The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

September 20, 2009

Exploring Medieval Periods of History

Centerville woman serves as Seneschal of Barony

Most of the time, Carolyn Pace is a retired teacher living in Centerville with her husband Gary, also a retired teacher.

But several times a year, Pace dons medieval garb and styles herself as Lady Giovanna Lena Caronna, Autocrat and Seneschal of the Barony of Ravensfort.

Pace is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a worldwide organization devoted to exploring the medieval and Renaissance periods of European history through its clothing, customs, sciences, weapons and more.

Founded in California in the 1960s, SCA is today an organization with more than 100,000 members in more than 800 chapters around the world.

The group is divided into several kingdoms around the world. Texas and Oklahoma comprise the Kingdom of Ansteorra, which is in turn divided into numerous baronies, cantons and shires based on size and location.

The Barony of Ravensfort, which includes all of Walker County, stretches from the Centerville area to the northern edge of Houston, and encompasses Houston, Walker, Trinity, Montgomery, Liberty, Polk, Leon, San Jacinto and Madison counties.

As Seneschal, Pace serves as the leading officer of the Barony, organizing events, overseeing the group’s officers and keeping every member updated on upcoming SCA happenings. A 12-year veteran of SCA, she was introduced to the society by her brother, and quickly became hooked.

“My brother was a rapier fighter in Corpus, and so he invited me to an event they were having, and they volunteered me to be a water bearer, and I got hooked,” Pace said.

After beginning her SCA activity in the Galveston area, Pace continued her involvement when she moved to Centerville, and assumed Seneschal duties two years ago.

From Sept. 18-20 the Barony held its annual “Defender of the Fort” event at a Walker County ranch that has been dubbed by SCA members “The Stones at Ravensfort,” named for the miniature Stonehenge that sits on a hill on the property.

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