Shops and services in Castle Cary
As Castle Cary grew and developed as a small industrial and market town, a number of shops and services provided for the needs of its inhabitants. The first record of a shop was in 1682. Shopkeepers in the later 18th century included London mercer Richard Gardner who took over a shop in 1780 but went bankrupt in 1791.
William Melliar (d. 1772) was an attorney in Castle Cary from 1750 or earlier and at least one solicitor practiced in the town throughout the 19th century. A barber was recorded in 1781, an apothecary in 1786 and a surgeon in 1790.
In the 1790s the presence of an auctioneer, two land surveyors, an attorney, a dancing master, a carrier, a post and excise office, a confectioner, a grocer, a watchmaker, two linen drapers, and a silversmith indicate that Castle Cary was by then a local centre for shops and services
It still performs this function today with a wide range of independent shops.