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Today marks end of Liskeard farmers' market 800-year-long trade legacy

The farmers market in the Cornish town of Liskeard closed for the last time today. Photo: ITV West Country

The farmers market in the Cornish town of Liskeard closed for the last time today, 19 December, ending 800 years of agricultural history.

Livestock and poultry have been traded in the town since the reign of Edward I. The current market site had been used for over a century and is showing signs of decline.

Kivells Auctioneers' tenancy of the Liskeard site is coming to an end. Today is its final auction there, before the site is up for re-development.

Livestock and poultry have been traded in the town since the reign of Edward I. Credit: ITV West Country

It is the latest in a series of farmers markets closing down across the West Country. In the last 20 years, 10 have closed across the region.

In Cornwall, Livestock markets have ceased operating in St Austell, Helston and Wadebridge.

In Devon, there are no longer sales in Barnstaple, Axminster and Bideford.

In Somerset, markets also closed in Taunton, Yeovil, Highbridge and Bridgwater.

Today, over 900 festive fowl, goose, duck, chicken or turkey, were auctioned off for the last time, just in time for a Christmas feast.

Kevin Hicks says today is a celebration of a Credit: ITV West Country

Today is a celebration of a long and proud history for Liskeard and the inevitability of the re-development of this site is something that we came to terms with some time ago, as I believe did the agricultural community as did Liskeard themselves."

– Kevin Hicks, Kivells Auctioneers

Horace Pearce has been selling poultry at the market for 60 years and has labelled the last market day as a "terrible" and "sad" one.

Other frequent buyers who say they find good bargains there - enough for not only Christmas but even for a summer feast - said it is a shame:

It remains uncertainty whether a new centre will be built nearby. The development of this site is currently under consideration by Cornwall Council.