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The Sainte Croix Fair at Lessay was established in the 11th C by the religious community at the Abbaye de Sainte-Trinité, aimed at developing the commercial activity and population of the village.

The monks were responsible for organising the market and ensuring it went without a hitch.

During the fair, the monks collected taxes from the stall holders to cover the rental of space.  Originally it lasted just one day, but during the 17th C the fair became very well known and at the request of Léonor de Matignon, abbot of Lessay, King Louis XIV issued an edict increasing it to four days.

Source material: "Lessay et son canton à travers les siècles" by Michel Pinel (on sale at the Tourist Office).



Practical Information :

Sainte Croix Fair takes place every year during the second weekend of September.

It is held on 32-hectares of moorland at Lessay over a period of 3 days.

Each year it attracts 400,000 visitors.

Programme :

Friday - horse fair (horses, ponies and donkeys)
Saturday - livestock fair (cattles, sheep and pigs)
Sunday - demonstration of carriage driving

For the duration of the three days : exhibition of agricultural equipment, household and garden equipment, cars, 1500 stalls.  Dogs, poultry and birds for sale.  Food fair, roast meat sellers, fairground, local breeders’ festival, and demonstration of old-fashioned buckwheat threshing.

Contact : Lessay Town Hall - tél :  02 33 76 58 82