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Congleton’s 750th Charter Year 1272-2022

Medieval Festival Day! Register for your FREE entry tickets…

Get your FREE entry tickets for Medieval Festival Day. The event is expected to attract thousands and so if you wish to attend you are asked to download a free ticket from Eventbrite (3,000): Medieval Festival or scan the QR code on the poster below. Or pick up a free ticket from the Information Centre in the Town Hall (2,000). There are 5,000 tickets available in total.

The fun starts at 12 noon and continues until 6pm. There will be an arena with a full programme of events including two dazzling jousting performances by the Knights of Nottingham, falconry displays, fire dancing, axe throwing and Dreygo the smoke-breathing dragon. Food and drink stalls, a craft tent, the chance to go on a dragon quest, medieval music by Piva and much more! Shop for some great 750 merchandise and look out for the Ale taster, Catchpole, Town Mayor and Town Crier!

Car Parking

In addition to town centre pay & display car parks, free event parking is available on Siemens, Jackson Road and Beresford’s, off Willow Street (opp St Stephen’s Church). Blue badge parking on Hankinson’s field, off Park Road. Follow the big blue signs.

£100 up for grabs

Purchase a programme for £1 to be in with a chance of winning £100! All you need to do is match the number on your programme with the number drawn by the Knights of Nottingham at 4.30pm. The lucky winner will need to show their programme in order to claim the prize. All proceeds from the raffle will go towards funds for 750 activities. Programmes will be available on the day or arriving soon in the Information Centre (date tbc).

There will only be limited seating for those purchasing food and drink from the catering stalls so be prepared to stand to watch the acts or sit on the grassy bank. Dogs allowed on leads, but we strongly advise leaving them at home as the park will be packed.

The Town Council reserves the right to cancel, delay or postpone the festival for any reason. Stalls, acts and timings may be subject to change.

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. Tickets priced at £32 include: welcome drink, medieval banquet, live music and a charity raffle. Over 18s only. Tickets available from the Congleton 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. You can pick up a leaflet from the participating venues or from the Congleton Information Centre from early August. Those who visit 12 or more of the real ale bars can purchase a Congleton Real Ale Tour T-shirt! Arriving soon in 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.