The Shire of Cloondara is the San Francisco chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a non-profit educational organization devoted to the arts and sciences of the Middle Ages. The Shire is one of the more active groups in the Bay Area, hosting two meetings a month, a weekly fighter practice, one annual event ( a combination bardic and archery competition) and one semi-annual event (a Pas d’Armes, a stylized tourney). You can find out more under the Activities tab in our menu.
The Society for Creative Anachronism is organized into kingdoms that encompass the Knowne World. Each kingdom is further divided into Principalities. Our Shire is part of the Principality of the Mists , one of the three Principalities in the Kingdom of the West.
A Brief History
The first SCA group formed in San Francisco was the Province of St. Andrew, formed in 1971. St. Andrew is the English equivalent of the the Spanish San Andreas and the Shire’s motto was “Non Est Mea Culpa” – “It’s not my fault.” The Province was active until the late 1970’s and then disbanded.
The present Shire of Cloondara was originally known as the Shire of Floating Castle. It is said to have been formed by naval personnel serving aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise during the early ’70s and then moved ashore to replace the defunct Province of St. Andrew in the early 1980’s. The name was officially changed to the Shire of Cloondara in August of 1985.
The Shire of Cloondara, (pronounced Cloon-DAR-ah) shares its name with the Parish of Cloondara (pronounced Clon DRA) in County Longford, Ireland. The name comes from the Gaelic Cluain Da Rath which means “The Meadow of the Two Ring Forts.” Since “Forts” can also be taken to mean castles or towers, the name was chosen as representative of the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The residents of the Parish of Cloondara have no idea where the ancient forts their parish is named for were located as all traces of both fortifications have long since vanished.
Our arms, Or, three chevronels braced vert between two towers issuant from the chevronels and a laurel wreath gules, reflect our connection to our hometown of San Francisco. The three green chevronels represent the hills of the City while the two red towers symbolize the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. The red laurel wreath denotes our status as an official branch of the Society.
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