Bampton Pony Fair unites town to mark the end of the season
Visitors enjoyed one of the oldest surviving charter fairs in Devon.
More than a thousand people are thought to have attended Bampton Fair yesterday, an annual event which is always held on the last Thursday of October.
The street market, which existed even before King Henry III granted it a Royal Charter in 1258, was once the largest sheep fair in the South West before becoming the famous Bampton Pony Fair trading in Exmoor ponies.
For the first time since the 1980s, the traditional pony sales were absent this year, a result of the dwindling demand for the animals.
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Town clerk Jane Eyre said the event, which featured music and a fun fair, had its roots in the pre-Christian folk traditions.
"It is a nice event which brings people in from all over the place," she added.
"I suppose it attracts one or two thousand people.
"It has that pagan feeling about it – the seasons turn afterwards and it becomes cold, misty and damp.
"A lot of work goes into it – the whole village pulls together from the football club to the Scouts."
In addition to a craft fair visitors were treated to folk music and a traditional mummers play.