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Southwark Fair

The church was at the centre of the community gathering at Southwark Fair, officially granted Royal permission by Edward IV in 1462. The fair began on the 7th September and by the 18th century could last up to two weeks. The fair spread up the present day Borough High Street from Southwark Cathedral (then the church of St. Mary Overie) to St. George the Martyr. It would have included stalls selling food and drink, circuses, boxing competitions, puppet shows, music and the performance of plays. However, the fair was associated with vice and crime. The fair finally came to an end when it was banned in 1763, around thirty years after the building of the current church.