Beast Market, Huddersfield

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  • location: off Kirkgate, Huddersfield
  • status: still exists
  • category: area

Discovering Old Huddersfield

Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:

In 1671, King Charles II granted to Sir John Ramsden a Charter to hold " market in the town of Huddersfield on Tuesday in every week for ever, for buying and selling of all manner of goods and merchandise...". At first, the general market was held in the newly laid out Market Place at the top of Church Street (Kirkgate) but as time went by, speciality markets developed elsewhere. The corn market, for example, was located behind Tomlinson's Yard in the area bounded on the east by the present day St. Peter's Street, on the west by Kirkgate and on the north by the wall of the Parish Church graveyard. The establishing of the corn market led, naturally enough, to the residential and industrial growth of the area and by 1778 there were a number of houses, barns, inns, stables, workshops and warehouses clustered round the small open space where the market was held. By that time also the town's cattle market was located in the same general area and it may be that this came to be more important than the corn market as the place name Beast Market has survived to the present day.

A hundred years later the area had become a warren of yards and alleys although the buildings adjacent to the church yard had been removed to make way for Lord Street. A number of nearby inns and beerhouses provided hospitality for visitors to the market and adequate stabling for their horses. These included the Spotted Cow, the Royal Oak, the White Horse, the Boy and Barrel, the Shears and the Bull's Head. The latter, incidentally, may be seen from Northgate although its old name, incised in stone over the entrance, is somewhat eclipsed by "Johnny's" more modern sign.

The Beast Market ceased to be used as such in 1881 when a new cattle market was opened in Great Northern Street. Owing to clearance in recent years the area is once more an open space although one old house remains, the address of which is The Wells. Beast Market. The name Well or Wells is frequently mentioned in Huddersfield's history and it probably goes back to the earliest days when, long before the markets were established here, this was the site of the small town's original water supply.


Beast Market, Huddersfield


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This page was last modified on 12 August 2018 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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