Appleby Horse Fair

Appleby Horse Fair

Appleby Horse Fair

Appleby Horse Fair

The Appleby Horse Fair is a horse fair which is held annually at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria (until 1974 and historically Westmorland) in England.

It is held every year in early June and has taken place since the reign of James II, who granted a Royal charter in 1685 allowing a horse fair "near to the River Eden". Since then, around ten thousand Gypsies and Travellers have converged each year to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relations, and celebrate their music, history and folklore. Another thirty thousand people visit the fair during the week.

The fair is one of the oldest horse fairs in Britain. The fair is held outside the town on what was formerly called Gallows Hill (named after the public hangings that were carried out there), which is now known as Fair Hill.

The fair customarily starts on the first Thursday in June, unless that is on the 1st in which case it starts on the 8th, and ends on the following Wednesday. Besides the horses, there are also fortune tellers, palm readers and horse-related merchandise.

During the Fair, horses may be found everywhere - in the river, on its banks, along the roadsides or tethered outside hotels and shops.

Young people wash the horses in the River Eden and are then ready to show them off. The tradition of racing and trotting the horses along Flashing Lane takes place throughout the day.

Taken - 03/06/2011
Ref:
Date:
Location:
River Eden, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria
Photographer:
Stephen Dutch