Sunday, 23 October 2016

Martinmas Fair 2016 at Priory Church

Interesting time at the 2016 Martinmas Fair at Priory Church, Lenton, recently....

Inside Priory Church

Many of the attractions from the 2015 Fair were there again this year, along with some newcomers as well.

BFTF was particularly interested in a display by the Nottingham City Museums artifacts collection, who had (amongst much else) some hand made medieval nails on display. The chap at the stall explained that nails of the period were known by the price for 100 - for example "10 penny nails", and that handmade nails (hence the surname "Naylor") largely disappeared with the introduction of mechanisation in the 19th Century

Looking into this further, BFTF was surprised to learn how over 800,000 nails were left buried in a pit by a Roman garrison prior to abandoning their fortress in Inchtuthil, Scotland.

Looking into this further, it seems that a key introduction was that of the slitter mill which converted a sheet of iron into nail sized strips ready to be chopped up and formed. This was a big industry, with some 50,000 people involved in the nailmaking industry at its peak in Birmingham around 1830.

Hand made nails are still manufactured in some locations, often for restoration projects.


Meanwhile, at the Galleries of Justice Stall, they had some examples of old punishment equipment, including this Scolds Bridle, which the convict would have to wear for up to a few days.

Scolds Bridle

Also interesting was a discussion with a team describing how clothing was made. They explained that it might take 1,80manhours of effort to convert wool into a high quality coat, so these were very significant purchases, often being gifted to descendants in wills. BFTF also learnt that many people had only the clothing they were standing in.

An interesting "price list" of medieval goods can be found here.

Posh Medieval clothes, made of wool
At the Nottingham Hidden History stall, BFTF leant that the Nottingham area has been inhabited since the last ice age and at many times before. Reading up on this later, was shocked by the rapid climate change (several degrees centigrade in just a few years) that occurred in the Younger Dryas cooling period ~13,000 years ago. The cooling was caused by large flows of meltwater stopping the Gulf Stream - which is something that could happen again as the icesheets on Greenland melt.

Caves at Cresswell Crags

BFTF has long wanted to take up archery (but suspects that is lacking a bit in upper body strength), so was interested to see the Bulwell Foresters Target Archery Club at the event...

Shoot three arrows for free with the £1 entrance fee

Related Posts
Coal Mining in Nottingham
Mining Memories
Coal Mining in the East Midlands
Lime Kilns in Derbyshire
Camping near Clipstone
Train manufacture in Derby
From the Tate Modern to Lanarkshire
Water Exhibition at Lakeside Gallery
Nottingham Architecture and Urban Design
Jerusalem 7th to 13th Century

Image Sources
All BFTF except Cresswell Crags

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