The Goose Fair Cross

Landmark Ovingham Northumberland

The Goose Fair Cross

Landmark In Ovingham, Northumberland

An 11th century Saxon cross head that marks the focus for the start of the annual Goose Fair in Ovingham.

The Goose Fair Cross is an 11th century cross head set on a modern shaft and base, situated on a small area of green space above the River Tyne. The cross head which dates back to the Saxon period has become the focal point for the fair and is now known as "The Goose Fair Cross" which is slightly more catchy than its official listing of “ASCorpus ref: Ovingham 03”. The Goose Fair itself dates back to the 13th century.

During the 13th century the area of Ovingham was owned by the Umfraville family and had weekly market as well as an annual fair which was held on the 30th November (St Andrew's Day). By 1471 the Earls of Northumberland (before they became Dukes) were the new Lords of the Manor and they continued this tradition. Throughout this period Geese were regularly walked from Carlisle to the Newcastle and Gateshead area to be sold as part of a Goose Fair.

The tradition of the Goose Fair gradually died off and by the early 1800s the fair was principally for the sale of cattle and was often preceded by a procession of people “riding the bounds”. By 1939 this was reduced to people walking the bounds of the parish rather than riding. Participants would include the Duke of Northumberland's two pipers, agent, bailiff and constable who were joined by local householders and tenant farmers. Following the procession, rents would be collected and a dinner would be had courtesy of the Duke.

Geese were still sold as part of a small fair on the village green as late as 1840, and despite the advent of the railways, were still walked there from Carlisle. In 1969 an application by locals saw the reinstatement of The Goose Fair on Wellburn Fields. As the fair grew it was moved to the Village Green and Vicarage Haugh. The procession once again takes place on the 3rd Saturday in June but now travels from the Goose Fair Cross through the village to the green with Morris Dancers in place of the Duke's pipers. A proclamation is made as part of the fair and while the first two fairs used a specially composed one, the original is once again used after being found in the village records. Traditional Northumbrian Food is served in the form of “Singin' Hinnies”, “Carlins” and “Pan Haggerty”.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 3 points if you have visited this place. Already visited by 3 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

Where Is The Goose Fair Cross

Where Is It?

What three words

Lat / Long
54.967726, -1.867883
Show Place On Google Maps

Head out of the car park and across the footbridge over the River Tyne. The Goose Fair Cross is just at the end the footbridge up a short flight of steps.

Where To Park?

What three words

Lat / Long
54.965678, -1.864642

Show Parking On Google Maps

Parking is easiest at Prudhoe Station Car park just over the southern side of the River Tyne.

Andrew Gardner

Contributed by Andrew Gardner

I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.

More Places In Ovingham

Find more fabulous places in Ovingham, Northumberland and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.
Whittle Mill
Building Ovingham Northumberland

Ruins of a corn mill in the heart of Whittle Dene.

St Mary the Virgin Church
Religious Place Ovingham Northumberland

A Church in Ovingham with sections dating from the 11th century and location of the grave of famed engraver, Thomas Bewick.

More Landmarks

So this landmark wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.
The Summerhill
Landmark Gateshead Tyne And Wear

An octagonal folly, once part of the Stella Hall estate in Blaydon.

Vulcan Street Works
Landmark Middlesbrough North Yorkshire

Brickwork from the Victorian age.

Easington Colliery
Landmark Peterlee County Durham

A town with a nature reserve, memorial garden, cemetry and a reconstructed miners pit cage, celebrating the times of mining in Easington Colliery.

Fabulous North On Facebook
Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Share this Place!