South Molton has been a country market town since the Middle Ages, trade being built around sheep, cattle, wool and leather. Weaving and cloth manufacture are long gone but, this being sheep country, the Livestock market is still thriving (see post of 18 November 2018) and a bustling Pannier Market is located in an impressive Hall, built in 1863, in the Town Square. Both are open for business on Thursday mornings.
The Pannier Market, which would have originated by women selling their wares from panniers and baskets while their men were at the Livestock Market now offers a wide range of products. The WI stall sells wonderful homemade cakes, pies, marmalade and jams; the fruit and veg, cheese, meat and fish stalls have excellent local produce; and, there is a wide range of other stalls from crafts to clothing, antiques to high tech gadgets. A sample of the goods on offer can be found on the market website here.
The Pannier Market is quintessentially English and of a quality and character sadly disappearing from our towns. The highlight for me are the wonderful local characters running the stalls and the friendly and interesting conversations to be had with them.
Here is a gallery of snaps taken on a typical Thursday in June (click to expand the images).
Lastly, mustn’t forget Dan the Fish Man who trades outside, between the Pannier Market and the Livestock Market.