The finale of the 750th Charter celebrations will be a Medieval Council meeting on Thursday 10 November at 7pm in the Town Hall. The Congleton Ale Taster, Town Crier and Catchpole will report on the activities from the 750th anniversary year. Recognition will be given to those who went the extra heritage mile to make the year special. Spectators are welcome to attend!
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 via:
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!
Congleton Community Projects secures National Lottery Heritage Fund support
Congleton Community Projects received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £9,200 for an exciting heritage project, to create the bespoke designed and hand painted Heraldic flags that decorate our Town Centre, celebrating 750 years since the Charter in 1272.
The grant was made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. Local volunteer artists painted the flags in Saturday workshops starting in last September through to December under the guidance of lead professional artist Petra Lea from the Electric Picture House.
Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project has enabled local residents to discover the places, spaces and people who created history where they live in a special exhibition put together by Congleton Museum and Congleton Community Projects. When local residents pointed out the importance of 2022 CCP and Congleton Town Council set about pulling together lots of community groups and organisations and developed a programme of events to celebrate the 750 years since the signing of the Charter.
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! The trail was also funded by a successful Heritage Lottery grant.
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.
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.
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.
Round up of past 750 Events
Congleton hosted a full calendar of special medieval events throughout the summer! Look back on the 750 event guide. Download here:
Medieval Banquet, 30 September
Lords and Ladies of Congleton enjoyed an evening of fun, feast and festivities at the Town Hall’s Medieval Banquet, as part of the town’s 750th Charter Year celebrations. The Main Hall provided the ideal backdrop for the banquet, as guests were transported back in time to 1272 when Congleton was granted its first Charter by Henry de Lacy. Read more about the momentous evening: Medieval Banquet Celebrations
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
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 is available below.
The diorama was on public display in Congleton Library to coincide with the Heritage & Antiques Festival (10-25 September). Jenny gave two talks on life in medieval Congleton and a tour of the model.
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. Hundreds limbered up ready to ‘Beat the Bounds’ of Congleton – Congleton Town Council (congleton-tc.gov.uk)
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.
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.