Markets have a long and fascinating history in the towns and villages of North Yorkshire. In some cases, the markets are an important factor in the development of the area. The reason why some towns were granted markets, and others were not, is probably a result of a geographical and political lottery.
Castles and religious establishments were more likely to be built at strategic sites, and then the sought-after and lucrative market charters were most likely to be granted to those high in the favour of the King. So if your village was at one of these strategic points, and the Lord or Abbot had the ear of the King, the granting of a market charter was very likely.
Bedale Market: BU05169
Hawes Market: BU05932
Helmsley Market Cross: BU06898
Leyburn Market: BU06898
Thirsk Market: BU06734
Tolls charged at Helmsley market, 1903: NYCRO1102
The right to hold a market in Bedale every Tuesday was granted to the Lord of the Manor by Henry III. This market is still in existence and takes place every Tuesday.
Hawes did not have the right to hold a market until 1705, much later than most other market towns, when a teacher from Gayle bought it for £600 from the King.
The market in Helmsley dates back to the thirteenth century, but it has taken place on its current site since 1467. It was originally held in the churchyard, with the market cross being moved from there to its current position.
A market has been held in Leyburn on a Friday since the seventeenth century.
A market has been held in Thirsk since the twelfth century, and by 1293, it was being held on a Monday – as it still is today.
Tolls to be taken at the markets and fairs held in Hawes: DCM0014