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"a brilliant, beautiful, unique, and lovely festival"

Medieval Music in the Dales is England's festival of medieval music. Totally unique in the UK, it's a glorious weekend dedicated solely to enjoying medieval music. The setting is absolutely stunning - glorious Bolton Castle, built in 1399 by the noble Scrope family and still in the ownership of their descendants to this day. 

Over the weekend, the Castle comes to life with music in every corner. It's true living history and a chance to make this magnificent setting your home for the weekend - or just for the day. Whether you want to play, dance, learn or simply sit back and soak up the wonderful sounds, this is for you.

"a wonderful, unique event"

"amazing atmosphere, everyone is friendly and the location is outstanding"

"everyone in the tavern was singing the chorus of a twelfth century song in Latin – how cool is that?"

"truly magical"

"a safe space to be a geek!"

What they say...

From our beginnings in 2016, we have grown to be and do more than our wonderful September weekend at Bolton Castle. Medieval Music in the Dales is also a community of medieval music enthusiasts collaborating on projects together, socialising online and in company​. It operates to promote research into and performance of medieval music, and to support musicians active in medieval music-making. And with the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, we also took the plunge and started an Online Festival to operate alongside our live festival. 

But the September festival at Bolton Castle remains the heart of Medieval Music in the Dales, and is for anyone who loves music and history. Come and listen and find out more about the wonderful variety of medieval music - and if you play or sing, come and be part of the music-making!

Coming up this year... A Dance In Italy
17-19 September 2021

Image: British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts with design by Stephen Bell.

2020 DL front.jpg

With everything happening in 2020, we were forced to cancel our festival  and ended up postponing the whole thing to 2021, to take place 17-19 September. However, the situation is still a little (shall we say...) unpredictable.  Here is how things currently stand. Barring disaster, we will stage our  live festival at Bolton Castle in September - but we can’t  carry on exactly as we intended with a straight replay of the festival planned for 2020. In particular, the large amount of wonderful communal dancing  we had planned simply seems a step too far under the present circumstances. And we don't want to do medieval dancing by half measures! So we have reluctantly decided to postpone the Dance element of our festival to 2023. But we still intend to go ahead with a varied and wonderful music programme focusing on Italian music and dance music - and we are also planning a Summer School in the days leading up to the festival. Follow the links below for more information about all our plans for September...

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Looking ahead

Planned for future years...

2022: Medieval Women: Music Makers and Muses. Investigating, highlighting and celebrating the contribution of women as medieval musicians, composers, performers, patrons and subjects of music.

2023: Transitions: The Fifteenth Century. With a joint theme of medieval Dance - postponed from 2020!

2024: Ludus: Mystery, Miracle and Mirth. Storytelling, drama, mystery and foolery in medieval music. 

2025: The Medieval Instrumentarium. All about instruments - history, study, making and playing

2026: MMitD Big 10. Our tenth anniversary festival. Hmm... how best to mark this momentous occasion? Suggestions welcome!


If you feel you have a concert programme and/or workshop idea that fits our themes for any of 2022, 2023 and 2024, just get in touch  as soon as possible. We welcome ideas for the 'in real life' September festival , and the online festival, which takes place every March.