17. The Cattle Market

Photo of The Cattle Market blue plaque - text below

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.”

Photo of the site of the plaque
Site of the plaque

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.

C1900 view of the Monday Cattle Market in Victoria Street
Victoria Street with cattle prior to the building of the Cattle Market

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.

Photo of hook inset into the wall used for temporary cattle pens.
Hook for temporary cattle pens
Highlighted Arial Photo of Cattle Market
The building of the Cattle Market in 1912 (as highlighted in the photo above) was a safety measure as the motor car became a more frequent visitor to the streets.
Cattle Market as seen from corner of Hallfield Lane and Horsefair. Now the site of M&S Foodhall.
Cattle Market as seen from the corner of Hallfield Lane and Horsefair.
Now the site of M&S Foodhall.

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.

Photo of Cattle Market in progress with auctioneers Richard Waring and Peter Ziegler in the foreground
Cattle Market in progress with auctioneers Richard Waring and Peter Ziegler (foreground)
Indoor Cattle Ring prepared for Household Furnishings and Goods Sale
Part of the interior of Wetherby Cattle Market showing the livestock pens.
Part of the interior of the Cattle Market showing the livestock pens.
Photo of Last Post
“The Last Post” – the only remaining post from the market next to Teasdale & Metcalfe Way saved and marked with a plaque by members of “The Old Men’s Parliament”

With thanks to Ian Leadley and Wetherby Historical Trust for use of photos.

Click on any of the plaques below to see more detail.