Community News: Barkway Market attracts record number of visitors

Barkway Market attracts a record number of visitors and is dubbed a huge success!

Crowds embraced the sunshine and flocked to Barkway Market on Saturday 11th May in Barkway, Hertfordshire.

The quintessential English country event, which takes place annually in the beautiful village, attracted over 4,000 visitors and is thought to have raised around £20,000 to support local communities.

During the event, visitors enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere, whilst browsing amongst the 180 stalls, some of which had travelled from afar to exhibit.  Stallholders offered a broad range of products including local artisan wine and cheese, locally grown lavender, antiques, plants and garden accessories, artwork, handcrafted wares, clothing, jewellery, and cakes.  HomeStart Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire were also in attendance. They ran their own stall with lots of activities to draw the crowds, and hosted a raffle to raise funds for their projects. There really was something for everyone.

The weather also encouraged visitors to spend the day relaxing within the country setting; the food court was particularly popular. A wide range of food and drink, including refreshments served by Barkway’s Tally Ho pub, was enjoyed whilst sitting on a hay bale and listening to music provided by Royston Radio.  There were plenty of activities for children too.  A bouncy castle, balloon modelling, miniature train rides, a treasure hunt run by Barkway Local History Group and face painting were enjoyed by all, as well as the ice cream, which was popular choice on such a hot day!  And as if that wasn’t enough, everyone was entertained throughout the day by the Royston Town Band, the Barley, Barkway and Chrishall Choir, busker, Joseph Littlewood and a varied programme of other musical acts.

Other local organisations were also involved too. Barkway Church was the setting for the popular Craft Fair and served refreshments within the grounds of Manor Farm. The 7th Royston Barkway Scout Group marshalled the car park and took voluntary donations, and Barkway & Barley Schools (FOBBS) provided refreshments onsite.

Barkway Market is entirely volunteer led, with the help of a dedicated committee who are supported by people from within the local community, who kindly give up their free time on the day.  The event also wouldn’t be possible without the support of the landowners who allow the Market to take place within the grounds of Manor Farm and allow visitors to park on a private meadow nearby.

When speaking to stallholders, some of which had been coming for years and some who were first timers, they said how successful the day had been for them.

Kelly’s Kitchen said : “What a brilliantly organised and well supported event! It was so lovely to see such community spirit. Our first time at this event and we hope to come again next year – if they will have us.”

The Steel Garden Company said: “Today was our first event with the fabulous Barkway Market. It was expertly run, amazing organisers and volunteers.  Let’s not forget all the generous customers.”

BB Pizza said: “Thank you so much. This year’s Barkway Market was the best one so far!”

The Barkway Market committee said: “Despite what the weather had thrown at us over the last few months, we were truly blessed with a wonderful warm, sunny day in the beautiful grounds of Manor Farm. It was a truly super day and with local organisations working together to raise funds for good causes, it had a real community feel.”

Barkway is part of the old London to Cambridge coaching route and the origins of the Market can be traced back to medieval times in 1270. It was re-established in 1977 as a “Street Market”, when residents Molly Bruce, Mr Fidler and others wanted to raise money for a village party to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Barkway’s Grade II Listed ‘Carriage Wash’, which can be found close to Manor Farm, was recently added to Historic England’s National Heritage List.

For more details about the Market, please visit or follow them on Facebook @barkwayvillagemarket or Instagram @barkwaymarket.
Bookings for 2025 will be open to potential stallholders early next year.
Article & Photographs supplied by Barkway Market 2024 committee