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Congleton’s 750th Charter Year 1272-2022

Medieval Festival, 13 August

Thousands of Congletonians and guests from across the UK travelled to Congleton Park for an exciting afternoon of Medieval Mayhem! The free event featured medieval treats including jousting, dragons and falconry as part of the town’s 750th Charter year celebrations. Read more about the special day here: Medieval Mayhem in Congleton Park

Forthcoming Events

Don’t miss out on special medieval events around the town this summer! Pick up your free 750 event guide from the Congleton Information Centre, or download here:

Medieval Banquet – Friday 30 September

On the day after Michaelmas there will be a chance to eat, drink, dance and be merry. Get your costume ready! The Town Hall will be beautifully dressed in medieval splendour. The event is expected to sell out. Tickets available from the Information Centre.

Take a Tour with the Ale Taster

Congleton has around 40 bars, 29 of which sell real ale! With the help of CAMRA and Congleton’s Ale Taster, Benedict Goodale, the Town Council has put together a Congleton Ale Trail highlighting the pubs and bars selling real ale. Pick up your FREE copy from the participating venues or from the Congleton Information Centre or download here (link will be posted asap)

Those who visit 12 or more of the real ale bars can purchase a Congleton Real Ale Tour T-shirt! On sale in the Information Centre for just £15. Modelled by the lovely Jess & Celeste from the Information Centre!

On 29 & 30 October there will be a chance to taste your pick of Ales at the Ale Taster’s beer festival in Congleton Town Hall. More details on Congleton750.org as it becomes available.

Heraldic Flags

Congleton is dressed to impress! Town centre buildings are adorned with 60 heraldic flags. Produced by Congleton Community Projects with support from local artists at the Electric Picture House. The Thirteenth Century was a golden age of heraldry and the flags were designed to observe heraldic tradition. Bright strong colours feature along with the Henry De Lacy colours of purple and gold. The town centre flags are purely symbolic without words or numbers, they are very pertinent to Congleton, using a modern twist which reflects the market

Pick up a copy of the Heritage & Heraldry Trail produced by Mike Tingle, local resident and community volunteer. The trail available from the Information Centre will lead you around the town centre, pointing out heraldry on buildings and on a selection of the flags. The walk is a combination of a self-guided tour and a light hearted treasure hunt! Both the flags and trail were funded by a successful Heritage Lottery grant.

Mountbatten Way Banners

Mountbatten Way and West Street roundabout are awash with heraldic banners. Thank you to all the local businesses who have sponsored a banner.

Thank you to our event sponsors

Introducing Congleton’s Ale Taster – ‘Benedict Goodale’

750 years after Congleton was given the right to appoint an Ale Taster in its first charter, the town council threw down the challenge to find a new person to take on the role. The council are delighted to appoint ‘Benedict Goodale’ aka Paul Boswell to the role. Look out for Congleton’s Ale Trail and specially brewed beers just for 2022!

Benedict will have none of the powers invested in the 1272 role. He will not be able to fine the town’s publicans or send them to the stocks or prison!. He will however use his 35-year career in the brewing and pub industry to help showcase the many excellent pubs and ale houses in Congleton. Follow Benedict’s adventures on his Facebook page: @CongletonAleTaster. Look out for him in his medieval costume at 750 events throughout the year.

Town appoints ale taster as part of 750th celebrations – BBC News

Ale taster wanted to join Congleton’s 750th anniversary celebrations – BBC News

750 Merchandise

Branded merchandise including pens, pencils, mugs , tea towels and badges are available to purchase from the Congleton Information Centre. The medieval inspired keepsakes and souvenirs will be on sale at various events throughout the year.

100 Important Items for Congleton

Congleton Museum is intending to produce a new history book, based around 100 objects which have a particular resonance with aspects of the town’s history. The museum has already received several suggestions as to what might be included and are keen to hear what you think is important.

Past 750 Events

Living History Exhibition

More than 400 school children and over 200 residents visited the medieval living history exhibition in the Town Hall depicting what local life would have been like in 1272.

There was something for everyone at the immersive exhibition from thatched roofs and wattle to sending people to the stocks! Visitors were wowed by the amazing diorama of an imagined Congleton in medieval times. Created by local volunteer Jenny Unsworth, the diorama is a three-dimensional miniature representation of Congleton in 1272. Featuring over thirty handmade buildings and houses full of busy tradespeople.

80 people wishing to understand more about the importance of the charter and life in Congleton in 1272, attended the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ ticketed talk evening. For those who missed the exhibition, a video us available to view here:

Beating the Bounds of Congleton

If you missed the ‘Beating the Bounds’ historic walk you can pick up a free copy from the Congleton Information Centre or download the self-walking guide below. There is a choice of a 9.9 mile circular walk which roughly follows the bounds of the town using footpaths and Rights of Way paths or a more accessible 4.5 mile route with no steps or muddy paths! The proceeds of the entry money raised £254 for the Town Mayor’s charities.

A Little bit of History

In the early 13th century Congleton belonged to the de Lacy family, in 1272 Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln granted the town its first charter. The Charter enabled the town to hold fairs and markets, people were allowed to trade without tolls and taxes. It also gave the inhabitants of the town the right to elect a Mayor – and an ale taster.

It gave men the right to hold land through the payment of rent rather than by personal service to the Lord of the Manor. The charter was presented to the then small community on the banks of the river Dane allowing the rights and dignities of a medieval township. Over 750 years the town has grown to 30,000 residents.

Get involved

We have a fantastic team of volunteers, but we could do with a few more helpers on the day to fill a variety of jobs including helping with the set up, making sure everything runs smoothly and with the clean-up afterwards. People can give as much or as little of their time as they can.

Contact us by email: info@congletontowncouncil.co.uk or call: 01260 270350

Please note

Please note: The Event Organisers reserves the right to cancel, delay or postpone an event for any reason, including adverse weather conditions, COVID-19 restrictions, an emergency situation or unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances out of its reasonable control. Please check Congleton Town Council social media & www.Congleton750.org before travelling.