St James' Church - Abinger Mediaeval Fair

Abinger Mediaeval Fair

The Abinger Fair takes place annually on the 2nd Saturday in June. Thousands of visitors attend from miles around and it is the highlight of the village year.

The Fair originates from the Middle Ages when pilgrims, stopping off from their route along the North Downs, would be wined, dined and entertained by the villagers. The fair evolved and continued until the 1930s. In 1944, the church suffered a direct hit from a flying bomb and, in order to assist the rebuilding, the then Rector decided to revive the fair - the first such fair taking place in 1956.

The fair remains very traditional. It begins with a procession of all children from the school, plus villagers in costume. The May Queen is then crowned, followed by the school children dancing around the Maypole. The stalls are run by locals, and villagers dress up in mediaeval costumes. They sell such things as pies, books, apothecary and plants. Lambs are cooked on the spit and mead is served at the bar. Recent arena events have included hawkers, horses, terrier racing and mediaeval combat. All profits are divided between St James' Church, Abinger Common School and many other local charities and amenities.

The committee welcomes new members and offers for help in any capacity. We meet about once a month from January until fair day and then hold the AGM in November when funds are distributed.

Some pictures and memorabilia of previous fairs can be found here. See also the fair website.

Chair: Joanna Durham, Secretary: Rachel Orme-Smith

Details of the next fair at