The South West's largest slaughter sheep market was established over 200 years ago.
The surrounding area is excellent sheep country, so as well as keeping an ancient tradition alive and offering employment to local people, the market provides an important service to farmers, who sell their sheep there and use it as an opportunity to socialise.
The team at South Molton market work hard to achieve high attendance at all their sales by continuously building on the market's reputation for achieving high prices. In addition, extensive national and regional advertising, comprehensive mailing lists, a top ranking website and a vast network of personal contacts attracts buyers from as far afield as the Midlands and North of England.
Stags has been auctioning livestock in South Molton since the1850s, when Dobbs & Son and Edwin Cochram, two of Stags' founding firms, sold livestock in the market by the railway station - auctioneers started markets wherever there was a station on the newly built railways. In fact at one time Stags had 52 markets throughout the South West. In those days sales in the parish were announced by the local vicar in his sermon after the births, marriages and deaths. The vicar would state which cattle, sheep and implements were to be sold, assured the congregation that the vendor was a churchgoer and would ask everyone to attend the sale. For his announcement, the vicar would be paid a guinea by one of the auctioneers.
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