Save Pen Meadow for East Ilsley
Development of East Ilsley\'s only remaining spacious green area in the village centre should not be allowed to happen. The site is known as Pen Meadow and it is here that East Ilsley gained its proud place in English history. East Ilsley village was best known for being host to the largest sheep fair in the country (apart from Smithfield). Its origins can be traced back to the reign of King Henry III, but this small agricultural fair was formalised by Sir Francis Moore, in James I\'s reign. A sheep market was then to be held every Wednesday from Hocktide to St. James\' tide, with an annual fair on Assumption Day. Some years, eighty thousand sheep could be auctioned in a single day at the fair and there were some thirteen pubs or inns in the village to quench the shepherds\' thirst (now only three survive - The Swan, Crown & Horns and The Star). No wonder its alternative name is Market Ilsley. The last proper fair was held in 1934, but it was semi-revived as a village fete in 1975 and continues to this day. Help save our heritage from ruthless profiteering developers.