Where: London Bridge and Monument
£: Free to watch
What is it?
The fifth annual London Sheep Drive, organised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, will take place on Sunday 24th September. The event will take place alongside the Woolmen’s Wool Fair at Monument.
The Sheep Drive will be raising money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Charitable Trust. Freemen of the City of London, along with their friends and families will be participating in the drive. This year’s event will be opened by Mary Berry, who will be swapping her apron for a shepherd’s crook.
What is a sheep drive? In the Middle Ages, Freemen (people who weren’t slaves or serfs) were allowed to herd or ‘drive’ their sheep to market in the City, across London Bridge, without paying wool taxes.
The proliferation of motor vehicles brought an end to the practice, but it has been re-introduced in recent years. In 2013, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen arranged the first modern-day ‘drive’ of sheep across London Bridge.
Alongside this year’s Sheep Drive, there will be a Wool Fair at Monument, showcasing the best of UK wool and wool crafts. There will be 40 fabric and textile traders and 12 urban street food stalls with live music and a pop-up fashion show. The fair will also have a selection of artisan food and drink stalls, including The Sweet Potato Spirit Company and Purbeck Ice Cream.
The Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Charitable Trust aims to promote the wool industry and interest in wool, wool products, and sheep farming; as well as promote the City of London and the Livery movement.