Proclamation Monday

Rothwell is normally a quiet market town. However, Proclamation Monday, (aka ‘Proc Monday’ or ‘The Proc’) marks the start of the Rowell Fair. The ancient Charter is proclaimed outside current and former hostelries and is described by some as: a pub crawl with a difference!

Just a few minutes to go!

An early start

Rowell Fair is officially started by the Bailiff of the Lord of the Manor at 6am on the first Monday after Trinity Sunday by the reading of the ancient Charter.

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

The 1614 Charter

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 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” and where the assembled crowds respond with an enthusiastic: “Hurrah!”

© Graham Butlin 2022

Added: 11th July, 2022

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

❓❓Anyone with a video of the complete Proc being read this year? ❓❓
We’d like to add it to the site
Let us know HERE

The Rowell Fair Band © Geoff Davis 2024

Added: 28th May, 2024

Rum and milk for breakfast

RFS Member, Edd Hirst (and daughter) helping with the refreshments!

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

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.

A playful scuffle…

Halberdiers 2024 – ready to protect the Bailiff

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

Many of you have asked about the significance of the Bailiff’s buttonhole. It’s the ‘Rowell Fair Daffodil’ and you can read more about it HERE.

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 Charter Inn – the final stop

Setting the tone for a wonderful week

Even our VIPs wanted photos of Frank, our Bailiff, as he presented his thank-you speech! 😁

“Thank you, Rothwell, for helping maintain our unique tradition” – Frank York, Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor

© Graham Butlin 2022

Added: 18th July, 2022

© Graham Butlin 2024

Added: 29th May, 2024

Thanks, as always to Graham Butlin for this footage of the ‘Proc Monday’ Processions.
Note: No soundtrack

A busy ‘Proc Monday 2024’ in full swing

The tour of the town takes about an hour, returning to the entourage assembly point – the private courtyard generously provided by the Guilford family – for the Rowell Fair Proclamation. The officials then fulfil their obligatory duties such as photocalls and meeting the press, and everyone is free to enjoy the rest of the day, usually starting off with a hearty breakfast!

In 2024, our VIP Guests included:-

Lord of the Manor, Louise Holborow
Lord Lieutenant, James Saunders-Watson and his Wife, Lizzie
High Sheriff, Amy Crawfurd and her Husband, Edward
Rothwell Mayor, Cllr. Ash Davies
MP, Philip Hollobone and his Wife, Natalie
President of the Conservative Club, John O’Brien and his Wife, Linda

The horses came from David Lawless Waldburg Shires Horsedrawn Carriages.Cosmo‘ pulled the Dray and ‘Boy‘ (in his third 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.

Our Dignitaries L to R: James Saunders Watson (Lord Lieutenant), his Wife, Lizzie, Edward, Husband of Amy, Amy Crawfurd (High Sheriff) and Louise Holborow (Lord of the Manor)

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 leisurely breakfast and make a day of it.

Thank-you Tour of the Taverns
(Previously known as: ‘Second Time Around!’)

Introduced some years ago, the Rowell Fair Society added a further step to the Proc Monday tradition. Nicknamed ‘Thank-you Tour of the Taverns’ (previously called, ‘Second Time Around’), the Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor and visiting Dignitaries – after enjoying their 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.

‘Thankyou Tour of the Taverns’ with Northampton Pipe Band led by Halberdiers, Steve Wells and Colin Bell

Each location is presented with a commemorative framed Charter containing the words of the Charter (see below) and the name of our new Lord of the Manor. Read more about the Charter on our web-page HERE.

Supporting ‘Tour of the Taverns’ – Halberdier Steve, Piper Graham, Piper Roderick and Halberdier Colin Bell

Our thanks to our own Halberdiers and Pipers from Northamptonshire Pipe Band for their support during our ‘Thank-you Tour of the Taverns’.

Our first stop was The Blue Bell Inn.

Fran accepting her framed Charter from Paul Johnson (President, Rowell Fair Society) and Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor)

Next stop was Tilly Mae’s

Tristine and Declan from Tillie Mae’s flanked by Ash Davies (Mayor, Rothwell), Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor) and Paul Johnson (President, Rowell Fair Society)

Next, was the Conservative Club.

L to R: Louise Holborow (Lord of the Manor), John Newman (Chief Halberdier), John O’Brien (President, Conservative Club), Ash Davies (Mayor of Rothwell) Clare (Conservative Club Steward), Lloyd Mills (Deputy Bailiff) and Paul Johnson (President, Rowell Fair Society)

Then onto The Red Lion.

L to R: Paul Johnson (President, Rowell Fair Society) and George Newman

Our final stop was the Rowell Charter Inn.

L to R: Louise Holborow (Lord of the Manor) Simon, from the Rowell Charter Inn, Paul Johnson (President, Rowell Fair Society) and Frank York (Bailiff to the Lord of the Manor)

At just after 1pm, the Braybrooke Morris Dancers began their entertainment…

The Fair re-opened at 2pm.

…and reopens tomorrow at 6pm.

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