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1. Stourbridge Fair was the greatest of and most celebrated fairs of all England. To what extent was the location the reason why it had declined by 1933 when Midsummer Common Fair had not?

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1. Stourbridge Fair was "the greatest of and most celebrated fairs of all England." To what extent was the location the reason why it had declined by 1933 when Midsummer Common Fair had not? Midsummer common is situated in the centre of Cambridge, beside the river Camb. It is situated between the three main shopping cent res in Cambridge, the Grand arcade, Lion Yard and the Grafton Centre. It is also surrounded by Chesterton road and Queens Road and is South of Chesterton. Midsummer Common is situated here as it is easily accessible as there are lots of main roads near by such as Chesterton road and it is conveniently near the town centre and the three main shopping centres in Cambridge; The Grand Arcade, The Grafton and Lion Yard. Stourbridge Common is on the outskirts of Cambridge. It is north of Newmarket Road and South of the River Camb and adjacent to the railway line. Moreover, it is sliced in half by the train development so there was less space for the fair and is near no shopping centres as it is on the Far East side of Cambridge. It is also South of Chesterton and east of the ring road. ...read more.


Stourbridge Fair, however, declined because of the building of the railway in the 1800s, which was built straight through the land used for the famous fair, as shown below. The railway line opened in 1845, cutting the common in half. Source 17, is definitely a reliable source as it is a recent painting, painted in this century of Stourbridge common showing the railway line running straight through it. Source 22 is a photo of the Victorian houses that were built through Stourbridge Common, that many people felt decreased the open environment of the area greatly. It is a reliable source as it is a photograph so is factual and is an exact copy of what the houses look like. (add picture of Victorian houses) Both Fairs specialised in one particular item; Midsummer specialised in trading China, giving it the name 'Pot Fair', and Stourbridge specialised in primary goods such as cloth, fish and leather. "... Primary goods sold included..." Source 18 is likely to be reliable as it is written in the source booklet; however there is no actual proof. As the 19th century progressed to the 20th, both of these fairs had to change their content to survive later and meet the changing wants of their customers. ...read more.


In conclusion, Stourbridge Fair was 'the greatest of and most celebrated fairs of all England' and its size, great variety of goods and entertainment and the length that it ran for all contributed to this claim. However its strengths became its weaknesses and unlike Midsummer Fair, it could not carry on and was officially abolished in 1934. "And therefore bans the fair at Stourbridge, Cambridge." The Daniel Defoe source and the Charter by the university both state "Stourbridge Fair was the greatest of and most celebrated fairs...." and as they were written a century and a half apart, this is reliable and dependable evidence. The location, in my opinion, was the largest factor that contributed towards the abolishment of Stourbridge Fair. The main appeal of it originally was the vast and valuable land space, which gave a relaxed and spacious feel. But, the building of the cheap Victorian houses shown above that were built right next to the site and the railways line being constructed right through Stourbridge Common in the 1800s changed this forever. Although this was the main cause, other factors such as the change in the publics wants, the growth of smaller markets and the development of permanent shops in the 1700s all contributed and lead to the abolishment of Stourbridge Common Fair, "the greatest... of all England. ...read more.

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