Lindfield Fair

by

King Edward III in 1344 granted the Dean of South Malling a charter for Lindfield to hold a weekly market every Thursday and two yearly fairs.  The fairs on the feast days of St Philip and St James the Less [May 1st] and St James the Great [July 25th] were for eight days each.  The only other parish in Sussex to have had a fair lasting eight days was Pagham.

Over the centuries the July fair, later held in August, prospered while the May fair ceased.  Sheep were the major animals sold at the fairs with many thousands changing hands.  The High Street and Common were the traditional sites for the fairs; the last sheep sale held in the High Street was in about 1903.  The commercial nature of the fair ceased in the early 1900s following the opening of the Haywards Heath cattle market.  Although, the tradition of an August fair continued, as a major entertainment event, with a visiting fun fair.

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