History

Originally weekly markets were held on Thursdays and Saturdays.  The Saturday market was held in Princess Street (formerly known as Nether Westgate); you can still see the remains of the Old Market Cross (also known as Butter Cross) near to Princess Street, at Low Conduit Street.

Newborough Street was the Thursday market where pots, glass, earthenware and much more were sold, with stalls occupying both sides of the street down to St Helen’s Square.

The apple market was held in King Street, the beast market in Queen Street, the pig market in front of the theatre in Tanner Street, and the meat market in St Helen’s Square in the Old Shambles.

In 1852 Royal assent was given to the Scarborough Public Market Act which allowed plans to be made to build the present day Market Hall in St Helen’s Square.  The Old Shambles which were made up of butchers stalls, slaughterhouses, tallow and bone yards, were cleared to make way for this building.

A company known as the Scarborough Public Market Company was set up to oversee the provision of the covered hall with enough space to accommodate the various outdoor markets under one roof.

Mr John Irvin, the Borough Surveyor of the time, designed and prepared the plans for the building, with the architecture being in a Tuscan style with a Whitby stone facade.

Masonry and brickwork was executed by Mr John Shaftoe of York; iron roof and castings by Messrs. Hawks, Crawshaw and Sons of Gateshead; joinery by Mr John Whitfield of York and plumbing and glazing by Mr Ambrose Gibson of Scarborough.

The main hall is 151 feet long, 111 feet wide and 43 feet high to the tie beams, and originally the cost of building was £7,000 and £9,000 was spent on the site and approach roads.

In August of 1853 the Market Hall was opened with great pomp and ceremony, and meant the removal of the busy congestion, with the “opening of a large and well ventilated area in the heart of the town”.

In the early 1900’s housewives of Scarborough would visit the Market stalls every Thursday to purchase fresh farm butter and eggs from farmers’ wives, who also sold flowers, curds, honey, fruits and vegetables to make some “pin money”.

Market Vaults

The basement of the Market Hall was originally used as a bonded warehouse.  Records show that in the late 1800s Henry Welburn & Co used the bonded warehouse – his original business being as a wine and spirit merchant, as well as groceries, provisions and “Italian goods of first rate quality”.

In 1993 the old bonding warehouse was converted into stalls now known as Market Vaults and offers units to a variety of traders, such as antiques, working craftpersons, artists and jewellers, and many more specialist shops that you will not find in the High Street.

Originally weekly markets were held on Thursdays and Saturdays.  The Saturday market was held in Princess Street (formerly known as Nether Westgate); you can still see the remains of the Old Market Cross (also known as Butter Cross) near to Princess Street, at Low Conduit Street.

Newborough Street was the Thursday market where pots, glass, earthenware and much more were sold, with stalls occupying both sides of the street down to St Helen’s Square.

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