Downham Market set for St Winnold’s Fair

Scenes from the St Winnold's Fair Parade in Downham Market - The parade makes it way through the str

Scenes from the St Winnold's Fair Parade in Downham Market - The parade makes it way through the streets. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

He still features on the town's sign and for centuries the biggest horse fair in the Fens was named after him.

The annual St Winnold's Parade through Downham Market

The annual St Winnold's Parade through Downham Market

For many years, thousands would flock to Downham Market to buy and sell horses. At its height, more than 10,000 animals were sold.

But the event inevitably fell by the wayside, as tractors consigned horsepower from the fields to the history books.

Ten years ago, a parade was staged to celebrate Downham's horsey history and celebrate the continued success of the town's markets, which were granted to the town in 1046 by Edward The Confessor.

This year's event will start at the town council offices, on Paradise Road on Friday, March 17 (9am). Heavy horses and dignitaries will parade through the town centre to the town hall.


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St Winnold was a 6th Century Cornish saint, who founded an abbey in Brittany after fleeing from the Saxons.

Local legend has it his official feast day, on March 3, is especially windy.

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