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Amesbury Markets and Fairs

Thursday market was granted in 1219 & 1252 to the lord of Amesbury manor, Saturday market in 1317 to Amesbury priory, Wednesday market in 1614 to the lord of the Ealdon & Priory manors although unlikely that Amesbury ever had more than one weekly market; evidently a general market for food & agricultural produce. In 1635 weekly market held on Fridays, market house stood at the west end of the market place. 1759 market house was repaired & taken down in 1809 – it was not revived.

A 3 day fair at the fest of St Melor, (patron saint of church) granted in 1252 to the lord Amesbury manor, similar festival but different days were granted in 1317 to Amesbury priory. St Melor’s day is 1st October but the fair was probably held on and about the date of 6th may. 2 new fairs to be held on 11th June & 23rd December were granted to Lord Hertford in 1614. Also May fair, long fair and short fair continued into the 19th century. After 1752 May fair held on the 17th long fair on 22nd/23rd June and short fair held on 17th December, from 1760 later on the first Wednesday after the 12th December. In 1830 fairs were for trade in cattle & horses, in 1842 they were poorly attended and by 1888 had been discontinued.     

Content derived from research undertaken as part of the Victoria County History project