Glastonbury Market Traditional & Alternative Traders
There was a market in Glastonbury by 1189. By 1327 it was held on Tuesdays and by 1503 until the 1530s or later on Wednesdays. By 1640 it was again held on Tuesdays and so continued until after 1792. In the 1730s it was described as small because Somerton market had changed to the same day. A toll-free monthly market was said in 1837 to have been lately established and by 1840 was held on the third Monday of each month. Between 1873 and 1883 it was increased to the second and fourth Mondays, with an emphasis on cattle. In law there were two markets on the same day, one owned by the joint ladies of the manor and let to a committee of management, in practice the corporation; the other held by the corporation's market committee as trustees of the ladies of the manor and sublet to an innkeeper. Trading took place in the town's central streets and attracted horned cattle, horses, sheep and pigs, nursery shrubs and trees, cheese and other agricultural products. The average income from tolls was £2 a year. In 1899 the corporation agreed to buy out the rights of the ladies of the manor and in 1902 established a new site for the sale of cattle in what came to be George Street, north-west of St. John's church. Nurserymen and other traders except those selling old clothes were permitted to remain in the market place. Traders remained there until 1920 or later. In 1911 the market was let to a local firm of auctioneers and by 1920 sales were held every Tuesday. In 1989 the market merged with a larger business at Frome and cattle sales ceased. In 1984–5 the platform canopy from Glastonbury railway station was removed to the former market site to provide shelter for what survived of the Tuesday market before it moved once again to the Market Place once again.
A cross, possibly called Gayescrosse, stood in the market place by 1499. It was replaced in 1604 by a central, polygonal column with a pyramidal top and then a short twisted column surmounted by a figure of Bacchus, also known as Jack Stagg, astride a cross under a weather vane. Around the central column a roof was supported by nine smaller columns linked by arches and reaching to gables each surmounted by a human figure. The cross is said to have been taken down in 1806. It was replaced by one in the style of an Eleanor Cross, designed by Benjamin Ferrey and built in 1845. (fn. 225) On the south side of the medieval cross stood the lower conduit, a square, panelled column with an ogee top. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol9/pp16-43
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