The Natural History of Wiltshire eBook

John Aubrey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Natural History of Wiltshire.

Mr. Paul Methwin of Bradford succeeded his father-in-law in the trade, and was the greatest cloathier of his time (tempore Caroli 2nd).  He was a worthy gentleman, and died about 1667.  Now (temp.  Jacobi ii.) Mr. Brewer of Troubridge driveth the greatest trade for medleys of any cloathier in England.


        Fairesand marketts.

Faires.  The most celebrated faire in North Wiltshire for sheep is at Castle Combe, on St. George’s Day (23 April), whither sheep-masters doe come as far as from Northamptonshire.  Here is a good crosse and market-house; and heretofore was a staple of wooll, as John Scrope, Esq.  Lord of this mannour, affirmes to me.  The market here now is very inconsiderable. [Part of the cross and market-house remain, but there is not any wool fair, market, or trade at Castle Combe, which is a retired, secluded village, of a romantic character, seated in a narrow valley, with steep acclivities, covered with woods.  The house, gardens, &c. of George Poulett Scrope, Esq.  M.P., the Lord of the Manor, are peculiar features in this scene. — J. B.]

At Wilton is a very noted faire for sheepe, on St. George’s Day also; and another on St. Giles’s Day, September the first.  Graziers, &c. from Buckinghamshire come hither to buy sheep.

Wilton was the head town of the county till Bishop Bingham built the Bridge at Harnham which turned away the old Roman way (in the Legier-booke of Wilton called the heþepath, i. e. the army path), and brought the trade to New Sarum, where it hath ever since continued.

At Chilmarke is a good faire for sheep on St. Margaret’s day, 20th July.

Burford, near Salisbury, a faire on Lammas day; ’tis an eminent faire for wooll and sheep, the eve is for wooll and cheese.

At the city of New Sarum is a very great faire for cloath at Twelf-tyde, called Twelfe Market.  In the parish of All-Cannings is St Anne’s Hill, vulgarly called Tann Hill, where every yeare on St. Anne’s Day (26th July), is kept a great fair within an old camp, called Oldbury.* The chiefe commodities are sheep, oxen, and fineries.  This faire would bee more considerable, but that Bristow Faire happens at the same time.

* [Aubrey errs in stating “Oldbury Camp” to be on St. Anne’s Hill; those places being nearly two miles apart. — J. B.]

At the Devises severall faires; but the greatest is at the Green there, at Michaelmas:  it continues about a week.

Project Gutenberg
The Natural History of Wiltshire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook