Shops and Shopping

  • D. P. Walsh


The origin of the modern European shop as we now know it, as an economic and architectural entity, is to be found in the medieval fair. Fairs in medieval times spontaneously occurred and reappeared cyclically on days of special festivities. They involved entertainment, gossip, friction, magic, and especially gave people the opportunity to buy and sell, particularly food and livestock. They were the historical precursors of markets, which served the same economic purpose in a more specialised and efficient way. Markets in turn were the forerunners of early shops, which have subsequently mutated dramatically into the elaborate and costly shops of today. There is a large literature on the history, appearance and development of shops, and extremely useful expositions are contained in Davis (1966), Willan (1970), Edwards (1933), Levy (1947) and Somake and Hellberg (1956).


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© D. P. Walsh 1978

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  • D. P. Walsh

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