Market House at Barnstaple, 1821
Medium: Pencil on paper
In the 10th century King Athelstan granted Barnstaple the right to become a market town. From the 14th to the18th centuries, the town was one of the major ports on the west coast. It launched many ships to take part in England's sea battles, including Drake's victory over the Spanish Armada. But it was Barnstaple's position in the centre of Devon's lucrative wool trade that gave the town its prominence during the centuries before the Industrial Revolution. The markethouse seen here stands today as one of the best preserved markethouses in the country.