The new, rectangular tent

A friend has made a very beautiful rectangular tent. It doesn’t have any guy ropes, it is based on an internal frame with welded connectors, similar to the cheap sunshades you can buy.  It’s very popular because it doesn’t need extra space for guy ropes.  Also, it’s beautiful.  The small tent in the foreground is a soldier’s tent.  There’s more information about it here.

There are a number of rectangular tents in the Froissart Chronicles.  It’s a 15th Century French manuscript with lots of battle scenes.  Almost all of them have guy ropes.

So, I want to make the same canvas shell, but use 2 poles and forked guy ropes.

This is theEdward III of England besieging Reims (1359/60).  (BNF, FR 2643)   Jean Froissart, Chronicles fol. 253 Flandres, Bruges 15th Century. (100 x   90 mm) only one I have found that doesn’t have guy ropes.

And here are the pictures that show rectangular tents with guy ropes.

From Froissart

The French lay siege to Duras (1377).  (BNF, FR 2644) Jean Froissart, Chronicles fol. 9 Flandres, Bruges 15th Century. (185 x 200 mm) Charles of Blois, duke of Brittany, is taken prisoner at the Battle of La Roche-Derrien (1347).  (BNF, FR 2643) Jean Froissart, Chronicles fol. 180 Flandres, Bruges 15th Century. (170 x 200 mm) French and English forces at the Battle of Chizé (1373).  (BNF, FR 2643) Jean Froissart, Chronicles fol. 406 Flandres, Bruges 15th Century. (170 x 200 mm)

And another one:

A nice medieval picture with tents. Someone told me that this  comes from the Romance of Alexander, but it doesn't look anything like  the c. 1340 manuscript mentioned above; the style looks maybe 50 years  later to me. The tents in this picture are basically white, with  elaborate painted designs. Thanks to Mary Hall for finding Stephen Bloch  this picture.

I would like to make a red one.  I can get cheap red canvas.  But a friend recently found some bargain canvas, so I’ll be making a white one.  I’ll probably paint it similarly to the tent shown in the Romance of Alexander above.

I want to use the tent as a light weight camping tent and also for an arming tent at tourneys.   I’ll make 4 removable  wall sections that will overlap to make an opening in the centre of each face.  Each wall piece will be half an end and half front/back.

It is big enough to fit a double bed between the poles, and a bit of storage space at the ends.

Here are the proportions and sizes I’m using.

Here’s my cutting pattern.  Click for the link to a printable pdf.

The dimensions are the cutting out dimensions, including seam allowance.  I’ve allowed a 40mm seam allowance for “vertical” seams and 100mm for the top and bottom of the walls, and the bottom of the roof.

See the dining tent post for examples of the sewing and painting set up.

5 thoughts on “The new, rectangular tent

  1. This is wonderful 🙂 Can you please tell me how much canvas you used to construct it and what are the numbers MM or Feet?

    1. All the numbers are in mm. I can’t remember how much canvas I used, but I note that the pattern for this tent is based on unusual canvas which is 2.8m wide

  2. I have camped in a red tent. It’s horrible. You can’t tell the colour of anything inside the tent, it’s dark, attracts flies, and gave me a headache every time I went from the very red inside to the very blue outside.

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