More than just the Olympics that are held every four years! Have you heard of the the Dunmow Flitch Trials, also held every four years right here in Essex?! Harwood House for Great Dunmow hotel Flitch Trials is well worth visiting. This year’s Dunmow Flitch Trials went swimmingly, while all in town had great fun with the long-standing tradition.
What are the Dunmow Flitch Trials?
It is believed that the origin of the Dunmow Flitch Trials dates back to 1104 and the Augustinian Priory of Little Dunmow. Lord of the Manor Reginald Fitzwalter and his wife dressed themselves as the poor and begged blessing of the Prior a year and a day after marriage.
The Prior, fascinated by their commitment bestowed upon them a Flitch of Bacon. After revealing his true identity, Fitzwalter gave his land to the Priory with the stipulation that a Flitch should be given to any couple who could claim they were just as devoted.
By the 14th century, the Dunmow Flitch Trials had become renowned. Well-known author William Langland mentions it in his 1362 book ‘The Vision of Piers Plowman’ in a manner that implies his readers would have general knowledge of what the Flitch Trials were. Chaucer also alludes to the Dunmow Flitch Trials in ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’ and he too does not see the need to explain them to his readers.
No matter how famous, it isn’t until 1445 that the winners of the Flitch were officially written down. The first record of a claimant to the Dunmow Flitch is Richard Wright who travelled from Norwich to try his marital harmony and take home the bacon. The win is recorded in documents from the Priory of Little Dunmow held by the British Museum to this day.
If you think you could be a winner, you’ll have to wait four years. The event was just held 9th July 2016.
Great Dunmow Hotel Flitch Trials
Harwood House B&B is perfectly situated for guests who want to attend the Flitch Trials. We can even drive you there with our bespoke taxi service. Relax with one of the best breakfasts in Essex and then spend the day at the Flitch Trials or any of the other lovely countryside attractions in the area.
When your holiday is over, we can whisk you back to Stansted Airport, just a short drive from the B&B. Guests can reserve rooms with Harwood House Stansted B&B online or via telephone at 01371 874627.