Page 5 - MarketTimesDecember2017
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Sherborne market in Dorset is as traditional as it is historic. Nicola Gould reports
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who value the good things in life and have the money to indulge in such fine things.
which has been home to the Digby family since 1617.
herborne in Dorset is a picture-postcard town so steeped in history and endowed
Surprisingly, this Dorset town isn’t the tourist honeypot you might expect it to be. There aren’t coachloads of visitors flocking to see the town’s historic treasure trove, which includes two ruined castles, Sherborne Abbey, Sherborne Castle and one of the UK’s leading independent schools, Sherborne School.
The estate has entrusted the running of the market to Judy Aplin, who traded on the market for many years, and has been running it, with a light touch, for the past decade.
with such beautiful buildings it seems a little unfair on other market towns.
And at the heart of it all is a two-day market dating back to 1280 that trades in the most picturesque of settings, against a backdrop of ochre-coloured stone Georgian and medieval buildings.
Judy said: “The market began after the monks sold off the land for a widened road which created room for a market.”
Traders set up stall in the square that houses the Conduit, a stone edifice where monks from Sherborne Abbey once performed their ablutions.
Legend has it that Alfred the Great went to school here and his two elder brothers are buried at the abbey.
For centuries it would have been the place to buy local produce grown or reared on the rolling Dorset countryside immortalised by Thomas Hardy.
The stalls in the square, locally known as The Parade, are complemented by others that meander up the main shopping street, Cheap Street. This is lined with mainly independent shops selling up-market products for locals
But plenty of visitors and Dorset folk from quite far afield are drawn to the town on Thursdays and Saturdays for the market.
The town was once famous for lace, buttons and glovemaking, so no doubt textiles were also for sale on the market.
In keeping with its historic roots, the charter is held by Sherborne Castle Estate, the 16th century mansion built by Sir Walter Raleigh,
In more recent times the market has been the place to pick up an eclectic mix of anything
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