THE KNIGHTS OF ABBEYSTOWE – Join our Quest

Strengthening the Abbey Museum and its Abbey Medieval Festival

What is the Order of the Knights of Abbeystowe?

The Order of the Knights of Abbeystowe is your chance to join the Abbey on its noble Quest. Reflecting the Knightly Orders of the Middle Ages, the Abbey Museum is inviting fans to become champions of our cause – to support the Abbey Museum and the Medieval Festival to grow and continue to bring education, entertainment and inspiration to those who visit our Museum or participate in our Festival, programs and activities.

The Abbey Museum – Our Story (expand for more)

For more than 30 years the Abbey Museum has brought to life the story of over 500,000 years of human history through its unique collection of thousands of artefacts. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined in that story through the events held by the Museum, many of whose lives have been enhanced by the experience in profound ways.

Over the past few decades, the Abbey has created a community of passionate lovers of history, all drawn to the grand sweep of human events; its triumphs and tragedies, its leaps, stumbles, and falls. Through a commitment to bringing the past to life, visitors and guests have been thrilled by a genuine immersion in history and have joined a growing community dedicated to preserving our collective heritage.

Such a mission requires the dedication of specialised spaces to house and display precious artefacts, experts to conserve and manage them, to research and tell their stories as well as to plan and host the many events including the Abbey Medieval Festival, the community has grown to love.

Over its 30 year history the Festival has enabled the Museum to grow and thrive, funding new artefacts, extensions, events and staff. From humble beginnings, the Festival has grown to attract over 20,000 patrons each year. The Festival celebrated its 30th year in 2019 with a record attendance of 30,000 patrons and participants. The Festival brought together over eight hundred medieval reenactors, jousters, musicians, actors and street performers from across Australia to present a kaleidoscope of colour, music and pageantry

However, the world changed in 2020 as a new plague story was being written into the pages of modern history. With it came the cancellation of the Abbey Medieval Festival in 2020 and 2021 and like our forebears in the Ancient World and Middle Ages, our story changed to one of endurance and survival.

Emerging from this shared experience, we want to reconnect with our community and forge new connections with lovers of history, to write a new chapter for the Abbey Museum and our Festival. We want to share our vision for new spaces, new faces, and a new engagement with our past to create an even better future, and we want you to be an integral part of this story.

The Abbey Museum’s collection and its events, of which the Abbey Medieval Festival is a huge part, are the focus for renewed engagement and new opportunities for lifelong learning. We envision a future where our staff and our collection of art and archaeological treasures are secure and can form the centrepiece of a vibrant living history precinct that attracts and engages people of all ages all year round. Such security can support a renewed, enlarged and sustainable Abbey precinct and program of events.

You can be a part of this future by supporting the Abbey Museum and joining the Order of the Knights of Abbeystowe.

The Order has four ranks reflecting historical Knightly Orders.

  • Knights of the Order of Abbeystowe $250 pa ($2,000 Life Member)
  • Knight Lieutenants of the Order of Abbeystowe $1,000 pa ($10,000 Life Member)
  • Knight Commanders of the Order of Abbeystowe $10,000 pa ($100,000 Life Member)
  • Knight Grand Commanders of the Order of Abbeystowe (Lady Edith and Lord Michael)

Foundation Privileges of the Knight Orders include:

    • Charter showing Rank and Chapter on joining
    • Your name featured on the Museum’s Donor Board
    • Welcome Pack on joining
    • Monthly e-newsletter
    • Digital magazine featuring updates and news from the Museum

Knight Grand Commanders of Abbeystowe

The roles of the Knight Grand Commanders of Abbeystowe are held by Lady Edith (Cuffe) and Lord Michael (Strong). Michael has a long history with the Abbey Museum being appointed Director in the 1980s and was instrumental in the inaugural Abbey Medieval Festival held in 1989.

Edith Cuffe is the current Director of the Museum and Festival (2012 – 2022). She has held a senior management role at the Museum since 1994. In 1995 Edith also took on the role of Festival Coordinator overseeing its growth and development over the intervening years.

Applications for the following year close 30 December each year

  1. Membership is annual (calendar year) unless a life membership is acquired.
  2. Application to join for the following years membership ends December 31 each year. 
  3. Benefits are non- transferable. 
  4. Knights must uphold the Values of the Museum. If the reputation of a Knight or an action on the part of a Knight is called into question, the Board of the Museum will consider whether the circumstances will have a negative impact upon the museum and its credibility. If the board determines that the Museum’s reputation is endangered by this situation, the board may decide to make a public statement explaining its position or, in extreme situations, the museum may return the financial support.
  5. To receive the benefits of the Squire of Abbeystowe a volunteer must fulfil 100 days of service for the Museum.