Married couples are invited to take part in the town's most unique tradition - the Dunmow Flitch Trials - for a chance to bring home the bacon.

The Dunmow Flitch Trials date back more than 900 years, to the days of Chaucer, and are believed to be the only event of this kind in the world.

Couples - including same-sex couples - who have been married for at least a year and a day are called on to prove their love to a jury of six maidens and six bachelors.

Dunmow Broadcast: Couples will be asked to prove their love to a juryCouples will be asked to prove their love to a jury (Image: Flitch Trials Committee)

According to ancient tradition, the couples must convince the jury that 'in twelvemonth and a day' they have 'not wisht themselves unmarried again'.

The winning couple will receive a 'flitch' of bacon, which is also known as a side of bacon - half a pig, cut lengthways, cured and smoked.

The Dunmow Flitch Trials - which are held every four years - are referenced in The Wife of Bath's Tale, one of Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century Canterbury Tales.

The most recent Flitch Trials took place in 2022, after the 2020 trial was postponed due to the pandemic.

Dunmow Broadcast: Winners will receive a 'flitch' of baconWinners will receive a 'flitch' of bacon (Image: Flitch Trials Committee)

They are seen as a celebration of happy marriages. In 2012, when High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge launched The Marriage Foundation, he said: "Marriage is not something that falls out of the sky ready made onto beautiful people in white linen suits.

"It involves endless hard work, compromises, forgiveness and love."


Flitch Trials Committee vice chair Helen Haines said: "Here in Dunmow, that is exactly what the Trials are about – the hard work of those involved on the Flitch Trials Committee, the Trials accompanied by a great deal of laughter, a wonderful groundswell of warm wishes, and promises for the future; a community united in a day of celebration like no other."

The Dunmow Flitch Trials 2024 will take place on July 13, 2024, with the jury of six maidens and six bachelors already selected. 

Applications for married couples to take part opened on Monday, and will close on February 14, 2024.

To download an application form go to