Crowds flock to Feast of St Pancras in Lewes as weather picks up

May Fair in Lewes
May Fair in Lewes

Around 2,000 people travelled back in time to the Feast of St Pancras May Fair at Lewes Priory on Saturday May 9, enjoying mock battles, knights in armour and learning how to shoot crossbows.

Despite an overcast start to the day and heavy rain during the morning, the sun soon broke through at the popular annual event organised by Southover Bonfire Society.

The Feast of St Pancras in Lewes

The Feast of St Pancras in Lewes

Event organiser Mark Ridgwell said: “Numbers were down on last year but only because unfortunately we lost the first two hours to heavy rain.

“However people poured in during the afternoon after the sun came out and many said how much they now looked forward to the May Fair because of its very special nature with traditional games and arts and crafts.

“This year people particularly enjoyed picnicking around the entertainment arena and watching the first ever appearances of Black Power Morris Dancers, Swords of Albion re-enacting the battles fought between King Henry and Simon de Montfort and 1595 Renaissance, demonstrating martial arts.

“The organisers, the stall holders and the entertainers were all well pleased and, for me, the afternoon witnessed the best ever atmosphere.”

This year organisers delivered more activities than ever before including sports such as cannon ball soccer, catch the mole, giant snakes and ladders and roll the swede.

There was also a costumed march to the festival from St Thomas’ Church on Cliffe High Street.

Children were able to try their hand at making mini Roman mosaics, while the very young could search for medieval coins to add to their collections, learn how to make illuminated manuscripts and lettering.

Other attractions included a medieval medic who showed people how to dress the terrible wounds medieval life inflicted.

Photos by Nigel Powell and Steve George.

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