Market Cross, Malmesbury


Market Cross, Malmesbury
c.1910
Publisher: Shurey’s Publications (1903-1927)
On back: This beautiful Series of Fine Art Post Cards is supplied free exclusively by Shurey’s Publications. The Publications are obtainable throughout Great Britain, the Colonies and Foreign Countries.”

In the centre of the town stands the Market Cross. Market crosses were used to mark a market square in market towns, since permission to hold markets was within the gift of the monarch. They arose out of the traditions of early medieval ‘Insular art’, that is the distinctive art forms that developed in the British Isles following the departure of the Romans. The tradition of elaborately carved free-standing crosses goes back to the 7th century.
Cotswold Journeys

The market cross stands in the centre of the town, at the north end of the High Street. It was built c.1490, possibly using limestone salvaged from the recently ruined part of Malmesbury Abbey, which then began just across the market square from the cross. An elaborately carved octagonal structure of the Perpendicular Period, it is recognised as one of the best preserved of its kind in England, and was made a Grade I listed building in 1949. A carving in relief of the Crucifixion and figures of several saints have survived the Reformation on the open lantern, although the lower niches for figures are now empty. Inside there is a lierne vaulted roof with carved bosses, springing from a central column with stone seating around it. There is a low wall or bench across all the outside arches except two. The building is over 40 ft. high, and today is nicknamed “the Birdcage”, because of its appearance, and still serves to shelter market traders by day and as a meeting point at night.

It was described by John Leland, who visited Malmesbury in 1542, as follows: Malmesbyri hath a good quik {lively} market kept every Saturday. There is a right fair and costeley peace of worke in the market place made all of stone and curiusly voultid for poore market folkes to stande dry when rayne cummith. Ther be 8 great pillers and 8 open arches: and the work is 8 square: one great piller in the midle berith up the voulte. The men of the toun made this peace of work in hominum memoria {within living memory}.
Wikipedia

Cattle Market, Norwich, England


Castle and Cattle Market, Norwich
c.1910
Publisher: Jarrold & Sons

Google Street View (approximate)

A row of shops stood on the road that led up from the market place to the castle gates. These shops sold farm supplies, and after the cattle market closed they were occupied by a pet shop and a travel agent. The livestock markets were moved from various other streets in the city to the ‘Castle Ditches’ in 1738; before then pigs for example had been sold at ‘Hog Hill’ (now Timber Hill) and horses in Tombland.
joemasonspage

…the livestock market south of St Peter Mancroft was becoming overwhelmingly crowded on market days. Eventually part of the eastern side of the castle mound was levelled, and in 1738 the livestock sales were moved to this new site. The old hay market remained on the old site for more than a century, until it was also moved to the new livestock market site in the early 19th century. The new livestock market was one of the last significant livestock markets in a British city centre, and developed a reputation as “the cruellest in the country
Wikipedia.