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 Shire of Cloondara, (pronounced Cloon-DAR-ah) shares its name with the Parish of Clondra (a.k.a. Cloondara) in County Longford, Ireland. The name comes from the Gaelic Cluain Da Rath which means “The Meadow of the Two Forts.” Since “Forts” can also be taken to mean castles or towers, one glance at the Golden Gate Bridge’s two towers and you can see why the name was chosen.
The residents of the Parish of Clondra, Longford, Ireland, have no idea where the ancient forts their parish is named for were located as all traces of both fortifications have long since vanished.
The Shire was originally formed by naval personnel serving aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise during the early ’70s as one of the SCA’s most famous groups: “The Floating Shire”. The Floating Shire subsequently moved ashore to San Francisco when the Enterprise was redeployed to Norfolk, Virginia and The Floating Shire’s name was changed to Cloondara in October of 1983, replacing the then-defunct College of St. Andrews.
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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