There is a history of markets in Newton Abbot before 1220, when the Abbots of Torre were granted a charter for a three day fair at Nyweton on the Eve, Feast and Morrow of St Leonards Day, in November. In Victorian times, Newton Abbot's Fair was described as 'important though somewhat rowdy.' In early 20th century accounts of the fair, the whole of the market place, from its entrance from Courtenay Street to Bank Street is described as filled with shows and steam circuses. Cheapjacks and stalls encircled Market Buildings; there was a boxing booth and a Joywheel, housed in a large tent, on which people climbed and attempted to remain while it turned. There were shooting galleries, a Fat Lady, swingboats and a Cake Walk.
The markets are an important part of the vitality of the Town Centre and essential to the local economy. Through the Livestock Market farmers from throughout South Devon have a local point at which to buy and sell their animals, minimising the transport involved and the welfare issues that long distance transport incurs. Market days are an important day not only for farmers but also their families who come to centre of Newton Abbot to do their shopping.
The Indoor Market located in the historic Butter Market Hall operates 6 days per week from Monday to Saturday 9am - 4pm. We have outdoor Retail Markets in Market Square on Wednesday and Saturdays from 9am - 4pm. There are speciality markets in the Square on other days including a Flower & Garden and Book & Craft Market on Tuesdays and a Trash & Treasure Sale on Fridays. Meanwhile we run a weekly Farmers' Market on Courtenay Street on Tuesdays, where local farmers and producers can sell direct to the public.