Markets are held throughout the year both indoors in the Market Hall and outside in the in the cobled Market Place. Markets and Fairs have always been of vital importance to the economy of the Town.
The Saturday Market is held at the top of the Market Place around the Obelisk. This market is popular with both visitors and locals alike. A huge variety of foodstuffs and goods are available and include fresh fish, meat, cheese, fruit and vegetables, flowers etc.
The Market Hall is open seven days a week and hosts a daily market with a very varied selection of goods.
Markets were initially held to help broaden access to a wider variety of goods than were currently available under the Merchant Guilds which were based in towns and cities. They provided an outlet for local producers to sell on their goods and produce – the first ever “retail outlets”. They continue to flourish and form an integral part of the town’s economy.
The first markets were authorised by the Earls of Richmond from 1093 onwards and Royal Charters quickly followed. The first known Royal Charter dates from 1155 and in 2005 THR Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall came to visit and to celebrate the 850th anniversary of that first charter.
Under the Charter granted by our first Queen Elizabeth the Town has the right to collect tolls and fees for any Markets, Fairs etc. held within a 6 and 2/3 mile radius of the Town.
People were able to buy specialist items brought in by merchants and pedlars from far and wide. During the Whit Weekend a travelling fair still comes to Richmond.