Later this month, the City of London will be recreating a modern version of the ancient Bartholomew Fair, with more family-friendly events than the debauchery that the original was famous for.

The fair was founded in 890 years ago, in 1133, and grew over the centuries to become London’s most important annual fair. However, the fair was shut down in 1855 by the City authorities for encouraging debauchery and public disorder.

This year, a more wholesome version is returning to the City, with three weeks of free events taking place, and the itinerary has now been published.

There’s a lot happening, including everything from a rope dance performance on the side of St. Paul’s Cathedral and an eccentric journey with hot air balloons gliding through the streets.

In the second week, there’s a circus in Broadgate while giant slinkies will be bouncing around the city.

In the third week, stilt dancers will walk around Leadenhall, along with a parade and special effects puppets shows.

The events are all free to attend and don’t need booking to watch.

The full listings are here.

If the fair is a succcess, then this could be the countdown to its 900th anniversary in 2033.


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  1. Greg T says:

    Bartholemew Fair
    Room for company, here come good fellows, room for company in Bartholemew Fair!
    Cobblers and broom-men, Jailors and Loom-men,
    Room for company in Bartholemew Fair,
    Butchers and tailors, Shipwrights and Sailors,
    Room for company, well may they fare!

    Paviours, Bricklayers, Potters and Brickmakers,
    Pinners and Pewterers, Plumbers and Fruiterers,

    Pointers and Hosiers, Salesmen and Clothiers,
    Horse-coursers, Carriers, blacksmiths and Farriers,

    Colliers and Carvers, Formers and Weavers,
    Serjeants and Yeomen, farmers and Ploughmen,

    Bellfounders, Fellsmanders, Bellows-menders, Woodmongers,
    Pump-makers, Glassmakers, Chamberlains and Mapmakers,

    Collar-makers, Needlemakers, Buttermakers, Fiddlemakers,
    Fletchers and Bowyers, Drawyers and Sawyers,

    Room for company, here come good fellows, room for company in Bartholemew Fair!
    Cut-purses and Cheaters and Bawdy-house doorkepers,
    Room for company in Bartholemew Fair,
    Punks-eye and Panders, and cashiered Commanders,
    Room for company, ill may they fare! Room for company in Bartholemew Fair.

  2. Sheila says:

    You say it’s free, but it cost a fortune just to journey,pay parking and the ULEZ and congestion charge.
    Public transport in London is rubbish. Normally takes at least 2/4 buses to get anywhere. I don’t like the underground.

    • Paul says:

      Tell you what, Sheila, I just don’t think you should go. I think you’d be miserable.

    • Sheilalala says:

      Ohh no I’m so posh I can’t take public transport lol

    • Liam says:

      My bike cost me nothing to get around London. Just the coffee am ale that powers it. The exercise also makes me less bitter and resentful.

    • Ms Terry Jones says:

      How do you know it’s rubbish if you refuse to use it? Keep your car out of our city, please.

  3. matthew kay says:

    Great list
    But what’s a fellsmander?

  4. Maggy says:

    Get the bus

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