Bampton Charter Fair
NEXT FAIR: Thursday 28 October 2021
UPDATE on the 2021 Fair:
To make up for the disappointment of last year, the Fair Committee is aiming for something special with a nod to Fairs of bygone years and some innovations.
2021: HOW IT IS SHAPING UP:
The Fair will now start slightly later at 11.00am with most stalls operating until 6.00pm. However, it is planned that the food stalls and live music will continue into the evening until 9.00pm.
In a nod to the past, Exmoor ponies will be present and the once popular chicken auction (last held in 2012) is being brought back. This will take place in Brook Street near the office of Seddons Estate Agents with Johnson White, the Lord of the Manor, and Dominic Harvey will be transforming themselves into auctioneers for the day.
New for this year is a Food Court centred on Newton Square which will also be home to the music stage where a number of live acts have been booked to play throughout the day and into the evening.
The street market will run along Brook Street as usual while the local producers’ stalls will be based in the Riverside Hall car park. As in previous years, the ever-popular Craft Fair will be held in the church. The Exeter Authors Association has also agreed to do a number of readings and Q & A sessions in the Community Hall.
For the younger attendees, there will be a Kids Zone at the Riverside Hall with a Punch & Judy show, face painting and a bouncy castle. Rowlands Fun Fair will also be in town at the Station Road car park. In addition, street entertainers will be around and the Mummers will be putting on a number of performances during the day.
STREET MARKET, Crafts, Local Produce, and Trad Skills APPLICATION FORMS now updated.
Bampton Fair existed even before King Henry III granted it a Royal Charter in 1258 and it is always held on the last Thursday of October. It is one of the oldest surviving Charter Fairs in the country.
For centuries, the fair mainly sold sheep and cattle and was the largest sheep fair in the South West of England. During the 1880's to the 1980's it evolved to become the famous Bampton Pony Fair trading in Exmoor ponies.
Today this traditional Devon fair continues to attract local producers of foods and livestock, crafts and traditional skills from Exmoor and its surrounding villages. The streets, church, pubs and venues of Bampton are filled to over flowing with around 100 stalls, street entertainments and live music including craft workshops, demonstrations, and a funfair.
Podcast of interview about the 2017 Fair - here
One hour long video on History of Bampton Charter Fair made to commemmorate the 750th anniversary - here
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