Barnsley Markets

Over 760 years of history

Way back in 1249 Henry III gave Barnsley its first market charter. 

That 13th century market has seen many changes, but has traded without a break right into the present day: 

1249 - Market Place is on Kirkgate (now Church Street junction with Market Hill). Market rights were held by the Church.

1538 - Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Manor of Barnsley, including its market rights, were transferred to the Crown.

1800s

1822 - The Market Place was extended. It now ran from the end of Shambles Street at the top of the hill to the Sough Dyke, wooden bridge and town well at the bottom.

1824 - The Market Place was reorganised. The Corn Market was at the top of the hill. Then came the Butter Market, and lower down the Butchers Market stalls. Finally there were general goods, vegetable stalls, carts and wagons.

1825 - Vegetables and fish stalls were moved to the May Day Green. There was also a wholesale market on the Green where market gardeners sold their produce from carts.

1850 - The Corn Exchange was built at the top of the Market Place. As well as exchanging corn, local farmers sold poultry, butter, cheese and eggs here. In 1927 the Exchange was sadly destroyed by a fire.

1861 - Churchfield and May Day Green were sold to the local Board of Health.

1872 - The Corn Exchange was sold to the Corporation.

1870 to 1890 - Peel Square was used as an overflow and pitching market for casual traders.

1884 - Kendray Street was built and the Kendray Cattle market started here.

1900s

1920 - The Cattle Market moved to the east side of Kendray Street/Midland Street with fixed metal pens. This became known as the Queens Market. The old Kendray Market was used for fish and green grocery. There was also a swine and pot market here.

1930 - The Cattle Market moved again, to Bunkers Hill on Pontefract Road, by the abattoir. Queens Market became a wholesale market for vegetables and other produce. A new market was set up south of Queens Market and east of May Day Green.

1939 - Queens Market was dug up and air raid shelters built there underground.

1964 - Norwich Union Insurance Group and the Corporation (council) form a partnership to develop 7 acres of land in the town centre.

1974 - The Indoor Market Hall opened. Next to this was a new Meat and Fish Market. The semi-open market also opened.

2000s

2016 - The Meat and Fish Market and the Indoor Market moved to a temporary home on May Day Green and a temporary Open Market was set up along Cheapside, May Day Green, Queen Street and Peel Square.

2017 - Building work began on a new indoor market, library and retail centre, due to open in 2018.

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Barnsley archives

Explore our past at the Archives and Discovery Centre in the Town Hall.

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