Weyhill

Weyhill is located a couple of miles west of Andover, near the Wiltshire border. The parish church is dedicated to St Michael; most of the fabric is modern. The village’s one claim to fame is the Weyhill Fair, held on a hill west of the village for six days in late September or early October. Hardy claims to have used the Weyhill fair as the model for the fair at which the mayor of Casterbridge sells his wife, and in fact the fair’s literary notoriety goes all the way back to a mention in Piers Plowman. In 1554 Princess Elizabeth intervened on behalf of Weyhill when one of many efforts was made to move the fair to Andover. (See ‘Parishes: Weyhill with Penton Grafton’, A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 394-399. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56839.) Given that the fair must have brought many traveling entertainers to Weyhill, the surviving evidence is rather disappointing, as it mentions only the parish ale, in 1565 a kingale.

Weyhill records