Victorian Fayre

William Barnes Society Fund-Raising Event to celebrate the life of William Barnes the Dorset dialect poet.

Saturday 24th February 2018

On Sunday 27th August 2017 12:00

William Barnes at Stock Gaylard Oak Fair

St Barnabas Church
St Barnabas Church, Stock Gaylard

For the second year running a group of William Barnes Society members are delighted to be invited to the Oak Fair again to recite some of William Barnes poetry.

Their repertoire will include: Dialect and Standard English poems, Music and Song.

The Oak Fair would have thrilled William Barnes immensely as the fair is a celebration of wood, timber, conservation, rural crafts and the countryside.

Barnes dialect poetry fits so beautifully into the settings as he so loved the countryside of the Blackmore Vale. He loved the trees in particular the oak tree of which he wrote so fondly, ’The Girt Woak Tree That’s In The Dell’

From a young a child he retained the sights and sounds of the people in the Vale where he grew up. He recreated in his work the way in which the rural working class spoke, as well as recording their customs, traditions and daily life.

William Barnes Society

William Barnes Society members

sing Barnes' Linden Lea

Barnes was a skilled artist who developed a talent for woodcuts and coper-plate engravings. A few of his wood blocks can still be seen in the William Barnes Collection in the Dorset County Museum.

The Oak Fair takes place at the traditional countryside estate at Stock Gaylard, Kings Stag, situated not far from Sturminster Newton. August 26th and 27th 10am-5pm

Please do come along and join us on Sunday 27th August at St Barnabas Church, 12noon and again at 3:30pm and enjoy a little of the great man, William Barnes.

Through his poetry and his affection for the labouring poor we can learn so much regarding the social history of agricultural life from the days of Shakespeare until the late 19 century.

This is an external event, so standard admissions to the Oak Fair apply for more information on how to obtain tickets visit

William Barnes at Stock Gaylard Oak Fair

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Forthcoming events

Victorian Fayre William Barnes Society Fund-Raising Event to celebrate the life of William Barnes the Dorset dialect poet. Saturday 24th February 2018
What’s the point of William Barnes in 21st Century? For the many years of the dominance of Received Pronunciation (RP) it was easy to see William Barnes as an irrelevant eccentric. With more recent developments in linguistics, and a growing interest in national and regional diversity, it may be time for Barnes to reclaim his place as a significant figure in the world!! Dr Richard Bradbury will also discuss his more socially engaged prose works. Tuesday 27th March 2018
Annual Service of Remembrance of William Barnes Morning service, with dialect reading and wreath laying at William Barnes and and his daughter Laura grave Sunday 22nd April 2018
The Serpent and it’s Local Connections Come an listen to musician, Philip Humphries talk on the history and development of the strange bass wind instrument known as the 'Serpent' due to its curious shape. This talk will be interspersed with music and poetry. Tuesday 15th May 2018

Latest news

John Blackmore captivates Society members Following the recent William Barnes Society Annual General Meeting, John Blackmore presented 'Music and Song' to the audience. Sunday 15th October 2017
Service of Remembrance to William Barnes On Sunday 8h October 2017 10:30am, at St Peter’s Church, Dorchester, the Morning Service to commemorate the anniversary of the death of William Barnes took place. It was followed by a wreath laying at the statute. Monday 9th October 2017
Crossways Library opens its doors to welcome William Barnes Poetry On 19th September 2017, a group of William Barnes Society members gave an evening of poetry, music and song at Crossways Library for the Local History Group and guests. Wednesday 20th September 2017
Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2017 Once again Members of the William Barnes Society were invited on August 27th to The Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. for the special event celebrating woodcraft, timber, conservation and the countryside. Monday 28th August 2017

William Barnes and Winslow Homer

William Barnes and Winslow HomerWilliam Barnes and Winslow Homer Jim Potts examines the illustrations by artists Winslow Homer and Hammatt Billings for William Barnes book 'Rural Poems' published in Boston, America in 1869


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