Taunton has always been a market town. Its first farmer’s market was held over 1,000 years ago, giving rise to what became the county town of beautiful Somerset, despite competing with famous sites like Glastonbury Tor and the infamous Somerset Levels.
So you could say markets are Taunton’s life blood.
The historic livestock market closed in 2008 and the site has been waste ground since then. That site is earmarked for a new, modern shopping centre, so you could be forgiven for thinking that Taunton is no longer a market town.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Venture further into the centre of town, and chances are you’ll find a market. With a thriving Farmer’s Market taking place every Thursay in the High Street and general market on Friday and Saturday on the same site, you can safely say that Taunton is still a market town.
But it gets better.
Did you know Taunton has a castle? The original castle was built in anglo-saxon times and then became the site of a priory. Rebuilt in stone by the Normans, its buildings still survive as the home of the renowned Castle Hotel, and the town’s Museum.
The erstwhile courtyard, now called Castle Green, has recently been refurbished from a car park to a beautiful green, with a paved area now used for events and entertainment.
By far its most regular event is a wonderful market dedicated to Somerset’s artisan crafts and foods. From Lavender to unique woodcrafts, this is a proper market that doesn’t sell ‘tat’.
Blackdown Hills Market is held every Saturday, and you can find it by taking a stroll through the Castle’s Portcullis off North Street into the soothing atmosphere of Castle Green.
This is a venue worth making a regular visit, where you can enjoy tea and cupcakes or browse the wonderful stalls while local musicians entertain you.
From Nature will be there this Saturday (4th July) with a view to making it a regular spot. This week we have our new Tofu Jerky, reduced price healthbars and fruit leather, as well as hedgerow drinks. If I have time, I’ll be making fresh vegan pasta. It’s a first outing for our marquee, so if you want a giggle, you can watch us (try) to put it up.