/atlan mode activated
Did some research on medieval/feudal markets, primarily in England and I think there needs to be some adjustments made to the markets in the Westfold so far.
“Initially, market towns most often grew up close to fortified places, such as castles or monasteries, not only to enjoy their protection, but also because large manorial households and monasteries generated demand for goods and services. Historians term these very early market towns “prescriptive market towns” in that they may not have enjoyed any official sanction such as a charter (grant of authority or rights), but were accorded market town status through custom and practice if they had been in existence prior to 1199. From a very early stage, kings and administrators understood that a successful market town attracted people, generated revenue and would pay for the town’s defenses. From around the 12th century, English and European kings began granting charters to villages allowing them to create a market on specific days.”
“Additionally, markets were located where transport was easiest, such as at a crossroads or close to a river; [ford], for example, Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.”
“Braudel and Reynold have made a systematic study of European market towns between the 13th and 15th century. Their investigation shows that in regional districts markets were held once or twice a week while daily markets were common in larger cities. Over time, permanent shops began opening daily and gradually supplanted the periodic markets, while peddlers or itinerant sellers continued to fill in any gaps in distribution. The physical market was characterised by transactional exchange and bartering systems were commonplace. Shops had higher overhead costs, but were able to offer regular trading hours and a relationship with customers and may have offered added value services, such as credit terms to reliable customers.”
“At the time of the Norman conquest, the majority of the population made their living through agriculture and livestock farming. Most lived on their farms, situated outside towns, and the town itself supported a relatively small population of permanent residents. Farmers and their families brought their surplus produce to informal markets held on the grounds of their church after worship.”
So basically, it talks about markets only really being prevalent within fortified and safe areas, and places that received a status of being a market town, usually through a charter or ‘right’ to host a market. These markets would then exist in places that make sense, like close to a trade route or where transport was easy and profitable. Keep in mind people who were able to run stalls were certainly not your common villager/peasant for multiple obvious reasons, mainly being costs/taxes/permission/social statues etc but instead merchants, traders or other richer people. The common villager would instead sell their produce in the village square either on the ground or walking around with a basket or whatever, they would NOT be able to afford a stall let alone have the time to run one.
I think It’d be best to restrict having markets to only large/fortified areas in the Westfold and remove the market stalls in all the other villages. Instead you can have little baskets/sacks or some shit in the village squares, but it’s fine to have a large portion of them to be mainly empty since that’s what they looked like anyway and be used for festivities/events/gatherings etc. Ironically Grimslade doesn’t have a market at all whilst being slightly fortified, it probably wouldn’t have a large market anyway but one or two stalls would be realistic.
Markets also weren’t held everyday of the week either, but on certain days of the week depending on what time of year it is. Fairs were also something that would be neat to add in some larger towns.