Rochford Market

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Rochford Market' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Rochford Market' page

A brief history

By Mave Sipple

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Rochford was granted a market in 1264 also a fair to be held on Easter Tuesday and the Wednesday after 29th September. The market closed down in  the 18th century.

John Harriett who lived at Broomfield's realised the nearest market was 20 miles away and with the help of local farmers and traders managed to reopen the one in Rochford Square. The market was a great success, packed with stalls, and cattle pens. There were acrobats, dancing bears, musicians and players. Market day was crowded,  with people from all the nearby villages.

A market Hall was built in 1707. The upper floor was used for weighing wool, the ground floor had a compartment for pigs, a barber cum dentist and a small room called ’the cage'  for drunks to spend the night sobering up.

The market has been closed several times and reopened again,  It was reopened during the First War for the sale of livestock.  Many people remember that as boys they went off to round up escapees. Bollards were placed in the alleyway to stop the cows from running down North Street. Pigeons' were sent on the train and the station would be piled up with bird boxes.

The market thrived until 1857.

During the 70s the square became a depressing sight many buildings being demolished.  A group of shopkeepers  decided to try and reopen the market. This caused great controversy.  The Chamber of trade was undecided. Finally Mr Reg Janes, manager of Reeves Timber Merchants organised a group of shop owners and they finally managed to reopen the market, which is still thriving and brings people from the nearby villages for shopping and socializing.

This page was added by Mave Sipple on 06/04/2016.
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I am adding this, which was sent to us by email, from Miles (Colin) Edgar. Its about a painting he has of Rochford Square (Bob Stephen).

In 1982, 6 members of my family died, including Mother. I spent part of Uncle Ted Egar's legacy on the oil painting of Rochford Square.

I saw it as a 'Where is this? ' in Country Life a Newbury estate agents office.

I chased it and bought it for £350.  In its original frame.  I can't see a signature.

I know it was right by the lamp post near the passage past Mrs Heath's sweet shop to the Post Office and Miss Trott's sweet shop in North Street.

It has Delph House in it, also Fance the butchers, Rome and Bishop.

Key dating factors are the 1820 pump where the horse trough was later [I remember it] which was erected 1820 and the market hall which came down in 1860.  Also 6 people two dogs and a gig.

I had been wondering how to get its knowledge out and had been thinking of getting it re-photographed and sending copies to shop keepers.  I did not know you existed.

Anne, my wife, and I were in the Square in February after we tidied our Edgar family grave and weeded Alice and [Charles] Cadge's grave in All Saints Sutton churchyard.  We vsited the creek, Roach estuary to you, after and it was fabulous blue at hightide with yellow saltings showing, the water blue to Potton Island and a couple of small flocks of teal or mallard shooting up and a massive Essex/ Constable sky over.

By Bob Stephen
On 29/03/2020

In reply to Caroline Copping's comment:

I have pictures of Auctioneers selling in Rochford.

Thomas William Offin, Richard Hilliard and W Speakman.

In 1954 Mr Speakman came out of retirement to auction the first Beast sold in Rochford after rationing ended. It was the property of my maternal Grandfather Jack Manning, from Blounts Farm Hockley

By Graham Lewis
On 03/10/2019

Market did not close down in the mid 1800's because my grandfather was an auctioneer of livestock there in the 1930's

By caroline copping
On 16/03/2019

In your "Lucky Dip" feature you mention a man called "Shumper" Brown, I used to play with Shumper as we were both living in the same road and attended the same school, I would be very keen to contact Shumper, so could anyone help me in finding him, an e-mail address would be a great help.

Regards ,

Brian Affleck.

By Brian Affleck
On 12/05/2018
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