King Henry III
An historical post this week, about the reason I’m not going to be able to step outside my front door this weekend or park in my own street! The fair is put on by the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, who are due to roll into town this weekend with fairground rides and stalls.In 1269 the right to hold a fair at Beaconsfield on the Vigil of the Ascension and for six days afterwards was granted to the
abbess and nun of Burnham Abbey in the reign of Henry III.[the son of King John] they held the fair every year over an eight-day period.
This was shortened to two days when Henry V renewed this grant in 1414. In 1551 Sir John Williams was given the right to hold a fair on the Vigil and on the next day. By the end of the eighteenth century, fairs were held on Holy Thursday and on
13th February when a cattle market was also held. In 1863, the date was set at May 10 or 11 if it fell on a Sunday –which it does this year
The majority of houses and cottages in the Old Town flank the four ends (Aylesbury End, London End, Windsor End and Wycombe End) date from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The flint and bath stone parish Church sits at the crossroads, the centre of the fair. The earliest part is its pinnacle tower which dates from the 15th century. Most of the rest of the church was restored in 1879. In the churchyard is the box-like tomb of Edward Waller, the poet, for whom the Hall Barn estate was built on his return from France in 1680 and who died in 1687.
London End is rich in ancient buildings, the King's Head dating from 1713, the White Hart, the 17th-century Burke House and London End House, a former inn dating back, in part, to the 16th century. The first stop on the way out of London, Beaconsfield used to be an old coaching town and retains its wide streets. Many buildings retain the arches where carriages would enter into the yards with stables at the rear.