Fairfield Road, BR1

Place Name

This street was laid out over a former field where one of the two annual fairs was held. In 1447 or 1448, Henry VI granted the Bishop of Rochester the right to hold a weekly Thursday market and two annual fairs, one in the town on St James’s Day, and the other on St Blaze’s Day. As with so many of these medieval events as time went on they became increasingly rowdy attracting unwanted and unruly mobs. Historian W T Beeby writes that by 1862 “the fairs having become a great annoyance to the inhabitants, the late Lord of the Manor took steps to put them down”. Three years later, the self-same Coles Child, got his way and the St James’s Fair was closed for good, much to the relief, apparently, of the locals.

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