Alfriston Fair

Eleanor Farjeon, the children’s storywriter, woke up one summer day, and felt so happy with her surroundings, she immediately penned the words for ‘Morning Has Broken’, later to be a massive Cat Stevens hit. The village she woke up in was Alfriston, which is, let’s face it, a pretty nice place. It has its own Tye, for example, which is a Sussex dialect word for an open space (from Old English ‘teag’ I’m reliably informed), and in this case means village green. Then there’s the church, sitting right on the Tye, one of the most beautiful in Sussex, nicknamed ‘the Cathedral of the South Downs’. The village’s thatched half-timbered clergy house was the first place to be owned by the National Trust. Alfriston sits in the beautiful Cuckmere Valley and has an ornamental red lion, and an ornate village sign. You want old village pubs? You won’t get much older than Alfriston’s. The George has been pulling pints since 1397, but it’s known locally as the new pub: the Star was built in the 12th century.

Why are we telling you all this? Because it’s Alfriston’s annual Festival for the next ten days, that’s why. Tonight the Rude Mechanical Theatre Co are performing Gold Rush, to kick proceedings off (see Viva 32). There are then events in the village every day until Bank Holiday Monday 28th, when the Village Fair sees people from all over arrive. Is it the best time to go to Alfriston? Probably not, but we had to tell you. DL

Fair trade: they’ve been pulling pints in the George for 600 years

Alfriston Village
When? Various events until 28th Aug
How Much? Most events free
Alfriston Fair
(w) Website