St Giles’ Fair is one of the greatest and most prestigious in the country. The fair is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles’ Day (1 September).
Dating back to 1625 it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles. In the 18th century it was a toy fair, then in the early 19th century it was a general children’s fair. The funfair grew during mid and late Victorian times.
This was a time when improved means of transport meant that large numbers of people could be brought into the city to attend the festivities. It was also when the forerunners of today’s rides were first developed following advances in mechanical engineering.