Clare Gets Crafty at Popular Annual Fair

With over 100 genuine craftspeople showing their skills and wares on over 150 stalls there is something for everyone at Clare Priory Craft Fair on July 14 and 15.

Crafts represented include blacksmithing, wood craft, leatherwork, stick-making, textiles, ceramics, high-quality wooden furniture, metalwork, jewellery, lace-making, artists, plants and flowers, wool-spinning, artisan food and drink, glassware, pyrography, photography, decoupage, cards & stationery, clothing & accessories, candles, aromatherapy, beauty products. 

For Children there are traditional Punch & Judy shows and a Magician. For adults there is a licensed bar, and for everyone there are refreshments and live entertainment. 

Since 1993 Grade 1 listed Clare Priory has been hosting a Craft Fair on the second full weekend in July and it has grown steadily to become a hugely popular event, and now receives around 10,000 visitors over the two days. #

Clare Priory

Exhibitors and visitors alike greatly appreciate the unique atmosphere and setting of the beautiful Clare Priory, one of the oldest religious houses in England; situated in the shadows of Clare Castle on the banks of the River Stour, Suffolk. The priory has close connections with medieval nobility and royalty and the ancestors and relatives of King Richard III and his wife Anne are buried here. 

Established in 1248 at the invitation of Richard de Clare it was the first house of the Augustinian (or Austin) Friars in England. Following its suppression in 1538, the house passed through many hands and uses until the Augustinian Friars purchased the house in 1953 and returned to their origins in England. Clare Priory today acts as a Parish and as a Retreat Centre.

A medieval wool town, Clare boasts a rich history to explore. There's something for everyone here, including a monthly artisan market, independent shops, galleries, antique shops, cafes, festivals and the only railway station in a castle. The market town was also once home to one of the richest women in history, Elizabeth de Clare.

Just 25 minutes from Bury St Edmunds, a visit to this beautiful town would not be complete without seeing Clare Castle Country Park, visited by around 200,000 people each year. A 32.6-acre park which contains the remains of a 13th Century stone castle keep set upon its 70ft high motte overlooking the town, as well as its inner and outer baileys -it’s a beautiful spot for recreation and picnics with Roman, Saxon, Norman connections.

Inside the castle, located in the original 1865 bookings hall of Clare Railway Station, is Platform One, an atmospheric café in the heart of the park.

Exhibitions in the Ancient House Museum, built in 1473, tell the 2,000-year history of the town, the Lords and Ladies who once lived in Clare including two de Clare earls were part of the committee of 25, enforcers of the Magna Carta in the 13th Century.

With its fantastic circular walks and town trail, which takes in architecture from every period in history, it's easy to see why Clare won Walkers Are Welcome status. While taking stroll, don't leave town without seeing Clare's St Peter and St Paul Church, ranked as one of England's Thousand Best Churches.

You can find out more about Clare on the Visit Clare website here.

Clare Craft Fair is open both days from 10am to 5pm. All proceeds go to charity and the organisers and helpers are all unpaid volunteers who give their time freely and generously.

Adults £5, Seniors £4. Accompanied under 16s free.

There is a FREE Park-and-Ride shuttle service from Clare Playing Fields (postcode: CO10 8PE).

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