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Markets & Shops - Introduction

Regular markets for livestock and produce were held in Berwick and other local centres of population.

As today, market stalls were set up in the High Street (Marygate) on Wednesdays and Saturdays, although the Wednesday market ceased to be held for a number of years at the end of the 19th century.

Poultry, eggs and dairy products were sold in the Exchange, beside the Town Hall in Marygate.

Under the terms of Berwick’s Borough Charter a street market could take place twice weekly and a “cattle and pleasure fair” was held once a year, at the end of May. There were also regular cattle markets and livestock marts. In the markets, the sale took placed directly between the seller and the customer, while at the mart an auctioneer acted between the buyer and the seller.

Berwick’s cattle and sheep markets originally took place in Hide Hill, to the inconvenience of local businesses, until a new cattle market was set up at the top of Castlegate, where the War Memorial stands today. The livestock market later moved to the bottom of Castlegate, beside the Scotsgate.

Grain was traded every Saturday in the Corn Market in Sandgate, at the bottom of Hide Hill.

Extracts from contemporary newspapers relating to Berwick’s markets in Victorian times