Fete in the Park

Fete in the Park 1835 by William Frederick Witherington, 1836

The annual Fete in the Park returns to the magnificent surroundings of the 700-acre deer park starting at 12 noon on Saturday 14th July 2018.

Under the experienced guidance of Petworth & District Community Association (P&DCA) chairman Tony Sneller, many new volunteers have joined to make this year’s Fete in the Park a truly memorable event. There really is something for everyone from stalls, shows and family activities to classic cars, model boats on the lake as well as a wide variety of tasty food and drink.

As always and back by popular demand, Fete in the Park culminates in a grand finale of live music and entertainment to create a real party atmosphere.

Please come along and support this wonderful community event.

Entry to the Fete is free with free parking through New Lodges.

Entry to the Pleasure Grounds and mansion is accessible via the Park Gate beside the mansion, where normal admission prices apply.

History of the Fete

It had been Lord Egremont’s (George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl [1751-1837]) custom to feast the poor of the adjoining villages every winter.

In 1834 he had been ill, but being determined to hold the dinner he postponed it until the following summer. There is an account of the occasion in Greville’s Diary. On 23 May 1834, Greville relates how he visited Petworth and saw “the finest feast that could be given”. Fifty-four tables each fifty feet long were placed in a semi-circle on the lawn before the house and two marquees were erected.

Four thousand invitations were sent out but Lord Egremont threw open the gates to all who happened to be passing and it is probable that in the event 6,000 people attended. In the evening there were fireworks.

The success of the fete must have led Lord Egremont to repeat it in the summer of 1835, when this picture was painted.