It is probably the best known of the horse fairs attended by Romany families travelling to meet up with old friends and conduct business. It is world famous, the largest of its kind in the world, and attracts a huge gypsy gathering.
It has existed as a fair for horse trading since 1685, under the protection of a charter granted by James II.
The field on the outskirts of Appleby originally known as Gallows Hill, due to its usage in earlier times is now called Fair Hill and looks over the town of Appleby. During the Fair, horses may be found everywhere – in the river, on its banks, along the roadsides or tethered outside hotels and shops.
Young people wash the horses in the River Eden and are then ready to show them off. The tradition of racing and trotting the horses along Flashing Lane takes place throughout the day.
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