The John Wesley plaque in The Shambles market

Today was the regular Friday market which has now been rather superseded by the highly successful weekly Farmer's Market every Saturday. Helena and I set up our stalls last night so that we didn't have much to do first thing in the morning.

The market outdoors has a long established and large organic vegetable stall with a massive range. Ken has a cheese van much as you find in European markets and has a popular selection of dairy goods. There used to be flower, plant and home produce stalls but sadly they have not been present since lockdown.  Various odd small stalls are arranged outside in the market place which goes back several hundred years (see the site's history in my blip yesterday). The indoor market is held in St Laurence's church hall, the whole site being adjacent to the church and its associated park at the heart of the old town. 

This picture is of the plaque erected to commemorate the place where John Wesley preached in 1742. My stall was about six feet away on the inside of this wall of the church hall. The day started quietly and picked up from mid-morning and it was enjoyable to be back with some of the other traders. Only half the normal number of stalls are allowed so we c an only be there every other week. Tomorrow is likely to be busier because of the pull of the Farmer's Market.

The Shambles History
The Shambles is one of the oldest areas in Stroud. On the right is the Old Town Hall which dates from the late 1500s. The market stalls used to be housed in the arches under the Hall.

John Wesley the founder of the Methodist Church preached from the butcher's blocks outside the Church Hall on the left on 26th June 1742. There is a Blue Plaque to commemorate the event.

At the end of the Shambles are the double gates leading to St Laurence Church. There was a chapel here in Saxon times. Stroud became its own parish, separate from nearby Bisley in 1304. The Church was rebuilt in the mid 1860's, the only remaining part of the original building is the Church Tower with its spire.

'Shambles' means 'Butchers stalls, a Meat-Market' and there has been a market here for centuries in one form or another. The original market benches can still be seen against the wall on the left, as you go into the Shambles.

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