/1500)?


-Giada >>

< Sibley. European I know, not sure which region...but old enough to be very period!! Lol.

Michelle Peterson - froggie >


Regrettably, thats not altogether correct. The Sibley tent was designed by Mr Henry Hopkins ( an american military officer).  Sibley was granted partent in 1856 prior to his retirement from the Union military and subsequent sevice as a Confederate Officer of Engineers. thus, while period to civil war and such periods it would be far out of provenance for our period . Mind, most won't say boo, of course, and they do look the part, but if your after documentable accuracy please be so advised.


Bran Buchanan



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Mazelle Attiya" attiyam at bellsouth.net attiyam at bellsouth.net

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:03 pm ((PDT))


As an owner of one of these tents, I can definitely speak about the pros and

cons. I have a 14' but probably should of gotten the 16'.


1. It usually takes two folks to start setting it up. After the first 4

spokes are staked down, a single person can finish setting up the tent,

unless you are short like me. The hub is about 6'5" from the ground. I would

need a step stool.


2. The spokes pack down into a carry bag that is a little over 5' and the

canvas folds up into its own carrying bag that is about the size of a

regular cooler. You don't need lots of space in your vehicle to transport

the tent.


3. We have not had any problems with the wind yet.


4. You have a built in clothes rack.


We're still fine tuning ours in regards to the set up. We still need to make

a bed for it and that is next on our project list.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Brigit" brigit55 at gmail.com

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:58 pm ((PDT))


<<< An alternative and equally period tent would be either the marquee

wedge or the wall tent - while they may be less distinctive both are

far more efficient of living space and present no more grief in

erecting on site.


The Marquee or (should've been and] wedge is a period tent from the middle era, while the wall tent was a design used from the Roman era forwards, and with some variations by military as well as civilian households. Both have reasonable footprints and ample living space with minimal loss of convenience. Of the two, the wedge is, I think, the prettier, while the wall tent, with the poles situated at the ends and

offering a fully clear floor offers the most interior space. (hence

their favor among merchants or folks with camp furnishings) >>>


The Marquis tent (pronounced marquee) is NOT a wedge.  It is square

or rectangular roof with walls.  The walls are people high.


The Marquis that we had years ago, while wonderful for a family of 4

to live in, even for a week or so for a major War, took 4 people 45

min to an hour to set up.  Now, only one of those 4 needed to know

what they were doing.. the others only need to be able to follow

directions. It would take us about two hours to totally set up camp.


Wedges with an internal structure can be set up by one relatively

strong person or two wimpy folks very easily.  The Viking wedges,

which have an external structure, pretty much need 2 folks for a

brief time.  (one person could do it, but there is a real danger of

torqueing the crossbar)


When our kids got old enough to be able to be in a different tent, we

went from an 18x18 Marquis to two internal structure wedges.  In the

time frame that we were used to needing to set up the Marquis, we set

up two wedges and had everything all set up, down to placing the last basket.


Mistress Brigit

(who has had a Marquis, several wedges with interior structures and a

Viking wedge)



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round  Pavilions

Posted by: "Katheline van Weye" kat_weye at yahoo.com kat_weye

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:35 pm ((PDT))


I have owned a 12 foot round from Panther and am currently using a metal-poled tent (garage type structure) covered in Panther's Trojan Horse canvas to make it look like a period tent (it looks like one of the market tents in Dutch paintings from the late 16th century).  Therefore I feel comfortable giving advice.

Now the Panther round I had used poles, rather than a spokes system, and I found it cumbersome to haul all the poles around.  Plus, we were always adjusting the ropes on all of these poles (14 side poles for the 12 foot round) as the weather changed.  However, it did hold up very well in all sorts of weather, including high winds.  It held up much better than the square pavilions.  I also quite liked the very period look of the tent.

But inside space became another problem as my husband and I have Elizabethan nobility personas with all of the clothes and hoopskirts and such.  It was difficult to fit in a full-size bed (it barely fit on one side of the center pole), two sets of armor, one set of rapier gear, and a small kitchen and still be able to move around.  

To put up the round it took two people, with sometimes a third needed for a brief time to set up the first four poles (if there was a wind pushing the poles around).  I've noticed that people with rectangular tents that have a center pole and four to eight side poles take much less time to set up their tent.

Whatever tent you get, make sure that the walls are separate from the roof (the canvas is too heavy otherwise and it can be nice to drop a wall to get a breeze in), that the roof is double-flapped with one flap on the inside of the wall and one flap on the outside so that rain can't get in, and that the walls have a sod cloth bottom on them.  I also recommend buying a ground cloth to put over the sod cloth edges to keep out any rainwater that tries to get under your tent.

Oh, and that's another advantage to the square/rectangular tents, you can easily find rugs that will cover the entire floor.

If you're in an area with a fair amount of SCAers, ask if any of them have a tent style that you are considering.  Then ask them if you can help set up their tent.  Then you'll know if the tent is right for you.




To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Susan" salambert at yahoo.com

Date: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:06 pm ((PDT))


Our first period tent was a 15 feet x 25 feet marquis from TentMasters.  It survived some tornadoes and strong winds and thunderstorms.  They have a lot of poles to put up.  It has been passed on to a member of our household.


Our second period tent is a 18 foot round from Panther.  Love it, you can put 2 queen size period beds in it and still have room for your other stuff.  Like Brianna said, the spokes make excellent hanging space.  We have the canvas hanging shelves that we put on the spokes to hold small stuff. It takes two people to put up and if you are vertically challenged it's hard to do.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "Shalom Dunn" shalomdunn at yahoo.com

Date: Thu Apr 1, 2010 12:16 am ((PDT))


Just got a soul pad before Gulf Wars and all I can say is I LOVE IT.  I have had everything from modern tents to army tents to a panther pavillion and the Soul Pad is by far the best I have ever had.  Takes about 15 -20 minutes to set up a 16 foot round (thats the 5000 ease) and thats if you only have yourself to do it


Baron Ector



To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "melinda" mlaf at sbcglobal.net maybard

Date: Thu Apr 1, 2010 8:30 pm ((PDT))




I have slept in and seen Pavilions/period tents made by Ridge Runner.  They

are more than comparable to Panther, and I talked to several owner who had

previously owned Panther pavilions, who said they thought that their Ridge

Runner tents were better.  Most of the tents pictured on their website are

Rendevous time period, but a couple of them are designs that work for SCA

period, as well, and they have done others that are not pictured.


Ridge runner will let you make payments, also.  Their plan is this - you

make payments from $5 to 100 - once you have paid half of the cost, they

will custom make it, you continue making payments, and when the whole thing

is done, they will arrange delivery.  If there happens to be a rendevous in

your area that they are attending, they are willing to transport it and save

you the shipping costs, as well.  The people that I know who have them say

they are better than Panther pavilions.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Revival Pavilions - Advice on Round Pavilions

Posted by: "bryan gibson" sabakakrazny at hotmail.com

Date: Fri Apr 2, 2010 10:28 pm ((PDT))


I have a friend who bought a ridgerunner for his civil war reenacting, and he has always spoken highly of it, as well. He's been under his three years doing at least one battle a month since he got it and has offered only one complaint, that being he neglected to get a sod floor for his, which by his own admission was bad choice on his part and not the tents.





To: Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: Painting a pavilion - dirty?

Posted by: "Stefan li Rous" stefanlirous at austin.rr.com

Date: Fri May 7, 2010 12:51 pm ((PDT))


Giada asked:

<<< So, my 14' round pavilion has arrived and is still in the box. Should i use it at an event before I paint it? Or would it be better to paint before any dew, dirt, dust, or etc. can collect on it? I've also heard that you should "seal" your new canvas pavilion by wetting it while erected, like with a hose, and allowing it to dry for a few hours. Thoughts? >>>


If you have room somewhere, I would set up your pavilion at least once before you go camping with it. This will let you verify that you have all the correct pieces such as all the canvas, all the stakes, all the poles and all the ropes. And that they are all the right size.


I remember one of my campmates at this last Gulf Wars trying to figure out how to cut down her tent poles since she had had someone make them for her and they were not the right size. To make this worse, you may be setting your tent up in the dark at this first event. It is often helpful if you've already learned how to set it up during daytime.


I have heard recommendations to iron the painted areas after you've painted them to help the paint "set" into the canvas. It will probably be easier to do this at home rather than at an event.


If you can setting up the tent at home and washing it from a hose may let it shrink any that it might want to do. It would also let you verify that the canvas does swell when it gets wet. I did find on our pavilion that the maker probably sewed the tent with a non-cotton thread since while the canvas swelled in the first rainstorm, the thread didn't. And we had drips coming in through the seams. With a 17 ft x 17 ft pavilion, there was lots of room to move to avoid the drips and wiping the seams with the stick of water sealant I had brought along solved the problem.  But it might have been nice to have found out and done this at home instead of while camping.


I've also found that nylon, at least the cheaper nylon, backpacking tents often don't have their seams sealed, either.


When setting up your tent at home be aware of some of the same problems you might have in the woods. I had oak trees in my yard and had some of their leaves blow down and collect in the pools of water gathered on the roofline of my tent after it rained. Afterall, it's at home, no need to do a nice pitching job with tight seams. I'm just going to leave it up until it dries and then pack it up. Well, oak leaves sitting in pools of water leach out tannin. Which permanently stains the canvas underneath. Sigh. Grumble.




THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas



Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 18:12:55 -0700 (PDT)

From: Marybeth Lavrakas <katrous at yahoo.com>

To: Natasha Laity Snyder <NATASHA at UNPLANNEDPEACOCK.COM>,      Merry Rose

        <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [MR] EZ up type tents


A centerpole square tent is easy to put up by oneself (1/2 hour, excluding

staking down the wall flaps)--though it takes less time if you can score some

squires to help! An alternative, if you don't have to have walls, is simply to

have a canvas roof. I've seen 4 corner poles at equal heights, plus two taller

poles at the center point of the long sides of the canvas to give extra head

room. (Camelot Treasures often does this sort of set up).  My hate with the EZ

up is that it wasn't intuitive to get it to come down properly, and at one event

something weird happened that meant that the tent became unusable/irreparable in

mere seconds--something with the legs overextending in a weird way. Also, at a

dog agility event all the EZ up blew down in high winds (even though they were

staked--but modern staking not our 'period pavillion, heavy duty' staking) and

several frames were so twisted they were irreparable. I think wood poles, while

heavier in quantity, are easier to switch out/replace.


Kateryn Rous



Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 00:01:32 -0700 (PDT)

From: Alexandria Stratton <kyrilex at yahoo.com>

To: Merry Rose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [MR] EZ up type tents


An EZup is not an alternative to a pavilion. It is not made to hold the weight

of a canvas roof, and it will not last through the beating it will take with SCA

use. I have one that I use on rare occasions, I made a cover for it of bedsheets

to make it look more period...but it's an absolute oven. It only gets used as a

last resort...or for non-garb occasions.


Easy pavilions to set up by oneself: Anglo-Saxon geteld, French Bell Wedge, hub

& spoke round, square marquis...

Naturally, the smaller the pavilion, the easier it is for one person to set up.

However, every single one of these that I've mentioned is set up by staking it

to the ground and then slipping a center/upright pole inside to hold it up. The

largest tent I ever put up by myself was a 12-foot diameter hub & spoke round

tent, in my younger & stronger days...the center pole was a 4x4 post. But just

because it's a pavilion doesn't mean it has to take up four football fields and

weigh eight tons. I'd be happy to discuss options that work for you and your

resources (skills, storage, transport, budget) if you like, off-list.  I would

also suggest subscribing to the Medieval Encampments yahoo group, and browsing

through the files and photos there. Lots of A.D.Craf T.  people there. ;)

-- Isabelle LaFar



<<< Can anyone share their love/hate stories with their EZ up type tent?  I would love to get a period tent (for vending) but the truth is that I'm usually alone so I need something I can put up by myself.  I want to get a brand that is going to last.


Tangwystel >>>



Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 05:48:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: Alexandria Stratton <kyrilex at yahoo.com>

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

Subject: Re: [MR] EZ up type tents


Do you like this tent?



The fabric weighed less than 3 pounds and it fit in a grocery store shopping

bag. It does not *have* to be heavy canvas. This one was nylon, but if you can

find a good deal, you could just as easily make it of linen, wool, silk, or just

about anything, provided you've got a high enough thread count for fibers to

swell and seal out rain. The possibilities are nearly endless, depending on your

needs, resources, budget, etc.


btw, sunbrella fabric runs around $18/yd on a good day, so unless you are lucky

to come across a REALLY good deal...well, I was only able to afford to do the

roofs of the gables on my pavilion out of sunbrella. The only reason I chose it

is because it holds it's color and has nearly identical characteristics to

sunforger, which is what the rest of my pavilion is made from. (my pavilion



Sorry, I get a little passionate about tentmaking. :)

-- Isabelle LaFar




Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 07:11:21 +1100

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Medieval tent source help

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>

Cc: "Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>


On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 6:44 AM, Marie Alessi <madmender at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< We are seeking a tent. Not just any tent, we would like a medieval style

tent. We are asking if anyone has recommendations on where to purchase one,

reviews, and any other useful information we might use regarding this style

of tent. >>>


I was pondering a guest tent and had a look around.  With the Oz

dollar the way it is, American ones are possible, ditto UK ones.


Didn't find that many in the UK. Panther in the US get good words

from a lot of SCA people, http://www.pantherlodges.com/


I also considered the Medieval Fight Club ones:


At $350 (plus pole and pegs if you don't want to make your own) the

small conical seemed a reasonable buy.


You'll need to ponder what you want in a tent.  My first one was a

viking tent because my persona was early and it seemed easy to make.

It was fairly easy to make and did a good job for some years.  Still

is for all I know, last seen being a gear tent for Stowegians.


For my 2nd home made tent I didn't want a lot of wood, so didn't want

side poles or a wheel for a round tent. I tried the straight

crowsfoot method but found them difficult to do well and my tent did

tend to sag and pull and have too much pressure on the seams.  I now

have a ring of fibreglass running around the rim of the roof, solves

that beautifully! If I feel guilty I pretend it is willow....  But I

don't often feel guilty!  (Note though that a crowsfoot only tent

takes up a lot of room  for ropes which a wheel or sidepole one



Do you want it to match your persona?  The a-frame geteld and viking

style for early, the round and bell wedge and conical for later.


What will it be used for?  A frames and conicals have less space for

moving around in than bell wedges and rounds.  If a tent is for

storage and sleeping, not much of a problem, if you intend to

entertain or laze about then you might need something with higher



Storage and carrying is important too.  Side poles mean lots of poles.

A tall tent means tall poles or ones which come apart which may

require you to make them or find someone who will.  Heavy canvas takes

up a lot of room and is heavy. My round tent uses light cotton walls,

bedsheet weight.  A dark outer and a light inner.  The roof manages

the water repelling duties, the wall doesn't need to.  If you go that

way, be sure the walls are under the roof and there's a good valance

so the water runs off the roof and is directed away from the walls.


How many people will it take to erect it?  I can do my round on my own

if I have to as it only has one pole.  If you always have people on

tap that won't matter.


Ventilation is important in the Oz weather.  At Festival I unhook the

walls of my round in spots so that I can get cross flow ventilation

and the hot air can escape, makes a big difference.  Otherwise it is

stifling in there  in a warm day!   Check carefully, Americans tend to

be more worried about cold than heat.





Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 08:57:39 +1100

From: "Andrew Price" <Andrew_L_Price at yahoo.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Medieval tent source help

To: "'The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list'"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


I looked into purchasing a largish tent from the US in December of last

year.  By largish tent I was looking mainly at the 12ft+ round pavilions of

a 12x18 oval pavilion. Suppliers I looked at included Midwest tents,

panther primitives and I think it was tent smiths.  All 3 companies I spoke

to were incredibly helpful with answering questions but the cheapest I could

get for shipping for the light weight canvas was around $600 a 12x18

pavillion was going to be around the $1000 mark so whilst the tent costs are

significantly cheaper than anything you can buy over here when you factor in

shipping costs plus the need to buy poles it worked out dearer.  I also

could not get a definitive "we will not ship it" answer out of the US

companies but in most cases the package weights for the shell were heavier

than the USPS shipping weights allowed and hesitation about it was

definitely expressed in the email correspondence.


I have spoken with medieval Fightclub about their tents and they seem to be

quite good.  They look very similar to the tents sold by indiatents.com but

I have been informed by medieval Fightclub that they are not from the same

factory.  They also informed me that they can source other colours etc

including plain white/natural you just need to let them know what you want.


I suspect when/if I buy a tent it is more than likely going to be through

Blue Draco out of Armidale ->http://adyta.com.au/home/

After getting frustrated with the US shipping prices I spoke with Talesin

and he was kind enough to write up a couple highly detailed quotes based off

some manuscript pictures and approximate dimensions showing material costs,

hourly rates etc.  The tent was over double the cost of  anything out of

India (excluding shipping) but


*It was to be designed from manuscript images hence fitting into a time

frame rather then being generic

*It would have more historical assembly techniques

*I would trust the canvas more and its supporting local merchants.  I have a

canvas tarp manufactured in Pakistan that sits under the woolen shell of my

a-frame.  The tarp is waterproof but the material is rough, the stitching

isn't brilliant and the eyelets are dodgy.  It is definitely not the same as

good quality canvas but it was significantly cheaper.


So yes in my case I would rather opt for one good large tent and pay the

premium but obviously this is not for everyone.





Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 13:34:22 +1300

From: "Zane R. V. Bruce" <zane at paradise.gen.nz>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Medieval tent source help

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


Marie Alessi wrote:

<<< Local sources are always best, but overseas recommendations will be

considered too. >>>


I heartily recommend making your own, but my lady and I are known to be

insane, having made 5 or 6 tents without either breaking up, killing each

other or blowing up the sewing machine.  I've even handsewn large parts of

one, and there are others madder than I who have hand sewn entire tents

(Waves at Amalie).


Panther primitives are good if you want the off the shelf option, but I

personally find them indifferently designed and excessively bulky in

transport (and I operate with a full size Oseberg tent...)  I can't

comment on the other sites people have posted, having not seen their

product.  I personally prefer Norse A-frames, Geteld A-frames, Bell wedges

and Ger/Yurt shapes.  Can't abide round pavilions (Yep, I'm a tent snob.

Besides, round pavilions are known to hunt me at night just to trip me up

with their fancy crows foot ropes).


If you have top dollar, these people are good:



but probably mostly as a place to browse to get ideas.


For reasons of cost reduction, going with manufacturers who use modern

fabrics and mostly machine sewn will help (Tentorium will do you linen

canvas and some handsewn, I think ,but as I said, Top Dollar), and the

same goes if you make your own. Aliena and I machine sew the main seams

and hand sew and hand finish the things like closures, eyelets, handsplice

the ropes, etc.  After many years of operating with modified late 19th to

mid 20th century cotton canvas square and wedge tents acquired second

hand, our first homebuilt tent was a full size Oseberg viking A-frame,

which was machine sewn of heavy cotton drill on a standard 1950's era

black singer sewing machine. Any sturdy steel geared machine will do, but

a modern Mitsubishi or Nakajiima industrial from around the 1960's or

later helps tremendously.  don't sew through your finger...


Plain cotton canvas will do, but the extra work needed for the addition of

waterproofing agents will set you back in both time and money.  We have

used cotton drill (waterproofs ok, but the proofing tends not to last.)

Avoid synthetic/polycottons - they just don't work.  Currently we work

with medium grade Billabong treated canvas, of which we were lucky enough

to score a roll in the great Canberra Mad Cat Lady canvas bonanza of 2006.

I have friends who've used wax waterproofed oilskin canvas (I sold it to

them), which is very waterproof, but a nightmare to sew by hand or



Research your desired period - most of the information on tents is sparse

at best and will come from manuscript illustrations (Harley psalter,

Utrecht Psalter, some of the Psychomachia manuscripts, anything that has a

reason to depict armies on the march, wars, faires, etc.), although there

are a few extant late period examples, and there are some archaeological

remains from various periods(Oseberg, Gokstad, the odd yurt/ger, etc.)


Pattern up both the poles and the fabric - sketch it, measure up the shape

and lengths on graph paper, make little folded paper scale models.


If you use untreated canvas that still has the sizing in it, be aware that

washing and ironing it all to shrink it is a very long and unpleasant job

and I still feel guilty about the amount of ironing Aliena did...


Once you're happy with the pattern, Measure Two or Three times, cut once

and sew maniacally.  In most cases it will be triangles and rectangles, so

the sewing isn't that complex, just _big and unwieldy_.


I like rope reinforced seams, leather eyelets oversewn with heavy waxed

linen thread, and handmade ropes spliced into the eyelets.  I dislike

punched metal eyelets, as they tend to corrode with time and damage the



Give it a go.  Remember that every single bit of your tent, when it's

packed down, should be able to be lifted reasonably easily by one of you

in extremis, and be able to fit in a standard car boot or roofrack. Your

back will thank you.



Bog laurel madman, assisted by his auxiliary brain and (in)sanity check,



Re: mini  pavilion

Posted by: "Stefan MacMorrow" stefanmac at earthlink.net merctech_original

Date: Sun Jan 9, 2011 8:25 am ((PST))


Quick and dirty arming pavilion:


1                 Large Beach/Patio Umbrella


2                 Cargo Parachute


3                 Tarp Clips (Harbor Freight Tools has them cheap)


4                 Tent stakes (Harbor Freight again)


5                 Line


6                 One pole about same height as umbrella. (bean pole)


Lay out parachute where you want the pavilion.  You will want to double

for appropriate size depending if you have a main chute or drogue chute.


Lift edge of chute and go under it to set the umbrella in the ground.

Once the umbrella is stuck in firmly, open the umbrella.


Use the tarp clips to attach line to the edges of the parachute and stake down.  Tarp clips provide an attachment point without piercing the nylon which would cause deterioration.


Unless you are taking a huge footprint, there will be excess material curled up in the edges inside the pavilion.  Another reason to use tarp clips; you can put the line attachment just about anywhere.


Take one edge and pull up for an entrance.  Put a bean pole there to hold the material up.


Run a guy line or two off the bean pole for stability. Either one straight out or one to either side.


Not pretty but cheap and something that packs into a miniscule space for transport.


I learned about these out in the desert regions of AnTir. Shade for the grueling sun.


Stefan MacMorrow



From: Bruce Lapham <murdochst at MSN.COM>

Date: March 26, 2012 2:20:05 PM CDT

To: CALONTIR at listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Tentsmith tents w/roof vent


I have a panther spoke and wheel version of the tent you describe.  When you attach ropes to the vent flap, make sure they are long enough to wrap around your stakes.  This is what I do during storms.  I camp on Outlands point at Lilies and have had no significant water issues from storms.  Of course I have the vent face east rather than west.  I'm sure if it was facing the storm winds, things would be much different.





<<< Thyri and I are looking at getting a Tentsmith round-end marquee with a roof vent.  Has anybody used one of their tents with the vent?  How well does it work, and is it a major hassle to open or close?  If you have a Tentsmith tent, how has it worked for you?




Kirk >>>



From: Roslyn McLaren <roz.the.younger at gmail.com>

Date: April 12, 2012 5:52:08 PM CDT

To: the-triskele-tavern at googlegroups.com

Subject: Re: {TheTriskeleTavern} Looking for a new tent


Not to mention they are not even remotely period (other than being canvas rather than nylon), if that matters at all. 


For $252, you can get a canvas wall tent from Midwest tents. http://midwesttent.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=23&;osCsid=3f77c8v76ougrilh87vgqk16g6">Midwest While they are not exactly to our period, wall tents were in use in Roman times, then they died out until the American Civil war.  I can put mine up by myself in about an hour, half that with an extra pair of hands.... You will need to buy poles (I use 2x2 from Home Depot) and rope and stakes, but given that the Coleman Instant 14x10 is about $300, you will only spend a little more for a nice period tent.


On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 6:21 PM, P MARK JOHNSON <pmarkjohnson at gmail.com> wrote:

<<< Soulpads use an extremely large amount of space for their size. A problem in a war camp.


~~ Roz >>>


From the FB "SCA Period Encampment" group:

James Brown


Aren't the long pole actually oars and the normal method of transport is on a drakkar?


Eric Brackett

The Oseberg were not oars, or at least they appear to be purposely made for this use.


Zane Bruce

Of the four tent structures that survive from the viking age, all the frames are purpose built for tents. While there's saga mention of using oars for shelter frames, it's post period; makes sense, though, we just don't have any period illustration or mention of it. Two of the three Oseberg tents are 9-pole A-frames, whereas the third is a more complicated (and I think conjectural) 'house shaped' booth. The Gokstad frame is a five pole a-frame, and much lower, and probably shorter, than the Oseberg A-frames (Which are around 4.5 metres long for the end boards and about 5.5 metres long for the ridge and side poles).


The Nicolaysen text (Langskibet fra Gokstad ved Sandefjord (1882)) specifically describes the Gokstad tent as being rigged on the ship, whereas the Oseberg tents are fairly clearly for land use. The Oseberg tents are big, at around 4 and a bit metres tall and five and a half long, but I've built three frames now and never needed to joint the poles for transport - You can fit them on the roof rack so long as you drive a relatively long vehicle (Station wagon, van or suv). If you're in a sedan or hatchback, yeah, you may need to joint them for transport, but in my view that would detract from the look of the tent quite severely. I have, at various points, augmented my roofrack with a front pillar mounted off the bull bars of my vehicle for carrying the long poles.



From the fb "Better SCA Camping" group:

Nissa Armstrong

October 31 at 3:58pm

What kinds of tents did Romans use?


Robert Coleman

Two types of tents are known to have been used by the legions; the wall tent and the wedge tent. They were made of leather. A good source for Roman kit http://www.larp.com/legioxx/


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org