Mediaeval Market celebrates 800th Anniversary

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith

Markets have been a key staple for local rural communities for hundreds of years, and Bovey Tracey is no exception.

Celebrating the 800th year since the town was first granted its charter for a market, a whole host of stall holders and local people came together to mark the occasion on Wednesday, 23rd October.

With the anniversary event’s official opening
being held at Dartmoor Whiskey Distillery, a great gathering of people witnessed Newton Abbot’s town crier declare the market open, alongside a special talk to commemorate the history of the town and its market.

Having been at the forefront of market grants, Bovey Tracey was originally granted its charter on 23rd October 1219, giving Eva de Tracey, lady of the manor, the right to hold a market on the manor every Thursday. In doing so, Bovey Tracey was amongst the first of 10 places in
Devon to receive such a charter at the time.

While local people may have been travelling to Bovey Tracey to sell their wares for hundreds of years, this year’s event saw a fantastic mix of businesses old and new, with some having set up their stalls in the area for over 10 years, and others being ‘first timers’ to the occasion.

Making use of three different venues in the town, organiser Hayley Smith was keen to avoid cancelling the event due to weather and so the Methodist Church and Whiskey Distillery provided perfect cover should a shower threaten the day’s proceedings.

Thankfully, the sun shone as locals and business folk came together to mark the special occasion, with some even dressing in mediaeval clothing as a homage to the market’s long running past.

Local Life