Looking at the etching to the right, the Stalbridge Cross was erected when there was much more space around it with many fewer buildings and houses. In the past, on Feast-days, Market-days, Fair-days and other special occasions the market square would be crowded with a conglomeration of people and their goods.
Its age is uncertain but, for more than five centuries the residents of Stalbridge must have known of its presence. Here long ago, farmers would congregate. On these steps would change hands the butter, the cheese, the eggs.
But the cross meant far more than a source of provisions for here they would gather, eager for news of events taking place beyond the parish boundaries.
The earliest of modern news media was the newspaper. Even if they reached the village, few would be able to afford them. So the cross would be a meeting place - sometimes a babble of sound - at other times, a rapt audience listening to the news of itinerant travellers.
Stalbridge Market was still going in the late 19th century, as you can see from this extract in the Western Gazette from March 7th 1890, stating: "At a public meeting convened in the Public Room, Stalbridge, on Monday, 3rd March, it was unanimously resolved that STALBRIDGE MARKET should in future be held every ALTERNATE THURSDAY, instead of MONDAY. The FIRST MARKET under the NEW REGULATIONS to be held on THURSDAY 20th MARCH. - G. ALLEN, Chairman of the Meeting.