Chester market in 15 fascinating historic archive photos

For centuries, Chester Market Hall played a central role in the business and cultural life of the city.

A regular market had been present in Chester since at least 1139.

Farmers and country folk would drive their livestock and carry their goods into the town and many set up their stalls in what has long been known as Market Square, but now more commonly Town Hall Square.

For years Chester Market has been providing the people of Chester with produce ranging from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, clothing and haberdashery, to books, pictures and general household articles.

However in 1967 the beautiful building was demolished to make way for a new market on Princess Street, and the Forum Shopping Centre.

To this day, Cestrians of a certain age still lament the loss of Chester’s dearly-missed Victorian market hall, an imposing Baroque-style building next to the Town Hall.

This move displeased a great many local people, who did not want the Victorian public architecture to be demolished. But demolished it was, and the old building was replaced by a modern complex of shops and council offices.

Next year the market will move for a second time.

In January, Cheshire West and Chester Council revealed their plans for the transformation of the market which will open within the Northgate Development next year.

The vision for the new market is to be a ‘modern traditional market’ to build on the rejuvenation of the existing market and amplify the experience with more traders, more variety and more space to enjoy it all.

With these plans in mind we decided to revisit our archives at the changing landscape of Chester’s market.

Scroll down for old pictures of Chester Market Hall in the late 1960s and when it operated next to the town hall.

Thanks to Cheshire Record Office for providing us with some of the images and information.

Cheshire Live – Cheshire