A Royal Charter of 1240 gave the Knights Templar the right to hold a market in Wetherby. Eventually dealings in livestock took place in Victoria Street, and cattle even stood in High St, the old A1.
By 1912 old cottages had to make way for the open pens and indoor ring of the auction market which lasted here until 2000.”
At the start of the 1st World War the weekly Cattle Market had spread behind the Angel to where the apartment block and M&S stands today at the end of Horsefair. Wetherby was much smaller then without any housing estates. It was, however, an ideal centre for the local farming community having a number of converging roads. Animals arrived on foot, even those which made part of their journey by rail had to walk the last stage from the Goods Station on York Road. Inns on Monday, Cattle Market day, had extended opening hours.
The weekly cattle market had been held openly in the High Street and over-flowing into Cross Street, Victoria Street and Horsefair. There is still evidence on the walls of The Brunswick and The Crown of where temporary sheep and pig pens were hooked up each week when the market was held in the streets.
Most of the Cattle Market buildings were manufactured by Teasdale & Metcalfe. This engineering company was a major employer in the town for over a century producing agricultural buildings still to be seen across the North of England. The factory was just across the road from the Cattle Market taking up the space which is now Morrisons supermarket and car park.
With thanks to Ian Leadley and Wetherby Historical Trust for use of photos.
Click on any of the plaques below to see more detail.