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A picture of St Ives Street Market
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The whole being of the modern town of St Ives is due to its street market which has been held regularly for nearly 900 years.
History of the St Ives Markets
In 1110, King Henry I granted a charter to Ramsey Abbey to hold a fair, in their possession St Ives, commencing on Wednesday of Easter week and lasting for eight days. A slightly later charter amended the permissions so that the fair could be held from Easter Monday until the Monday following, and again the charter was confirmed by King Henry I in 1130. The fair being operated by Ramsey Abbey also received blessings from the Roman Church, when in 1140 Pope Innocent II confirmed the fair as part of the possessions of the Abbey at Ramsey.
Over the successive centurys as the fair grew in importance and thus profit, so much argument ensued between the Crown and the Abbey as to whom should benefit. The fair reached its greatest wealth and influence during the 13th Century but by the middle of the 14th Century the fair had begun to decline from its postion as one of the four most important trading locations in the enitre county, the others being Winchester, Boston and Northampton.
However when we speak of decline it is in relation to the contribution it made to the national economy not its size. To this day, 900 years later, the Bank Holiday Street Markets in St Ives are still some of the largest fairs of their kind in the country.
A large street market is held each Monday in the town centre and a smaller one each Friday but on every Bank Holiday Monday the market swells to enourmous proportions nearly taking over the entire town.
In addition there are specialist markets like the Farmers Market, an outlet for local produce, a Victorian Christmas Market and Continental Street Fairs too. Details of these additional events will be displayed below.
The regular weekly street markets are managed by Huntingdonshire District Council so if you are a market trader looking to come to St Ives you'll need to contact the District Council first. Contact information is given at the top of this page.
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