The many skills of Taunton Garrison members.

Taunton Garrison is capable of putting on a varied show for the whole day.  As well as military demos and skirmishes we can populate appropriate rooms in a castle, or similar, or set up a Living History campsite. 

In this mode we perform cameos that enact actual historical events, such as the Duke of Monmouth arriving at Taunton Castle, or generic roles such as the life of a Coffee House, for example.  We also have people that demonstrate various skills of the period, such as: barber surgeon, musicians, leather worker, woodcraft, spinning, pottery,etc. (see gallery for more)

Authentic pottery by Catherine


Scene in a Coffee House 1680


Above, we see a typical Coffee house of the late C17th. Coffee houses were very popular from 1670 on into the C18th.  These establishments served not only coffee, but often tea (green) and chocolate.  The fee was usually a penny, for this you got a cup of coffee and a clay pipe of tobacco.  It was the custom to drop the penny into a cup or bowl, to show you could pay.  This custom gave rise to the modern term used for leaving a gratuites in a cafe - tips.  Tips, in the C17th meant - 'To Insure Prompt Service.'  Coffee houses were places where men would go to talk on various matters, they became known as 'Penny Universities' because of all the 'experts' to be found in them.  Some began to attract customers who had similar interests, in London a coffee house where sea captains and maritime insurers met was Lloyd's Coffee House.  This became Lloyd's of London.  Other houses became just as famous e.g Jonathan's Coffee House in Exchange Alley in London, became the London Stock Exchange.