Proclamation Monday

Rothwell is normally a quiet market town. However, Proclamation Monday, which marks the start of the Rowell Fair, is described by some as a pub crawl with a difference, as the ancient Charter is proclaimed outside current and former hostelries.

Just five minutes to go!

An early start

Rowell Fair is officially started by the Bailiff of the Lord of the Manor early on the first Monday after Trinity Sunday by the reading of the ancient Charter.

6am: Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell – Where it all begins

At just before six o’clock in the morning the Bailiff arrives on horseback at Holy Trinity Church on Squires Hill, accompanied by a guard of Halberdiers and the Rowell Fair Society Band. The first proclamation is read here at the Holy Trinity Church.

When the clock sounds the sixth ‘bong’, the Band strikes up, playing the National Anthem. The Bailiff reads the Charter to the assembled crowd, after which he declares: “God save the King and the Lord of the Manor”.

© Graham Butlin

Our thanks to Graham Butlin for his footage of the 2022’s ‘Reading of the Proclamation.

Added: 11th July, 2022

Rum and milk for breakfast

Rowell Fair - Girl distributing Rum and Milk

The party is presented with drinks from local landlords which include the traditional Rowell Fair beverage of rum and milk for the Bailiff, designed to keep the early morning chill away, and beers for the Halberdiers and the band.

After this reading, the Bailiff and his entourage stop at the War Memorial to pay respects. They then visit the sites of eight public houses to read the proclamation, play the national anthem and graciously accept the occasional drink.

A playful scuffle…

After the first couple of stops, it’s traditional for the local townspeople to attempt to disarm the Halberdiers (?). The whistle is blown, order is restored, and the group moves on to the next public house where the ceremony is repeated.

Halberdiers fresh from the scuffle!

Locations of the nine readings

Click to see live map of the Proc Monday procession

1. Holy Trinity Parish Church, Squires Hill


2. The former site of the New Inn


3. Site of the former Crown Coaching Inn
(also where the first “scuffle” takes place)


4. Rothwell House Hotel, Bridge Street


5. The Red Lion, Market Hill


6. By Tesco Express
(former site of The Chequers), Market Hill


7. The Woolpack Inn, Market Hill


8. The Blue Bell, Bell Hill


9. Rowell Charter Inn, Sun Hill

The Rowell Fair, Rothwell, Northamptonshire - An ancient tradition since 1204

The Charter Inn – the final stop

Setting the tone for a wonderful week

Frank York, Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor (seated) with John Newman, Chief Halberdier

© Graham Butlin

Added: 18th July, 2022

Thanks again to Graham Butlin for this footage of the 2022’s ‘Proc Monday Procession’.
Note: No soundtrack

‘Proc Monday 2023’ in full swing

The tour of the town takes about an hour, after which the dignitaries fulfil their obligatory duties such as photo calls and meeting the press, and everyone is free to enjoy the rest of the day.

In 2023, our Guests included:-

Husband of the Lord of the Manor, Major John Powell
Daughter of the Lord of the Manor, Louise Holborow
Lord High Sheriff, Milan Shah
Rothwell Mayor, Cllr. Ray Davis
Rothwell Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Keith Patrick
Kettering Mayor, Emily Fedorowycz
Corby Mayor, Leanne Buckingham
Northampton Mayor, Stephen Hibbert and Mayoress Liz Cox
MP Philip Hollobone and wife, Natalie

The horses came from David Lawless‘s Waldburg Shire’s Horsedrawn Carriages. ‘Cosmo‘ pulled the Dray and ‘Boy‘ (in his second appearance for the Rowell Fair) provided transport for Frank York. Both horses are used to being in big ceremonies in London including drawing the Lord Mayor of London’s Coach.

Husband of Lord of the Manor, Major John Powell, Daughter of the Lord of the Manor, Louise Powell and High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Milan Shah

Many of the pubs stay open throughout the day, often with live bands and entertainment, so plenty of people choose to enjoy another drink over a hearty breakfast and make a day of it.

Second Time Around!

Introduced some years ago, the Rowell Fair Society added a further step to the Proc Monday tradition. Nicknamed ‘Second Time Around’, the Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor and visiting Dignitaries – after a hearty breakfast at Tresham Hall – are invited to REvisit several of the stops along the route to say an official ‘thank you’ for their support of the Rowell Fair traditions.

‘Second Time Around’ with Northampton Pipe Band

Each location was presented with a commemorative Plaque containing the words of the Charter (see below). read more about the Charter on our web-page HERE.

Ready for ‘Second Time Around’

Our first stop was The Blue Bell Inn.

Clare accepting her Plaque

Next stop was The Charnel House Restaurant.

Magda from The Charnel House

Our third stop was the Conservative Club.

Clare, on behalf of the Conservative Club

Stop 4 was The Red Lion.

Lenny, owner of the Red Lion

The Fifth Stop was the Arts & Heritage Centre.

Cheryl, from the Arts & Heritage Centre

Next, stop six, was the Rowell Charter Inn.

Phil, from the Rowell Charter Inn

Our final stop was Holy Trinity Church.

L to R Steve Wells (Halberdier), Paul Johnson (President, RFS), Margaret Mossman (Reverend, Holy Trinity Church),
Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor), Colin Bell (Halberdier)

“God Save the King and the Lord of the Manor!”