Market and fairs


Victoria County History



Susan Reynolds (Editor)

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'Staines: Market and fairs', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington (1962), pp. 20-21. URL: Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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In 1218 the Sheriff of Middlesex was ordered to see that Staines market was henceforward held on Friday, instead of Sunday. (fn. 49) The Friday market continued until the early 19th century, (fn. 50) and the market rights and tolls belonged to the lords of the manor. (fn. 51) The markethouse was in existence in 1662. (fn. 52) By the 19th century, and apparently by 1723, it was a small brick building of two stories, with a spire, (fn. 53) and stood in the then main road, where the present Town Hall stands. (fn. 54) The market declined in the 19th century and was discontinued by 1862. (fn. 55) In 1872, following a vestry resolution, an Act was obtained under which the market-house and neighbouring buildings were demolished, the Town Hall was erected, and a market was established. (fn. 56) The commissioners appointed by the Act were superseded by the local board, whose responsibilities for the market have passed to the urban district council. (fn. 57) In 1957 a general market was held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

In 1228 the king granted Westminster Abbey a four-day fair to be held in Staines at Ascensiontide. (fn. 58) In 1241 the date of the fair was changed to 7-10 September. (fn. 59) In 1675 there was still a fair on 8 September (fn. 60) and by 1772 a second fair was also held. (fn. 61) From 1792 the fairs lasted for one day each and were held on 11 May and 19 September. (fn. 62) They were abolished in 1896, at the request of the urban district council. (fn. 63) By that time they were largely pleasure fairs and occupied the Market Square and most of the High Street. (fn. 64) Earlier in the century cattle had been the chief commodity, with onions and toys at the autumn fair, (fn. 65) which was also in 1792 a hiring fair. (fn. 66)


48 For the economic aspect of the market, and the history of trading, &c. in Staines, see p. 24.
49 Rot. Litt. Claus. 1204-24 (Rec. Com.), 381.
50 Norden, Spec. Brit. pt. 1, Mdx. pp. 13, 40; Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales (1816), x (5), 507.
51 Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i. 418, and manorial accts. penes Westm. Abbey, passim; C 66/1998, no. 10; C.P. 43/760, m. 335; M.R.O., L.T.A. Mdx. 6675.
52 Par. Rec., Vestry Bk. 1611-81, sub annis 1662-3.
53 B.M. Maps K. 29. 2. 2. b; Brewer, op. cit. 507; Lewis, Topog. Dict. Eng. (1831), 154.
54 M.R.O., D.P. 103.
55 Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845-62).
56 Staines Town Hall and Market Act, 1872, 35 & 36 Vic. c. 22 (priv. act); see M.R.O., D.P. 1016.
57 See p. 27.
58 Cal Chart. R. 1226-57, 67.
59 Ibid. 1257-1300, 239.
60 Ogilby, Brit. (1675), p. 50.
61 V.C.H. Mdx. ii. 87.
62 Ret. on Market Rights and Tolls, H.C. 221, p. 56 (1886), lvi; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845 and later edns.).
63 Staines U.D.C. Min. Bk. 13 May 1896, p. 5.
64 See photogs. penes Staines U.D.C.
65 Trotter, Sel. Topog. of 30 miles round Lond. (1839), 143; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1845).
66 Ret. on Market Rights and Tolls, 56.

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