SLHS Markets & Fairs Master Page


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Last update: 28/02/2024

Markets & Fairs

● These items have aspects that uniquely contribute to national or world history.

Market Trading

Other traders also came into the market town like: millers, bakers, dairy products, butchers, skinners, tanners, wheelwrights, thatchers, weavers, clothing, corvisors (shoe-makers), cobblers (shoe-repairers).


Of necessity two types of event would attract people into the town. Markets for trading goods and fairs for trading labour..

The following are under separate listings:



  1. Mop & Runaway Fair

  1. Data Availability

  2. ● Full

  3. ● Partial

  4. ● None

Rother Street’s Market House  on stilts

Further Information..

  1. See also:  Cotswolds Art & Curios


These days we are well used to going to the supermarket. Well it is, and was, just as true throughout the world. Most were outdoor but often with a cover. Stratford had quite a few locations for markets (as will be listed here as the links are populated).

Supply & Demand

As man specialised in producing goods in certain locations eg pottery in Tiddington because the clay was good, so people exchanged what they had produced for items that they required. Obviously money was a tool to keep consistent value for certain items although many goods were seasonal and so the laws of supply & demand, and competition, would dictate price eg Malt.

The Importance Of Malt

In a rural district it’s not surprising that Stratford’s economy was based upon exchange of agricultural goods. By far the greatest of these was malt (dried partially germinated grains of barley and other grains). It was used in brewing, baking and sweet drinks often made with milk. After drying, in the correct airy conditions, malt could be stored for up to a year. This meant that there became a right time to buy and to sell when the price had risen after the harvest. This led to price speculation and it was known that Shakespeare himself had a building, at the rear of his house, dedicated to storage of quite large quantities.

Demise Of The Markets & Fairs

As one should expect with prosperity comes progress. Whilst handmade goods could be customised for individuals mills had begun to produce factory made goods in a variety of standard fittings. Selling from shop fronts was weather dependent. Clever retailers invited people into the warm and dry.

In this way frequent street fairs began to lose their charm. New products were coming along. Retailers were moving indoors. Products were coming along that you didn’t know that you needed ! In 1875 there were still 11 street fairs per year. By 1900 only the mops, for hiring staff, remained.

The cattle markets continued but even they saw competition from other towns as railways were conveying large numbers of live animals too.