Sherborne On Fire morning tour
Sherborne on fire
By Paul Birbeck, Blue Badge Tour Guide.
Sherborne has an interesting association with fire, incendiary and other explosions, whizzes and bangs. Every year the Sherborne Firework display at Sherborne Castle is a very popular family event and reflects the townsfolks history of using ‘fire’ during their celebrations. This history can clearly be seen on the Sherborne mural in the car park behind Waitrose.
One image depicts Blazing barrels of tar rolling down Cheap Street (mid 1800’s).
“Sherborne witnessed much drunken and riotous behaviour during Fairs and Bank Holidays but Guy Fawkes night surpassed them all,, it was the night of ‘greatest danger.’ Blazing barrels of tar were rolled down Cheap Street & men scattered fire balls. The Sexton would ring the bell and the King’s School boys rush out with water buckets to try and control the fires.”
(Quote from the Mural information board)
Clearly the risk of house fire was a concern to the Town Council and residents.
The Sherborne Abbey fire in 1437 is probably one of the best known fire events in the town. The Battle of the Fonts is a fascinating story of the conflict between the monks and the townsfolk and evidence is clearly still visible inside the Abbey. Then there is the Sherborne bombing, the annual Faggot festival and ………
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