Stourbridge Fair

From humble beginnings in 1211, Stourbridge Fair became a vital feature of Cambridge life for the next 700 years. It was the largest medieval fair in England (and, some say, even the whole world!), drawing merchants and crowds from all over Europe to the banks of the River Cam. The River was a vital route and most of the wares and the traders and the visitors all came to Stourbridge Fair by boat, those from London and from overseas via King’s Lynn. The fair was therefore an important trading event, especially for pots and pans, clothes and textiles, baskets and mats, horses and horseshoes, pitch and tar, coal and charcoal, iron and timber, books and musical instruments. Residents and visitors also came just to enjoy themselves and especially to eat and drink huge quantities of fish and bread, wine and ale. Most famous were the oyster sellers and discarded oyster shells can still be found in this area today. There is also a street called “Oyster Row” marking the site for the oyster sellers at the fair.  Many entertainments were on offer, including toy stalls and puppet shows, musical and theatrical booths.  Stourbridge Fair had something for everyone! 

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