The Hornsea Civic Society has had ambitions to improve Fair Place for some time The public has had rights to access this area of land for hundreds of years, it had just been neglected over recent times and become very over grown.
With the assistance of the Town Council and the Wassand estate we where able to apply for funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help Scheme . The £8,000 grant from Tesco enabled us turn our dream into reality, oh and loads and loads of hard work!
A band of volunteers, well three of us, enabled the money we were given to go a long way. Fortunately our Chairman, Alan, had a JCB, a tractor, a petrol strimmer AND a chain saw.
A Brief History of this Site.
In 1275 King Edward I granted a charter to hold a fair at fair Place. The fair was held on the feast day of St Nicholas, December 6th mostly for the sale of leatherwork and livestock, a medieval equivalent of our own Christmas shopping. These fairs were also holidays and important social occasions providing a break from the routine of rural life. A second 3 day summer fair was added by King Edward III.
With much common land abolished under the 1801 Enclosure Act, Fair Place was saved “As a pasture and watering place and for use as a fair ground for the sale of beasts”. This village green, is now owned by Hornsea Town Council.
The Beginnings of Hornsea as a Resort.
In 1776 records show people coming to Hornsea ‘to take the waters’ at the mineral water spring at Fair Place. Hornsea had 3 springs or spas where clergy, nobility and gentry would pay to be served a horn cup of the water. In those days it was the spa water which attracted people to Hornsea not the sea. In 1816 the landlord of the New Inn placed an advert in the Hull Advertiser highly recommending the water for ailments such as Chronic Weakness and Scrofulous Complaints of every description.
Clearing the overgrown area near the Mere, adding signs, seating and picnic tables, were carried out in 2017 by Hornsea and District Civic Society with funding from Tesco as part of their Bags of Help grant scheme