Aldermaston Candle Auction

Where: Aldermaston, Berkshire at the Hinds Head on Wasing Lane
When: Late November/early December every 3 years
Time: 7pm



The historic Hinds Head Inn at Aldermaston is the current setting for a traditional candle and pin auction. It is one of a handful of survivors of an ancient method of selling which involves the auctioneer (in this case the local vicar) taking bids for a pasture called Church Meadow whilst a candle with a horseshoe nail stuck though it burns; when the flame reaches the nail, it falls out and whoever placed the last bid wins. It’s believed to date back at least to the eighteenth century and used to be held on 13th December every third year; now the date moves a little to fit in with the the commitments of the participants but continues to be held triennially. The vicar and churchwardens are still treated to rum punch but under modern legislation the clay pipes given out at the event must remain unlit!

Helpful Hints

Older sources may tell you this event is held on December 13th – it used to be but has moved date. All are welcome to attend but must take care to behave themselves as there is an ancient lockup behind the pub and miscreants might end up spending the night in it….

In 2016 it was held on Tuesday November 29th – 2019 date is yet to be announced.

Click here for the church website :

and here for the pub :

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