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Marlborough Market

Marlborough Market House

A market has occured in Marlborough throughout its history as was vital to trading in the town. It orginates in 1204 when King John granted Wednesday and Saturday markets to the town.

A weekly market was held in Swindon from 1260 onwards and this reduced the profits made at Marlborough. When the borough was incorporated in 1576 the mayor of Marlborough became clerk of the market and was empowered to regulate the market by passing by-laws.

The market place in 1289 (or earlier) was between the east end of the High Street and the high or the Market Cross. The high cross was probably a timber building set in a stone base which contained the market house. In the early 17th the cheese & butter market was held under it and the town hall occupied the site from 1630 onwards. The wool market was then held in the premises. Saturday markets were always more important than Wednesdays and sometimes the smaller market would lapse; no Wednesday market was held in the later 17th century when Saturday market was an important cheese market attended by London cheesemongers in 1797.

The market sold meat, eggs, poultry, fruit, toys, confectionary, and farm animals (pigs, sheep, cattle & horses).

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