New Purbeck Christmas fair may become regular event

Word of mouth and the power of social media ensured the success of the first ever Christmas fair at Hartland Stud near Norden.

The event with artisan stalls, mulled cider, hot food and live music from the band, Hound Dogs for Hire, continued into the evening on Saturday 11th December 2021.

Hartland Stud not only has stables but also a campsite and outbuildings that have been converted into studios for artists and small businesses.

Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton
Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton
Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

A really atmospheric environment

Artist Helen Biles and caterer Jill Holland who work from the studios came up with the idea of having a Christmas event.

Helen Biles said:

“I’m very involved in Purbeck Art Weeks and it was really lovely inviting people to my studio during the summer. I saw that people really enjoyed this beautiful space – it’s a really atmospheric environment.

“So we came up with the idea to invite people again at Christmas. There’s lots of local artisans who work here and we felt it would be good to show what we do and engage with others. We really handpicked the stalls so everything was of a high quality and offered a wide choice of crafts.

“It went really well, especially as it’s the first time that we’ve done this and we didn’t really advertise – just word of mouth and social media. We had a huge turnout, great footfall and a lovely atmosphere – really positive!”

Elly Harvey at Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Elly Harvey setting up her silver jewellery display

Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Handmade cushions by Aline Johnson

Caroline Caton at Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Catherine Caton, owner of Hartland Stud

“So much local talent”

Hartland Stud owner is Caroline Caton and she helped with the event organisation. She said:

“There’s so much local talent – artists and people who do cooking and crafts in the area that we thought we should invite everyone here and have a Christmas fair.

“It was Helen and Jill’s idea and I just thought it was brilliant, so I was more than happy to support it.”

Samantha Lee March at Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Artist Samantha Lee March

Stallholder at Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Jewellery by Adjoua Designs

Eilidh Middleton

All the stalls were carefully chosen to offer visitors a choice of interesting things to buy, including these unusual recycled metal lights

Urgently need to plant trees globally

Alongside the art and craft stalls was an art installation by Church Knowle artist, Eilidh Middleton.

The illuminated Christmas Cone tree highlights her message that we urgently need to plant trees globally and to stop the vast and illegal deforestation.

Eilidh Middleton said:

“It was a great event. It was a bit of a wet afternoon but the market did well and by the evening the rain had stopped, the band started up and the huge fire was lit. It became really festive with a comfortable amount of people to give it a buzzy feel!”

Christmas Cone art installation
Eilidh Middleton

Cone Christmas tree created by Eilidh Middleton

Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

“I really think it will happen again!”

There’s already plans to do something again next Christmas and maybe even more events during the summer. Helen Biles added:

“Actually we started talking about doing it again next Christmas, even before the event this year! People really loved it and we had such good feedback that I really think it will happen again!”

Further information

More about Hartland Stud is on its website

Christmas at Hartland event
Eilidh Middleton

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.

Top stories

Celebrity couple share photos of New Year trip to Swanage While many famous people visit Swanage and keep it quiet, one well-known couple let everyone know what a good time they were having by posting on social media. 3 weeks ago Swanage Railway on brink of restoring service to Wareham after 50 year battle 3 weeks ago Swanage post office set to move to new town centre location 1 month ago Swanage man arrested after woman in hospital with serious injuries 2 months ago Investigation into Studland heath fire reveals cause 2 months ago