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Tar barrels

Tar barrels

Sat 5 Nov 2016

Tar barrels is a tradition that takes place around Bonfire night in Ottery St. Mary.

In the 12 months leading up to the event, barrels are lined and soaked with coal tar. On the night of tar barrels, the barrels are lit and carried through the streets of Ottery St. Mary while thousands cheer on the barrel-rollers.

The origins of the tar barrels are unknown however stories lead us to believe it began post the gunpowder plot of 1605 as a way of either fumigating cottages or as a warning of the Spanish armada.

Lighting barrels is a tradition that takes place in various locations in the South West however Ottery St. Mary is recognised worldwide for carrying the tar barrels on their backs.

  • Cloudy 14 °C

    12 °C

  • Heavy shower day 13 °C

    9 °C

  • Light shower day 13 °C

    11 °C

  • Cloudy 16 °C

    13 °C

  • Cloudy 17 °C

    13 °C

  • Cloudy 16 °C

    13 °C

  • Cloudy 16 °C

    12 °C

Friday (Friday 20 October 2017)
Now 22:00 23:00
Warnings
Heavy rain Heavy rain Partly cloudy night
≥95% ≥95% 20%
Temperature (°C)
14 ° 15 ° 13 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
11 ° 11 ° 11 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
SSE 20 40 SSW 21 39 SSW 14 29
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
M M E
Humidity Expand
96% 95% 91%
UV index Expand
Sunrise: 07:44 Sunset: 18:11 Moon phase: New Air pollution: 3
Saturday (Saturday 21 October 2017)
00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00
Warnings
Partly cloudy night Cloudy Heavy rain Clear night Partly cloudy night Light shower night Cloudy Light shower night Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Sunny intervals Cloudy Heavy shower day Heavy shower day Light shower day Heavy rain Heavy rain Heavy shower day Light rain Heavy rain Light rain Cloudy Light shower night Light shower night
10% 10% 90% 10% 10% 30% 10% 40% 10% 10% 10% 20% 60% 60% 30% 80% 90% 70% 60% 80% 60% 20% 50% 50%
Temperature (°C)
13 ° 14 ° 13 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 13 ° 13 ° 13 ° 13 ° 13 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 11 ° 11 ° 11 ° 10 ° 10 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
11 ° 11 ° 10 ° 10 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 8 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 8 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 ° 7 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
SSW 12 27 SSW 14 29 SW 19 36 SSW 14 32 SSW 17 34 SSW 17 35 SSW 19 36 SSW 20 37 SW 21 39 SW 21 38 SW 22 40 SW 22 40 SW 25 44 SW 25 46 SW 25 44 SW 24 44 WSW 20 37 WSW 21 40 W 21 40 W 19 37 W 21 39 W 21 39 W 20 38 W 20 38
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
E VG M E E E E VG VG E E VG E E VG G VG VG VG G VG E VG VG
Humidity Expand
92% 92% 87% 85% 81% 79% 80% 80% 80% 78% 74% 73% 69% 73% 75% 81% 85% 86% 85% 85% 84% 82% 84% 82%
UV index Expand
1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
Sunrise: 07:45 Sunset: 18:09 Moon phase: New Air pollution: 3
Sunday (Sunday 22 October 2017)
00:00 01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Warnings
Light shower night Light shower night Cloudy Partly cloudy night Sunny intervals Cloudy Heavy shower day Cloudy Cloudy
40% 40% 10% 10% 10% 20% 60% 10% 10%
Temperature (°C)
10 ° 10 ° 9 ° 9 ° 11 ° 12 ° 12 ° 11 ° 11 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 6 ° 8 ° 9 ° 9 ° 9 ° 8 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
W 20 38 W 20 38 W 20 37 WNW 16 31 WNW 18 33 WNW 21 38 WNW 19 35 W 14 26 W 13 22
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
VG E E E VG VG VG VG VG
Humidity Expand
81% 80% 77% 73% 75% 75% 78% 83% 86%
UV index Expand
1 2 1
Sunrise: 07:47 Sunset: 18:07 Moon phase: New Air pollution: 2
Monday (Monday 23 October 2017)
01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Warnings
Cloudy Cloudy Light rain Light rain Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Overcast
10% 20% 50% 50% 10% 20% 10% 10%
Temperature (°C)
11 ° 12 ° 12 ° 14 ° 16 ° 16 ° 14 ° 14 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
9 ° 10 ° 11 ° 13 ° 15 ° 15 ° 13 ° 13 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
WSW 10 17 SW 8 15 SW 9 15 SW 9 15 SW 10 16 SW 9 15 SW 7 11 SSW 7 11
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
90% 93% 95% 95% 90% 90% 95% 96%
UV index Expand
1 1 1
Sunrise: 07:49 Sunset: 18:05 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 2
Tuesday (Tuesday 24 October 2017)
01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Warnings
Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Light rain Light rain
20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 50% 50%
Temperature (°C)
14 ° 14 ° 15 ° 15 ° 17 ° 16 ° 15 ° 14 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
13 ° 13 ° 13 ° 14 ° 15 ° 15 ° 13 ° 13 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
SSW 8 13 SW 9 15 SW 10 17 WSW 11 19 WSW 12 20 SW 12 20 SW 10 16 WSW 9 15
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
96% 96% 96% 94% 88% 88% 93% 95%
UV index Expand
1 1 1
Sunrise: 07:50 Sunset: 18:03 Moon phase: Waxing crescent Air pollution: 2
Wednesday (Wednesday 25 October 2017)
01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Warnings
Cloudy Cloudy Overcast Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
20% 20% 20% 10% 20% 10% 20% 10%
Temperature (°C)
14 ° 13 ° 13 ° 14 ° 15 ° 15 ° 14 ° 14 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 13 ° 14 ° 14 ° 13 ° 12 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
WSW 9 14 SW 8 12 SW 8 13 SW 9 15 SSW 11 18 SSW 11 18 SSW 10 15 SW 10 16
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
95% 96% 96% 93% 89% 88% 94% 94%
UV index Expand
1 1 1
Sunrise: 07:52 Sunset: 18:02 Moon phase: Waxing crescent
Thursday (Thursday 26 October 2017)
01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Warnings
Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Temperature (°C)
14 ° 14 ° 13 ° 14 ° 15 ° 15 ° 14 ° 13 °
Show detail Show detail
Feels like temperature (°C) Expand
12 ° 12 ° 12 ° 13 ° 14 ° 14 ° 13 ° 12 °
Wind direction, speed & gust (mph) Expand
SSW 10 16 SSW 10 16 SSW 9 15 SSW 10 16 SSW 12 20 SSW 11 18 SSW 9 14 WSW 9 14
Visibility (E = Excellent, VG = Very Good, G = Good, M = Moderate, P = Poor, VP = Very Poor) Expand
G G G G G G G G
Humidity Expand
95% 95% 95% 93% 88% 88% 94% 95%
UV index Expand
1 1 1
Sunrise: 07:54 Sunset: 18:00 Moon phase: Waxing crescent
< Ottery St. Mary last 24 hours Issued at:

5 November - Check the Ottery St. Mary weather forecast if you are heading to tar barrels this bonfire night.

Tar barrels and the weather

Tar barrels takes place regardless of the weather, however weather conditions make a considerable difference to the number of visitors that come to the town. Tens of thousands of visitors arrive in Ottery St. Mary for the barrels each year and the numbers are steadily increasing.

Becoming a barrel-Roller

Becoming a barrel-roller is a highly sought after position in the town of Ottery. St. Mary. The tradition of becoming a barrel-roller has been passed through many generations of families from the area.

The evening consists of 17 barrels being lit across the town. The barrels in the late afternoon are the boy's barrels which are the smallest. The women's and youth barrels then take place in the early evening, followed by the men's barrels in the evening.

The barrels are lit from pubs and hotels across the town until the midnight barrel, which is the largest barrel and takes place in the town square.

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