Many market towns can be found across the length and breadth of the country and none more so than in East Yorkshire, where the market has been central to the growth of its towns.
Archivist Sam Bartle said;
“There aren’t many towns in this area where you won’t find a ‘Market Place’ or ‘Market Street’. Markets are ingrained in our history, and our local archives are a helpful reminder of this fact.”
Over the years, the ways in which we buy and sell goods have evolved in different ways, and with so many options available to customers, it is easy to forget that the traditional market has superb qualities to offer to the shopping experience.
Markets and fairs were traditionally set up by Royal Charter and Beverley in particular, has always had markets as early as 1293. Two markets were held on Wednesday and Saturday. These days remained the chief market days, known first as Fish market and Corn market, they were later called Wednesday Market and Saturday Market.
Wednesday Market endured a period of disuse in the 18th century and the only markets held on that day were for cattle. But, towns need their markets and it quickly bounced back to rejoin Saturday Market, making Beverley once again a two-market town, which remains to this day, drawing people into the town for business, social and leisure purposes.
Some of the historic charters can be seen at East Riding Archives in the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley, where they are preserved. There are also photographs of local town markets, showing how they used to look over the last hundred years or so.