Moreton In Marsh Market
Moreton-in-Marsh was granted its market charter in 1227 and the well known Market is still held every Tuesday throughout the year and is the largest open-air street market in the Cotswolds (8.30am - 4pm).
Located at the head of the beautiful Evenlode valley, Moreton is a thriving market town dating back 1000 years to the Saxon era. The small, friendly and pretty town provides a wide range of facilities with a good range of shopping facilities, which makes it an excellent centre for any visitor.
Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the principal market towns in the northern Cotswolds situated on the Fosse Way. It grew up in the thirteenth century as a market town with a wide main street, narrow burgage plots and back lanes. There still is a busy Tuesday market with about 200 stalls attracting many visitors.
Moreton has been a traveller's town for at least 1700 years and was used as a coaching station before the coming of the Oxford to Worcester railway in 1853. There are several pubs, inns, hotels, tea shops and restaurants.
Many of the old buildings along the High Street date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The high street has many elegant eighteenth-century inns and houses including the Redesdale Market Hall. This hall is at the centre of the town, a plaque on the building reads - "The Redesdale Hall was erected in 1887 by Sir Algernon Bertram Freeman Mitford, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., 1st Baron Redesdale, Lord-of-the-Manor of Moreton-in-Marsh in pious Memory of his kinsman, Earl of Redesdale, 1805-1886".
The Hall was subsequently purchased by Sir Gilbert Alan Hamilton Wills, BART, O.B.E, The First Baron Dulverton who presented it in the year 1951 to The North Cotswold Rural District Council.
Lord Redesdale lived at nearby Batsford House and is also known for his famous daughters, the Mitford sisters.
The oldest building is likely to be the sixteenth-century Curfew tower on the High Street. Its bell was rung nightly until 1860 to remind people of the risk of fire at night. The Curfew Tower at the junction of High Street and Oxford Street dates from the 17th century, in daily use until 1860. It is said that it once guided home a Sir Robert Fry, lost in the fog, who gave money for its maintenance, in gratitude. The Parish church of St. David was originally a chapel of ease for Bourton-on-the-Hill and in 1858 was rebuilt in medieval style.
Moreton-in-Marsh was founded on the Roman Fosse Way, later the traditional London to Worcester coaching route via Broadway. Close to the town is the Four Shires Stone marking the historic meeting point of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.
The White Hart (Royal) Hotel was used by King Charles I as shelter during the English Civil War following the Battle of Marston Moor on July 2, 1644. A copy of the King's unpaid bill is commemorated on a plaque within the entrance lobby. The Batsford Arboretum was planted by Lord Redesdale, one of the largest private collection of rare trees in England.
The famous author J R R Tolkien is believed to have had connections with Moreton-in-Marsh - a pub in the town was presented with a special print by a branch of the J R R Tolkien Society. After painstaking research the Society claim that The Bell Inn is the inspiration behind The Prancing Pony, Middle Earth's most famous pub in the book 'Lord of the Rings'.
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