North Lakes Historical Fencing Society

Historical Fencing in Cockermouth, Cumbria

The NLHS is a collection of like minded enthusiasts who are dedicated to understanding and practicing the historical martial arts of Western Europe. We base our training on the evidence of these fighting systems left to us by the 14th and 15th Century medieval masters themselves, such as Johannes Liechtenauer, Fiore-dei-Liberi, Paulus Kal, Hans Tallhoffer and others. We also study the unattributed sword and buckler treatise known simply as MS-I-33.

The works of these historical masters are cryptically written since they were designed not to advertise their secret craft too openly. Therefore our training is based upon the works of recent scholars who have interpreted these old texts for us. In particular we currently use:

  • Fighting With The German Longsword/ In The Service Of The Duke/ In Saint Georges Name ; Christian Tobler
  • Sword In Two Hands; Brian R Price
  • The Fighting Man’s Guide To German Longsword Combat; Michael Thomas
  • The Swordsmans Companion; Guy Windsor
  • The Medieval Art Of Swordsmanship; Dr Jeffery Forgeng
  • Medieval Combat (Hans Tallhoffer); Mark Rector

Our source material is continually expanding and we openly encourage (and thoroughly enjoy) debating (and trying!) new historical techniques as they are revealed to us by our or other peoples studies.

North Lakes Historical Fencing Society was founded in 2006 by Nathan Williams, a very fine fellow and worthy swordsman.


We meet in Cockermouth, Cumbria at the Kirkgate Centre on the first and third Sunday of each month.

Get in touch

If you are over 16 years old, interested in joining us in discovering our forgotten European martial arts, then come along to a training session to meet us and see first hand what we are all about.