Market Weighton

A historic market town with a long and varied history

Market Weighton’s history dates back to ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic period, with the discovery of burial mounds and artifacts in the vicinity. The town’s location on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds provided access to fertile land and resources. During the Roman occupation of Britain, Market Weighton was situated along the Roman road known as Ermine Street, which connected London to York and beyond. The Romans recognized the strategic importance of the area and likely had a presence in Market Weighton, although there is limited archaeological evidence to support this.

With the decline of Roman rule, the Anglo-Saxons settled in the region. Market Weighton was part of the Kingdom of Northumbria and later became part of the Danelaw during the Viking Age. The town’s significance as a market center can be traced back to the 13th century when it was granted a royal charter to hold weekly markets and an annual fair. These events brought traders and merchants to the town, contributing to its economic growth and prosperity. During the English Civil War in the 17th century, Market Weighton witnessed some military action. The town was captured and held by Parliamentarian forces before being retaken by Royalists. In the following centuries, the town saw industrial development, particularly in agriculture, textiles, and brewing.

Market Weighton is known for being the birthplace of the famous Victorian era naturalist and explorer, William Blyth. He achieved fame for his botanical and zoological collections, including the discovery of the now-extinct Great Auk. The town celebrates its association with Blyth through various memorials and events.

Today, Market Weighton retains its market town charm and offers a range of recreational activities and attractions for residents and visitors. The town’s rich history, coupled with its scenic countryside location, makes it an appealing place to explore and experience the heritage of the region.