A little way from this castle on the opposite side of a hill, is the chief market place of this city, and this being the only place where all things are brought to be sold, for the food of this great city, they not as in London allowing markets in several places, make it vastly full of provisions, especially on Saturdays, where I saw the greatest shambles for butchers’ meat I had ever yet seen, and the like also for poultry and dairy-meats, which dairy people also bring many quarters of veal with their butter and cheese, and I believe also in their seasons pork and hog-meats. These people fill a square of ground on the side of a hill twice as big as Abingdon market place. They setting their goods in ranges as near as may be one above another, only allowing room for single persons to pass between; and above these the butchers have their shambles and such kind of people as sell fish, of which there was plenty of such kinds as the seas hereabouts afford, viz. crabs, flounders, mackerel, very cheap, but lobster for sea fish and pike or jack for river fish, were dear enough. … Their chief market house stands in the midst of this great market place, now very full of people and provisions, being circular or round in form, having chained to the several pillars thereof bushels, pecks, scales, and other things for the measuring and weighing of such goods as are brought to the market.
Thomas Baskerville, 1681