The Tar Barrel runners

16 images Created 11 Nov 2015

The Ottery St Mary's Tar Barrel run tradition is hundreds of years old. The exact origins are lost in time but it probably started after the gunpowder plot of 1605.

The festival is wild and has a real pagan feel to it. Only those born in the town are allowed to carry barrels. The carrying starts in during the day with the younger children carrying small barrels and works up the men working in teams to carry enormous barrels through the towns crowded streets.
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