Bakewell has been a trading centre for more than a thousand year, with regular markets held since Anglo- Saxon times. A royal charter for the market in Bakewell was confirmed in 1330.
Held every Monday, the street market once sold butter, pots and pans, corn, horses, cattle, sheep and pigs. In 1826 the market was moved to a site beside the Peacock Inn (the present marketplace), to clear the streets and relieve congestion. It was later confined to cattle and sheep with a stall market for food and household goods. The livestock market moved across the river to the Agricultural Business Centre in 1998.
It was officially opened in February 1999.
The centre is one of the most modern livestock sales facilities in the country. Two footbridges link it to the town centre.
Bakewell Farmer’s Market is the second biggest farmers market in the UK and generally takes place on the last Saturday of every month, except for December, from 9am to 2pm. Its popularity has grown from strength to strength and is now regularly attracting more than 5000 visitors. It is so popular now that many of the 70 stallholders sell out before closing time, so get there early if you want to buy your cheese, beer, wine, meat, game and vegetables. It is produced by The Foods from Project and many cafes, restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfasts all take pride in offering fine local produce at the market, advertising themselves, giving out free samples, but also providing information and products to purchase.
Peak food products are definitely the main attraction, past and present and for those with a sense of history, there is a feature on Foods of Yesteryear, which includes the infamous ‘lumpytums’, oat balls in milk. There features the local legendary Buxton and Bakewell puddings, Ashbourne‘s gingerbread as well as Hartington Cheese. The Peak District has such a vast range of distinctive and unusual produce and the success of these local businesses help boost jobs and the local economy no end. With quality being key to the market’s success, many of the stall holders hold the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark for businesses who support the National Park’s natural assets, or if they receive any financial support from the New Environmental Economy programme.
The market takes place undercover at the Agricultural Business Centre less than 2 minutes walk from the centre of Bakewell, a stroll across the crystal clear River Wye, and next to the very large public car park. There is ample parking adjacent to the farmer’s market with very easy access for wheelchairs and prams; there are masses of parking spaces for cars and coaches. It’s great to wander around the market, sample the wares and support local businesses, perhaps grab some lunch to take away and walk in the wonderful recreation park – don’t be tempted to eat in the car park because picnicking is not permitted but why would you, with all the glorious other parts of Bakewell to explore?
The farmer’s market is organised by Derbyshire Dales District Council and has a waiting list of more than 50 traders now. It is held at the District Council’s Business Centre, which celebrated its 13th anniversary in 2011. Winchester is only one step ahead and able to boast a larger number of stallholders, but as the second largest farmer’s market in the country, Bakewell is also home to one of the UK’s top five livestock markets.The farmer’s market is essential for farmers and producers to ply their wares, swap gossip and meet new customers. It’s a great way to boost the tourism in Bakewell as well as being yet another attraction for visitors. The local hotels and B&B’s thrive when the farmer’s markets and livestock market s are on parade and many local cafes and pubs take on extra staff during the market days themselves. How lovely it is to know you are purchasing top quality Peak District produce from home grown sources, organic or hand reared and that you can rest assured the quality is superb.
Bakewell Street Market
Bakewell is the busiest market town in the Peak DistrictBoth the indoor and outdoor markets will have something to please everyone and probably help you with looking after your wallet. It has character and atmosphere which makes it unique shopping experience, with the finest and freshest foods, unique gifts and home furnishings. It boasts fashion and refreshing snacks. There is always a new face but certainly a whole host of regular faces and with regular events by local traders and external agencies, there’s always sure to be something happening at one of Bakewell‘s markets.Close to the town centre the markets are great to pop along to and then maybe take a stroll into the recreation centre and take advantage of some peace and quiet or pop across the gorgeous River Wye to the Business Centre. There are take away fish and chips, umpteen cafes to grab some lunch or why not take an ice cream for a stroll and enjoy the view?
Bakewell Livestock Market The facilities at Bakewell ABC are second to none with cattle and sheep penning and sale rings all under one roof together with offices, cafes and conference facilities and even a drop-in medical clinic for farmers. A list of livestock market dates is available on the Bagshaws website. In a typical year around 200,000 sheep and nearly 40,000 cattle and calves are sold through Bakewell Market.
The town centre is only a short walk from the market and the livestock handling facilities are particularly noteworthy with extensive unloading bays, sorting and numbering races.Lorry parking is extensive with a well equipped lorry wash and wheel disinfecting tank at the exit to the market.The main ring has a spiral staircase for access to the rostrum and a viewing gallery overlooking the cattle penning area. The sale rings are designed to exhibit stock to best advantage and provide easy access for vendors and purchasers. There is also wheelchair access and a lift to the seating areas.