It has been 10 years since the popular Abergavenny livestock market finally closed its doors for business before being transferred to a new site to Raglan.

A Morrisons supermarket now sits on the site in the heart of the Monmouthshire town.

We've had a look back in our archives to find this story by South Wales Argus reporter Kath Skellon who reported on the market's last day.

South Wales Argus: Auctioneer Mike Davies at  the last Abergavenny livestock market..Auctioneer Mike Davies at  the last Abergavenny livestock market

It was the end of an era as the bell rang out to mark the start of sales at Abergavenny’s historic livestock market for the final time this week.

There was a sombre mood in the air and mixed emotions felt by many as more than 100 people from the farming community across Monmouthshire and Newport brought around 250 cattle and more than 1,000 sheep to buy and sell for the last time in the 150 year history of the town’s market.

South Wales Argus: The last Abergavenny livestock market..The last Abergavenny livestock market

The first sales of sheep began at around 10.15am, led by auctioneer Mike Davies, of Newland Rennie Wilkins.

The closure follows that of Newport Cattle Market which was held in Pill for 165 years until it closed in 2009 and the site was redeveloped and Monmouth Livestock Market which held auctions for 127 years near the town centre until 2003.

It also marks the end of more than a decade of negotiations over the Abergavenny site, which Monmouthshire council says is dated and cannot provide modern animal welfare and accessibility.

It will now be demolished to make way for a new multi-million Morrisons supermarket and library as part of a scheme to regenerate the site.

South Wales Argus: Buyers and farmers at the last Abergavenny livestock market..Buyers and farmers at the last Abergavenny livestock market

Among the farmers who have been coming to Abergavenny for decades was 91-year-old David Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd, who runs a 150-acre sheep and beef farm at Llanfair Kilgeddin, near Usk, has been coming every week for 80 years and described his last visit as an emotional day.

He said: “I’ve been coming here most of my life and have endless memories. As a young lad I would come with my grandfather and his cattle.

“Over the years I have made many friends and watched the market grow and grow.

“It’s an emotional and sad day and a terrible shame.”

South Wales Argus: Tthe sheep pens at the last day of Abergavenny livestock market..The sheep pens at the last day of Abergavenny livestock market

Fruit and veg seller, George Price, 63, of Tonypandy, has been a regular at the market since he was eight and remembers the horse sale on a Saturday.

“There used to be a produce market here where I sold geese, ducks, chickens and pigs. In its heyday it was a good market, especially in the 60s,” he added.

Farmer, Steve Powell, 54, of Blackwood, who brought 54 lambs to the sale expressed mixed emotions.

He said: “I remember coming here as a five year-old with my grandfather. It is sad to see it end but we must look forward.”

Agricultural merchant, Howard Marsden, 68, of Pontypool, has been attending the market for 40 years.

“It’s the end of an era and very sad for the older generation whose wives do their shopping in the butchers and visit the bank. They won’t be able do that anymore. The council want progress but they could have refurbished the site as has been done at Skipton in Yorkshire.”

Avril Preece, of Abergavenny, came with her family to sell sheep and was taking photos as a keepsake.

South Wales Argus: Buyers and farmers gather for the last Abergavenny livestock market..Buyers and farmers gather for the last Abergavenny livestock market

She said: “Three generations of my family have been coming here and I have many memories of visiting when I was growing up. It’s not just about selling and buying, it’s also meeting place.”

Keith Spencer, company secretary for the Abergavenny and Newport Market Auctioneers Ltd, said: “It’s the same emotions felt when Monmouth and Newport closed but the big difference here is that we have a new market to go to.

“A lot of people have been coming here for a long time. It’s 45 years since I first came here and times have changed. Even the most avid supporter will accept that the market does not meet modern standards and requirements."

Mr Spencer, who became an auctioneer in the 80s, recalled some of the difficult times farmers in Monmouthshire have experienced during the life of the town’s market, among them were the BSE crisis in the 90s and the Food and Mouth epidemic which forced the closure of the Livestock Market for a year in 2001.

During the negotiations for the site the action group Keep Abergavenny Livestock Market Open (KALM) fought a long battle to keep the market in the town, fearing its loss would lead to a decline in visitors and a subsequent loss of trade for the town.

It lost its bid to halt plans when two reviews, challenging Welsh Local Government Minister, Carl Sergeants’ decision to lift an ancient law which protects a livestock market in Abergavenny town centre, and also Monmouthshire council’s planning process, were dismissed by the Court of Justice in London.

KALM spokeswoman, Jenny Long said: “It’s a sad day, especially as it is going out on a whimper but on the other hand we have to draw a line somewhere and what’s done is done.

“The town now needs to re-invent itself. It has really lost its soul.”

Last month saw the official opening of the new £5million Monmouthshire Livestock Centre at Bryngwyn, near Raglan, which will be operated by Abergavenny and Newport Market Auctioneers Ltd on a 20-year lease and hold its first sale on December 17.

The council’s leader, Cllr Peter Fox, said the state-of-the-art centre marks the beginning of a new chapter for the farming industry in Monmouthshire.