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A festival used to be held on top of Martinsell on Palm Sunday, which closely resembled an ordinary country fair. The principal feature of the meeting was the fighting which took place there. The inhabitants of the district would reserve the settlement of their quarrels till the day of the festival, and the scenes which then occurred were often of the most brutal character. But this part of the ceremonies was suppressed, and the fair soon died out.

People still meet on the top of the hill, however, and a curious game is played on the steep slope. A number of boys stand one above the other, and the one at the foot starts a ball, which is hit up the hill with hockey sticks, each of the players passing it to the one above him, until it reaches the top boy, when it is allowed to roll down, and the game is begun again.

I cannot find that any peculiar viands were sold. An old man said "land figs" were eaten, but these seem to be the ordinary fruit. I am told that boys play a game at Roundway Hill, near Devizes, on Palm Sunday, similar to that played at Martinsell.
Folklore Scraps from Several Localities
Alice B. Gomme
Folklore, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Mar. 30, 1909), pp. 72-83.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th October 2006ce

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