Markets have been a major part of the trading and historical importance of Oswestry and have existed for many centuries. The first known Charter was granted during the reign of Henry II when the Town was known as Whiteminster. In 1262 a Charter was granted by John FitzAlan, Lord of the Manor To our Burgesses of our village of Oswaldestree.
The Powis Hall Indoor Market Hall was originally maintained by the Lord of the Manor, and was the Town Hall or Guildhall until premises adjacent were built in 1782. From this date until 1960 the building was used as a corn exchange, then as a butter and cheese market, and during the Second World War for emergency storage and for auxiliary fire service purposes. The hall was reconstructed in 1963 to its present design and is open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday throughout the year.
Oswestry Markets still remain the town’s major tourist attraction drawing visitors from far and wide, but they have suffered in the last decade, as have markets’ throughout the UK. The growth in internet shopping and supermarkets’ obviously contributed to this but Oswestry Town Council believes there is still potential in their development. They are a great way to start a new small business with high street costs being so expensive and many traders have eventually moved into the high street once they have established themselves and proven their product.
My job is to improve the perception of our markets to make the experience of coming to the market a great experience and to inject some energy and life back into it. With this in mind we now have an increased portfolio of market events throughout 2011 including Gardening and Craft Events, Easter Fun on Good Friday, Charity Events, Continental and Christmas Market and much more. By working together with other key town organisations such as thebestofOswestry, the Qube and the local schools and colleges the hope is to introduce a new customer to the market place. Standards are improving and there are plans for a new refurbishment including new toilets and a lift.
Oswestry markets need the support of the local community once again to help it rebuild and prosper in the future. The Wednesday and Saturday outdoor market still creates a wide ranging balance of traders with hustle and bustle, colour and excitement to interest all visitors and shoppers. By comparison the Powis Hall provides some of the basic weekly shopping essentials every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and has a vast array of collectables and crafts and specialist traders such as cake making items and sign writing etc.
We also have a 20 stall Farmers Market on the last Friday of every month situated on the Bailey Head crammed with high-quality produce like pies and pastries, cheese and bread, meat and fish and of course cakes for that special treat.
With your support our markets’ will continue for another 750 years.
David Clough, Retail Markets Manager
Call: 01691 680222