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Frost fair

A frost fair was a celebration held on the surface of the River Thames when it froze over. Carnival festivities, shows, games, ice skating, shopping and other celebratory events were held on the open surface of the ice.

1814 frost fair[]

The last of the great frost fairs took place in February 1814. (AUDIO: Frostfire) One account suggests that the frost was caused by the Hyban Masoon, who came to Earth and froze the Thames. (PROSE: The Frozen) Another suggests that it was caused by a giant sea serpent chained to the river bed. (TV: Thin Ice)

Stalls and attractions[]

The 1814 frost fair was most famous for an elephant which walked across the ice. Other attractions included wrestling, sword swallowers, skittles, cartwheel performers, magicians, a ring toss, M. G. Clark Printing Co., souvenir shops, bookshops, strongmen, pubs - including the Nelson Arms, the City of Moscow and "try your luck" stalls. (TV: Thin Ice)

The frost fair featured "a lot of day drinking". Stalls were set up on the ice selling various foods and beverages. Meats included shish kebab, shish chicken, ox cheek, Lapland Mutton and sheep hearts. Pies sold included meat pies, fish pies and chicken pies. Gingerbread and gin stalls were also present. (TV: Thin Ice)

Visits by the Doctor and their companions[]

After Masoon came to Earth and froze the Thames, the Tenth Doctor visited the fair with Mai Kondo, whom he also took ice skating. (PROSE: The Frozen)

The First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Vicki Pallister also visited the 1814 frost fair. (AUDIO: Frostfire)

The Eleventh Doctor, River Song and Stevie Wonder visited the same fair for River's birthday. Wonder performed for them in private, under one of the bridges. Given his blindness, Wonder was unaware that he had travelled in time. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

The Twelfth Doctor later took Bill Potts to the 1814 frost fair, investigating people disappearing on the ice, which turned out to be a giant sea serpent. Lord Sutcliffe planned to blow open the ice during the Fair, enabling the serpent to feed on them all. However, the Doctor placed the explosives next to the creature, freeing it from its chains. When Sutcliffe went onto the ice to investigate, the serpent cracked the ice and Sutcliffe fell through. (TV: Thin Ice)

Other frost fairs[]

The Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, Ben Jackson and Polly Wright visited one such fair in 1648. (PROSE: The Roundheads)

One account suggests that a frost fair took place in the late 19th century. The Twelfth Doctor visited this fair with Clara Oswald, whilst investigating the Carnival of Curiosities. (PROSE: Silhouette)

Clara and the Twelfth Doctor also visited the frost fair of 1641, after being briefly diverted to World War II-era northern Africa instead. (COMIC: The Instruments of War)

Luparis was a replica of Tudor era London and featured a reproduction of the Thames. The river froze over to the planet's falling temperatures, leading to a frost fair. (AUDIO: Hexagora)


The Twelfth Doctor offered to take Clara Oswald to one of the frost fairs. (TV: The Caretaker) He later did so. (PROSE: Silhouette)