Rochford Market

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

A brief history

By Mave Sipple

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.
Add a comment about this page

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.