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Goose Fair on Old Market Square c.1906
History of Goose Fair
Goose Fair has been a part of the Nottingham calendar for over 700 years.
Goose Fair goes back so far that no one knows for sure exactly how it got its name.
Most historians agree the fair probably started just after 1284 when the Charter of King Edward I referred to city fairs in Nottingham.
The name probably came from the hundreds of geese which were driven from Lincolnshire to be sold in Nottingham.
A fat roast goose was a traditional Michaelmas treat.
The fair was originally held in September on St Matthew's Day, but moved to early October in 1752.
Goose Fair has not run continuously, as it was cancelled because of the plague in 1646 and again during the two World Wars in the last century.
'Peg Leg Pete' in action at Goose Fair
Although it is know for its rides and games now, Goose Fair started as a trade event and enjoyed a reputation for its high-quality cheese.
In the 19th century, the fair was shortened from eight days to three days, but after the turn of the century it was increased again to four days.
It was moved from its site at the centre of the town in Market Square to its current location at Forest Recreation Ground in the 1920s.
For more information about the history of the Goose Fair please visit:
last updated: 04/09/2008 at 17:45