There are currently two regular markets held in Stokesley on The Plain in front of the Town Hall. Both markets pay rent to the Manorial Lands Trust.
The traditional weekly Friday market is open from 8.30 through to mid-afternoon. It includes a wide range of stalls selling: Clothes, Jewellery / Gold, Meat, Rugs, Bags / Shoes / Leather Goods, Fruit and Vegetables, Bric a Brac, Household Goods, Fish, Plants, Pet Food, Olives, Cheese, Eggs, Cakes, Batteries, Bread and a Snack Bar. The Parish Clerk is the Market Superintendent.
The origins of the Friday market date back a long time, but precise dates are uncertain. The Victoria County History - A History of the County of York, North Riding: Volume II indicates that in 1280 the then Lord of the Manor, Hugh de Eure, claimed that a market had been held by his ancestors ever since the time of the Norman Conquest. It is understood that whilst he was fined as he could not show a royal charter giving him the right to hold the market it was allowed to continue. The entry in the Online Gazetteer of Market Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 notes evidence of a market being recorded in 1278 to 1281 and provides support for the claim that a market in Stokesley had been held since the Norman Conquest. Further evidence in Kirby’s Inquest in Yorkshire later in the 1280s indicates that Hugh de Eure claimed a market was authorised through a charter of Henry III. Recent searches have failed to find any documentary evidence for the award of the right to hold a market in Stokesley and it likely that no such documents now exist.
The monthly Farmers’ Market is held on the first Saturday of each month and is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm. It has much more recent origins. It commenced in 2003 and has progressively grown in size, matching the increase in its and popularity and trade. It now encompasses over 30 stalls each month.
Stokesley Farmers’ Market is run by Northern Dales Farmers’ Markets, a not-for-profit social enterprise. It offers only produce that is locally grown or produced. 'Local' means within 50 miles of the market.
The market offers the following types of produce - Bread, Cakes, Biscuits and Puddings, Cereals, Cookware, Dairy and Eggs, Fish, Meat, Poultry and Game, Pies and Pasties, Preserves, Jam, Honey and Chutney, Soap and Skincare, Soup, Spices, Sweets and Fudge, Vegetables, Fruit, Plants and Herbs.
For a number of years Stokesley Farmers’ market has been recognised as one of the most successful and popular farmers’ markets in the area. However its pre-eminence was confirmed when it won the coveted title of FARMA National Farmers’ Market of the Year 2014 at the award ceremony in February 2014. ‘What a jewel of a farmers’ market! Brimming with local food and bursting with energy. It is clear why it is so much loved’ said Gareth Jones, the Awards Judge. The citation accompanying the award noted the ‘market has been hugely supported by Stokesley Parish Council and shows how local partnership can be so enabling’. Further details on Northern dales Farmers’ Markets can be found at http://www.northerndalesfarmersmarkets.com/
An additional, special Christmas Farmers’ Market is held on the last Sunday before Christmas. In 2015 this will be on Sunday 20 December 2015.