Ripon market was the focus of attention as visitors, stallholders and schoolpupils celebrated National Market Week.
It is believed Ripon has had a market for more than a thousand years, before there was a known market charter.
National Market Week is a countrywide day to celebrate markets and all they have to offer, this year Harrogate Council marked the event with performances from local children including singing and drama.
Pupils from St Wilfrid’s School were not detered by the rain and entertained shoppers on the market place with songs and a mini play.
The Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams and the Deputy Mayor of Ripon Coun Pauline McHardy were also at the market to show their support and pride in the event.
They toured the stalls meeting stallholders including Raghbir Bhambra who has traded at Ripon market for 35 years.
Thursday has always traditionally been market day. Ripon was the first of St Wilfrid’s monasteries and his principal shrine where Thursdays, celebrated as the day he died, were kept “as a feast as though it were a Sunday”. Thursdays would draw extra pilgrims and traders would set out their stalls.
In the 18th Century, Daniel Defoe described Ripon Market Square as: “The finest and most beautiful square that is to be seen of its kind in England.”
By the end of the thirteenth century, as well as the weekly market, a charter had been granted for fairs in May and October.
In addition there were the corn market, wool market and ‘fairs’ for the sale of cattle, sheep and horses at different times of the year.