1353 – How it all began


When Kirkby Stephen was first granted a market charter in 1353, it marked a significant step in the development of the small agricultural hamlet into a market centre of traders and craftsmen as well as farmers.


But it was an inauspicious time to be boldly setting off towards a new future. The grant of the charter came during a time of severe economic upheaval, and death, devastation and disease disrupted life in the area.


Despite those hazards, and the existence of a rival market less than five miles away, Kirkby’s market survived, unlike some others in North Western England...


To learn more about the town’s early struggles to establish itself, read Fourteenth Century Kirkby Stephen -- A New Market Centre For The Upper Eden Valley, by Margaret Gowling M Phil

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