• Since 1587

The Maggie Fair

The fair officially entered the calendar on the 30th of June 1587, when Garmouth, or ‘Garmoch', as it was known, was raised in status by Crown Charter to a Burgh of Barony. This Charter gave the village the right to create free burghers, erect a Cross, and construct a harbour. Also, the right to hold two annual fairs, one in June, the other on the 20th of September. The second fair seems to have disappeared, but the first continued as the ‘Margaret Fair' or ‘Maggie Fair'. The 30th of June was almost certainly chosen for the Charter because it was already a significant date in the local calendar, perhaps related to pagan ritual. At about that time, Garmouth had a reputation for witchcraft and general debauchery. Indeed, as late as 1731 Margaret Hay was charged at the Kirk Session of Essill with ‘convening young people to unseemly and indecent dancing in a manner peculiar to Garmouth in a dance called "Gillatrypes"'

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