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Trade, Services and Markets
Fairs and Trysts
Town services for rural hinterland
Markets and marts
main image Mercat cross, Airth, Stirlingshire
The right to hold regular markets – as opposed to annual fairs – was granted by the Crown.

Generally speaking, markets were held in burghs. Little retailing of agricultural produce took place in the countryside. Mercat crosses (few of them cross-shaped) marked the site of the market and the granting of market privileges.

This mercat cross dates from 1697. Typically, it was a status symbol for the landowners – the Elphinstones – who had sponsored this burgh foundation. The head of the cross-shaft carries their carved initials and their wild boar insignia. The phoograph was taken in 1886.

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