Markets and Fairs

Even though Great Eccleston is an ancient village surrounding a Square there is no mention in any document of a licence ever being granted for a market to be held.  Some towns and villages were granted a licence by the King to hold a weekly market but Great Eccleston never was.

This is not to say that markets were not held. In earlier times three cattle markets were held a year in the "Square".  The Square being the area outside the current butchers shop, In fact there used to be iron rings on the market cross base to tie up animals.  The markets were held on 14th March, 14th april and 14th November each year.  The market on the 14th March was called the Apprenntice market.  These three markets were very important for the farmers in the area to sell their cattle and wares.    The "apprentice" market would also promote the skills of the young farmer or apprentices in farm trades. Following the demise of the cattle fairs along came the annual horse fairs in the early part of the 20th Century (before the First World War). 

Eventually the market days died out in the mid 19th Century.  Since the 1970s the general market has been in operation in the whole of the Square.  the modern market is in the Village Centre and Black Bull area.  This operates once a week on a Wednesday, come rain or shine. 

The markets of today are a dying breed having been superseded by supermarkets. Markets are not just a place to sell and buy produce they are at the heart of the community as a social gathering.  if we do not use out local market then we could easily lose it. 

The current market