Antiques at Bantock has launched an event at Hartlebury Castle.

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The fairs scene is hotting up across the country with some organisers maximising on the public’s liking for atmospheric venues that offer scenic mansion backdrops, open spaces with plenty of parking, parklands and fine gardens.

But in one case featured among the three profiled here, it is the location’s history that is the prime pull.

Castle venue

Hartlebury Castle at Kidderminster, near Worcester, was home to the Bishops of Worcester for more than 1000 years. Three achieved sainthood, two burned at the stake and one became Pope Clement VII who refused Henry VIII his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

Now owned by a trust, it is the latest venue for Victoria and Paul Rowson who trade as Antiques at Bantock and are launching an antiques and collectors’ fair at the castle on Sunday, May 15.

The Rowsons also run fairs at 18th century Himley Hall, set in 180 acres of parkland near Dudley in Staffordshire designed by Capability Brown, as well as the Bantock House Museum in Wolverhampton.

“We like interesting venues and are particularly drawn to Hartlebury Castle because of its fabulous history”, said Victoria.

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Attention court


This toddler has made way for a giant vintage ball as her buggie is wheeled away from a past Antiques in Tents event at Burton Court in Herefordshire.

Julia Brisbane has run her biannual Antiques in Tents at the Grade 11-Listed Burton Court, at Eardisland, near Leominster for 10 years after moving the fair’s location from nearby Hampton Court Castle.

“It has proved to be the most ideal venue for the fair”, she said. “With a wonderful setting in the Herefordshire countryside, the house and grounds offer the space and facilities to make the event such a success. The generosity and helpfulness of the owners, Edward and Helen Simpson, contribute hugely to the popularity of this fair.”

The next Antiques in Tents is on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14.


1010 Decorative is offering this oil on canvas portrait at £285, part of a pair, plus a pair of French candlesticks at £150 at the Antiques in Tents event at Burton Court on May 13-14. 

Among the dealers is 1010 Decorative.

It features 50 stands spread out in a large marquee in the grounds as well as in the house, which has Norman, medieval, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian influences and is run primarily as a wedding events business.

Three-hall draw


Blackdog Events in action at Riddlesworth Hall.

‘Grand Brocantes’ equals grand locations for Kate Button of Blackdog Events, which was the concept when planning the three sonamed grand brocantes she organises in country house hall locations in East Anglia.

The first of these this year is at 18th century Glemham Hall, an Elizabethan stately home near Woodbridge in Suffolk, on Sunday, May 15. Riddlesworth Hall at Diss in Norfolk follows on Sunday, June 12, and Woolverstone Hall on Sunday, August 28, two country houses which are now schools.

Button said: “Riddlesworth has about 80 antique and vintage stallholders including a ‘French Quarter’ with the rest spread out on the lawns. Woolverstone is spectacular as the fair is held on the lawns overlooking the River Orwell with the hall as a backdrop.”