Chesterfield’s market heritage

By | Category: Travel destinations
"beggars" at the mediaeval market

“beggars” at the mediaeval market

Mention Chesterfield in Derbyshire to people and the famed crooked spire is what will probably come to mind.

But a recent £4-million transformation of Chesterfield’s Market Hall has helped to not only improve the appeal to visitors but to also reinforce its position as one of the leading markets in the whole of the British Isles. Believe it or not, Chesterfield was first granted a market charter in 1204. The General Market has evolved over the last 810 years to a point where, today, stalls are packed into the town centre every Friday, Saturday and Monday – selling everything from cutlery to carpets, from shirts to shoes, from pans to potatoes. Standing at its centre is a Market Hall, which was originally built in 1857 “for the shelter and safeguard of market people”, and which reopened to the public at the end of 2013 following a major refit.

In addition to the market, Chesterfield also now hosts one of the country’s biggest Flea Markets every Thursday. Similar in style to European flea markets, it features an eclectic and unpredictable mix of antiques, collectables and bric-a-brac on dozens of its stalls where visitors can hunt down a bargain, or possibly even a priceless heirloom. And on the second Thursday of every month, Chesterfield now hosts an increasingly popular farmers’ market, with a variety of local producers from across Derbyshire and the Peak District offering everything from organic vegetables and rare breed meat, to honey, homemade cakes and cheese.

Fiercely proud of its market heritage, Chesterfield also steps back into the Middle Ages for one day every year by hosting a Medieval themed Market, when its traders – some of them donning period costumes – are joined by various strollers and players. This year’s Medieval Market will be staged next week – on Tuesday, July 29th – and will offer visiting shoppers the chance to be entertained by Heironymous Slop, the Court Jester, knights in shining armour and a Medieval Tile Maker. Spilling out beyond the confines of the market itself, a Medieval Encampment will also take shape in the grounds of the St Mary and All Saints Church.

And guess what? Climb the tower in the church and you’ll be inside the world-famous crooked spire.

 

For more information about Chesterfield, click here.

 

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