The Horn Fair
Before the village green in front of Charlton House was enclosed by the Maryon-Wilson family in 1829 the ancient Horn Fair was held there annually. After the enclosure the fair was moved to a field in nearby Fairfield Grove. It was suppressed because of the drunken behaviour of those celebrating at the fair in 1874.
In the 1720s, the Horn Fair was described by Daniel Defoe:
Charleton, a village famous, or rather infamous for the yearly collected rabble of mad-people, at Horn-Fair; the rudeness of which I cannot but think, is such as ought to be suppressed, and indeed in a civiliz'd well govern'd nation, it may well be said to be unsufferable. The mob indeed at that time take all kinds of liberties, and the women are especially impudent for that day; as if it was a day that justify'd the giving themselves a loose to all manner of indecency and immodesty, without any reproach, or without suffering the censure which such behaviour would deserve at another time.
A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain 1724-1727
A pale shadow of the original was revived in 1973, and it is now held in Charlton House and its grounds.
I wrote an article on the story of the Horn Fair for a local blog, The Charlton Champion; please read it for more information.
Below are some photographs taken at the 2001 Horn Fair, on 24 June. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of the pictures.
This site and all contents Copyright © 2000 - 2012 Alan Palmer, apart from Greenwich Day by Day, which is Copyright © 2005 - 2008 David Male.