Heritage Skills Fair

Gainsborough’s Heritage Skills Fair will return for 2024!

Saturday 13 July, 9am until 3pm

Gainsborough’s historic Market Place is transforming to restore the listed buildings, reinstate historic shopfronts and bring back this area’s original charm. On Saturday 13 July, Gainsborough will hold its second Heritage Skills Fair to showcase rare traditional trades, crafts and professions thriving in our region.

Come along to Gainsborough for this rare opportunity to meet so many crafts people, skilled in traditional trades and gathered together to share their know-how.  There are chances to roll your sleeves up and try some skills yourself, plus special children’s crafts to keep your little ones busy.  There will also be lots of hand-made traditionally crafted gifts to browse and buy.

Here are just a few of the talented people you will meet on the day!

And there will be so much more to see!
  • Demonstrations on the use of traditional lime mortar for pointing and plastering.  These are kindly provided by Jason Mordan, from Nottinghamshire County Council’s conservation team.
  • GB decorating will be providing demonstrations on the repair and restoration of early textured wallpapers.
  • Keymer, are manufacturers of hand-made roof tiles dating back to 1588.  They will be offering free hands-on opportunities to make your own clay dragon.
  • The Lincolnshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers will be demonstrating how they use traditional spinning wheels and weaving equipment, with a chance for you to have-a-go.
  • Robyn Smith, a textile artist will be demonstrating how she creates detailed artworks from traditional felting methods.
  • AS Crafts will be demonstrating spoon making and woodwork.
  • Katherine Mann, from Totem Blue will be demonstrating her hand made leather bags.
  • Sally Hansard grows her own long traditional wheat which is the special type that is used for weaving corndollies.  These were traditionally woven at the end of harvest time to promote fertility in the home and the land.  They were given as courtship gifts too.
  • Felt Mindful – Liz Whiteside creates beautiful 3d objects and hats from traditional felting methods and will be offering a chance for visitors to try it themselves.
  • Gainsborough Heritage Centre will be promoting their fascinating museum that tells the history of the town.
  • Gainsborough Old Hall will join us to promote their new community engagement projects and selling traditional items from their shop.
Contribute to our community artwork!

Join Sarah Graves from MaryMary Mosaics to contribute to our bespoke piece of artwork that will be installed on Riverside Walk. As part of the regeneration of Gainsborough Riverside, along with the local community and schools, we will be creating a mosaic to highlight the importance of the river in Gainsborough’s history. The story, as voted for by a social media poll, will highlight the story of King Canute and his attempt to hold back the the tide in an attempt to demonstrate that power is vain compared to the supreme power of God. Many historians believe this demonstration may have taken place in Gainsborough with the Aegir tidal bore.

Stop by the Market Place any time between 9am and 3pm to make your contribution to Gainsborough’s history!

Children’s Area

We have a covered children’s area where younger visitors can have a go at traditional children’s crafts, assisted by our friendly staff.  All free of charge, thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Lottery Players.


Entertainment will be provided in the form of medieval musicians and dancers de Mowbray’s Musicke, who will be demonstrating a range of historic instruments and dances.

This event is free of charge* and has been made possible through the generous funding of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  We would like to thank all lottery players.

*there is a small fee for some have-a-go activities from the demonstrators

To find out more about Gainsborough’s Townscape Heritage Initiative, visit Invest Gainsborough’s website.

Come Discover Gainsborough

Find great places to visit and things to do in Gainsborough and the surrounding area. Explore fascinating heritage and a great programme of events that takes place throughout the year! For regular updates follow Discover Gainsborough on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.