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rochford market Rochford, Essex UK

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from 17th century

In 1707, the Market Hall is erected in the square.

The Market House taken from ‘The Markets and Fairs of Rayleigh and Rochford’, Rochford District Council

It is possible that this stood on a site previously occupied by a medieval predecessor.  Excavations have recovered oyster, mussel and cockle shells. According to the 16th century writer, Norden, the best oysters in the country came from the area, and doubtless were brought to Rochford Market as trade.  This building was the residence of the management of the Market, overlooking the Square below.   The market must have closed some time between the early 1700’s and 1750’s, to say for how long and why is indeterminate as there is no available substantiation of dates.

In the mid 18th century, James Harriot of Broomhills and founder of the Thames Marine Police revived the market after its decline.   Philip Benton, in his book ‘The History of Rochford Hundred’ records a reverent visitor to the Market;

“ … we gather principally from records that one Vicar S -., who dabbled in farming, and made a granary of the parsonage, used to drive his pigs to Rochford Market, dressed in a blue frock coat, red comforter and velveteen breeches, and to stop at the ‘Three Ashes’ to drink on his way.”