Celebrating 169 years of existence, has been a regular annual event since 1868
Date: 25 August 19 — 25 August 19 | Report this event.
Entrance Price see website for entry price Per person
The 2019 Annual Grasmere Lakeland Sports, now celebrating 169 years of existence, had its origins in the mid 19th century at the annual Grasmere Sheep Fair which took place on the first Tuesday in September. The Sports were largely social occasions to round off the working day, but with shepherds, stone-wallers and strong young farmhands for hire, in attendance, it would be natural for a competitive element to be introduced into the Garden Fete atmosphere surrounding these Fairs.
Long before any major athletic sports as we know them today were held at Grasmere, wrestling events were a favourite at many venues in the North of England. In 1811, the Marquis of Queensbury and Lord Lonsdale were among the 12,000 people who watched the wrestling at Carlisle Races. It is recorded that ‘sports’ were held at Ulverston in 1832, and probably much earlier. In 1851, Ulverston was the location of at least one major wrestling match for the championship of all England (with a side bet of £300). It was watched by 10,000 people. This was in the days when factory workers were lucky to earn 15 shillings in a week.With the coming of the industrial revolution and the demand for wool in the Lancashire mills, sheep fairs became even more of a focal point for local farmers, farm hands and employers, and also provided an annual opportunity for families to socialise. Wrestling on the village green in the evening following the Grasmere Rushbearing in August became a feature. The most notable wrestling championships in the Lake District, were held in Windermere at The Ferry Sports and Regatta. When Charles Dickens visited the Ferry Sports in 1858, he recalls how, between the lightweight and heavy weight wrestling, ‘there are all sorts of other amusements; running matches, for a mile or so; dog trails; jumping matches………………but the greatest of all treats at the Ferry is the pole leaping…..’ The railway had arrived at Windermere in 1847, providing easy access to Lake Windermere for the better off to enjoy the yachting events and regattas associated with the Ferry Sports. More and more tourists began to arrive by train and then travelled deeper into the Lake District on foot or by horse and carriage along dusty roads, and the Ferry Sports began to lose their unique position as THE sporting venue. Thursday was early closing day for shops and this was one reason for settling on ‘the Thursday after the third Monday of August’ as Sports Day. Over the years, working conditions, social behaviour and alternative interests have led to various changes in the timing, and today the Sports take place on the August Bank Holiday Sunday.
Family Ticket (2 x Adults & 2 x Children) £28.00.
See website for more information