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.
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.