Wood­bury­tide Magic

Evergreen - - News -

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.

BEN­NETT MARK

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