Clearing out an upstairs cupboard we found some pictures snapped from a window of the pub, the last time the market had been renovated.
We know the market dates back to medieval times (and that parts of the Sir Garnet acted as a market hall) but it is specifically the Norman period for which it is most recognised. The Normans built the castle, cathedral and created a new borough where a market was laid out in an area called “Mancroft” (‘Magna Crofta’=big field).
By the 1800, the lay out of the medieval market place had altered as buildings began to dominate. Superior shops geared towards the gentry began to emerge creating the area we now recognise as ‘Gentleman’s Walk’. The market itself became more fragmented, with the “upper market” (housing the meat and fish stalls) being separated from the “great Market’.
By 1930, the market required a radical overhaul. Changes had begun after WW1 when the markets committee gradually purchased all of the stalls, with the intention of encouraging unemployed ex service men to rent them for a living. This meant the ability to introduce uniformity. It was in 1938 that the market stalls were given their iconic striped tilts.
There were few changes superficially until 2004 which saw a second, controversial re-vamp in order to tackle problems of gradience, size, security and lighting.