THE final countdown is on to this year's world famous Dunmow Flitch Trials.

The iconic and somewhat unusual, 900-year-old event takes place every leap year in Great Dunmow town centre.

In the trials, married couples are pitted against a formidable counsel in order to stake their claim for a Flitch of bacon.

The couples must prove to the jury that they have not 'Wish't themselves unwed' since tying the knot.

The Trials are set up in a mock marquee courtroom where the counsel for the bacon set about finding flaws in the couples testimony of their wedded bliss.

A defending counsel will also be doing their very best to ensure that the jury rule on the side of the happy couples.

BBC Essex' Dave Monk is taking the reigns as judge of the court and counsel will be provided by lawyers Daniel Pitt and Jeremy Janes, barrister Caroline Bradley and comedian Steve Bugeja.

Any couples who come out successful will be carried in the ancient Flitch chair to Dunmow's Market Place where an oath is taken whilst kneeling on pointed stones.

Helen Haines, from the organising committee, said: “It’s great that such a wonderful and quirky tradition is kept alive every four years.

“The Dunmow Flitch Trials are talked about around the globe and it’s a bit of history for everyone associated with Great Dunmow to be proud of.”

The trials are organised by a team of volunteers and rely entirely on advertising and sponsorship to take place - the surplus funds from any ticket sales is donated to local charities.

They take place on July 9, for more information or to purchase tickets, visit: