Fairford has been a market town since 1135 when Henry I granted permission for a market on Tuesdays and Fridays. By 1260 a corn market had been well established. Charles II granted a revised charter in 1668 for a weekly market on Thursdays selling mainly cheese, milk, corn and livestock.
The market had become a monthly affair by the 19th century. In February 1873 a monthly corn and cattle market took place. This coincided with the opening of the railway at Fairford. In May of that year some 1,500 head of prime fat and store sheep were sold at market. Cattle, sheep and pigs continued to be sold until the First World War.
Fairford’s broad High Street and Town square are typical of an old market town. The streets are wide enough for sheep pens and tethered animals. The remains of iron rings can be seen in Park street where horses and bulls were tethered. The weighbridge was to be found in the road opposite the present War Memorial.
The market had declined by the mid 1930′s and came to an end. Today there is a popular Wednesday traders’ market which opened in 1986.