Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide

Goldsithney, in Cornish Golsydhni, is a village in the parish of Perranuthnoe near Marazion and Penzance.

Its Cornish name means fair or festival of St Sithney.

The centre of the village is a Conservation Area. One of Goldsithney's pubs was in the 17th century, the manor house of Lord Trevelyan. The building has an interesting history and has also been a bank, post office and a coaching house.

Annually, in August, Goldsithney holds a Charter Fair. The fair is ancient and was first recorded in 1140. In the 12th century, the Earl of Cornwall ordered that every year 10 shillings should be paid to the Priory on St Michael's Mount.

Robert Hunt in his Popular Romances of the West of England described the fair:

“On the 5th of August, St James's day (old style), a fayre is held here, which was originally held in the Church-town of Sithney near Helston. In olden time, the good St Perran the Little gave to the wrestlers in his parish a glove as the prize, and the winner of the glove was permitted to collect the market toll on the day of the feast, and to appropriate the money to his own use.

The winner of the glove lived in the Church-town of Sithney, and for long long years the right of holding the fair remained undisputed. At length the miners of Goldsithney resolved to contest the prize, and they won it, since which time the fair has been held in that village, they paying to the poor of the parish of Sithney one shilling as compensation. Gilbert remarks, The displaying of a glove at fairs is an ancient and widely-extended custom."

A glove would often be used to indicate that a fair was open. Goldsithney's glove is red.

The fair has been used for more purposes than trading. During the First World War, due to a lack of horses for the war, local farmers were told to bring their horses to the fair so that officers bound for the frontline could select those that would be taken.

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