FIFTY craftspeople are exhibiting this weekend at a fair in the beautiful medieval setting of Brancepeth Castle.

The Christmas fair has been running at the castle since 1987, although this is the first since the pandemic struck and people are being urged to book their arrival times to ensure a safe flow of visitors throughout the days.

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The fair runs from 10am to 5pm on Friday (November 26) and Saturday, and midday to 5pm on Sunday. It features art, jewellery, pottery, woodwork, textiles, glasswork and farmhouse produce, with craftspeople from across the North-East attending. There will also be homemade food in the castle café.

The Grade I listed castle was once the stronghold of the Neville family until they became involved in the Rising of the North in 1569 and it was confiscated. It was lavishly altered in the first half of the 19th Century by the Russell family, and, having been the regimental headquarters of the Durham Light Infantry during the Second World War, it has been owned by the Dobson family since 1978 with the craft fair being one of their big events of the year.

Admission to the fair is £4, or £3 for those over 66 and free for those under 14. To book an entry time, go to Admission without a booked slot will be available, although there may be a wait for entry.

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