SP2864 : Market Place during the Mop

near to Warwick, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Market Place during the Mop
Market Place during the Mop
Seen from the tower of St Mary's Church, the two masts of a fairground ride rise above the marketplace. The racecourse and the Golf Centre can be seen beyond, at the bottom of a steep hill.
The centre of Warwick
Had it not been for the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694, the centre of the town today might look like Stratford-upon-Avon or Henley-in-Arden, with their abundant black-and-white timber-framed buildings. The fire began in a baker's shop (as did the Great Fire of London) and spread rapidly. It caused damage estimated at 90,000 and made 250 families homeless. In the Georgian period the centre of the town was rebuilt in brick and stone; some street lines were altered. Old Square, for example, was laid out to provide a better approach and setting for St Mary's Church. Further changes were brought about by the extension of Warwick Castle gardens.

Much of St Mary's Church had been destroyed in the Great Fire. Completed around 1394 it succeeded a Norman foundation which in all likelihood replaced a Saxon church. After the fire St Mary's was rebuilt in stone quarried from the churchyard although the planned tower, showing early signs of failure, was rebuilt to the west in a harder sandstone from nearby Shrewley. The siting creates a focal point in the views down Northgate Street and up Church Street. The church was completed by 1706, a light and lofty Georgian interpretation of the mediaeval style. The tower at 53 metres high (174 feet) is both a landmark and a fine viewpoint.
Warwick Mop Fair
The present-day Warwick Mop is a funfair shoehorned into the market place and narrow streets of the Georgian town centre. Similar autumn fairs are held in many towns across the south Midlands. Warwick Mop dates back to a charter of King Edward III in the mid-fourteenth century. It was a hiring fair: employers could meet and hire labourers and servants in a social setting. The traditional date is the Friday and Saturday following the 12th October, which is believed to be the date by which the harvest was officially complete. The Runaway Mop, held on the following Friday and Saturday, was for parties on either side who had changed their minds. The funfair returns for those two evenings. There are always complaints from business people, shopkeepers and residents about noise, fumes from the generators and loss of trade. The Mop has been tried on other, more spacious sites but only the town centre can provide the atmosphere that visitors so enjoy.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Robin Stott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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SP2864, 523 images   (more nearby)
Photographer
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Image classification?
Geograph
Date Taken
Saturday, 15 October, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 13 March, 2012
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Sport, Leisure  City, Town centre 
Place (from Tags)
Warwick 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 2801 6497 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:16.9299N 1:35.4502W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 2817 6497
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Other Tags
Town Centre  Market Place  Warwick Racecourse  Funfair  9-Hole Golf Course 

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