It was believed that the story began more than 2,000 years ago, when an Iron Age fort was built on Woodbury Hill in Dorset. A chapel was later built there beside a deep well, from which it was said came healing water. According to legend, somewhere beneath its depths was a cache of gold and it became a place of pilgrimage.
About 700 years ago, a traveller sheltering after a storm hung some of his belongings out to dry on bushes beside the well. People passing by noticed what he had done, and asked if any of the cloth was for sale. The traveller, much surprised, said he would be glad of the offer, and consequently sold all that he had. The following year he came again to the same place, and repeated the sale of more goods.
People soon got to hear of him. As the news spread, so others joined in, until the event became a meeting place of some renown. The hill is situated close to the village of Bere Regis, and at Woodburytide each September hundreds of people flocked there from all over the country. From such humble beginnings Woodbury Fair was born.