We went not once, but twice, to St Giles’ Fair in Oxford this week. The fair is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles’ Day (1 September). It dates back to 1625 when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of St Giles, the patron saint of cripples. 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.
We only had a brief visit on Monday but long enough to try the Ferris wheel, which terrified me. It took me about 5 or 6 rotations to open my eyes! Thankfully I was not put off and we had another go on Tuesday, when we had a return visit to the fair. That time I really enjoyed it. My daughter was a bit scared of the height, but much better than me. She also had a go on one of the many fun-houses, and won a toy unicorn. Of course there were plenty of food stalls at the fair and we enjoyed donuts and candy floss.
St Giles’ Day will be a Sunday next year, so based on the information above the first Sunday AFTER that will be September 8th, so the fair will be on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th. So we might not get to go next year. But if I’ve got it wrong and the fair is on the 2nd and 3rd, see you there!