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The next century became a time of changes to the Square and a time of modification. In 1861, the Market Hall was demolished after failed restoration plans. Lack of money and resources, and the closure of the Market had left the Hall in a state of disrepair. It had served Rochford as a covered market place, a prison, a shelter for livestock, a wool store and barbers shop. Nevertheless, after being deemed structurally dangerous, the Hall was brought to the ground. Another Square antiquity to go was the Town Pump. Erected in 1820, the pump distributed water to the inhabitants of Rochford, but as the village grew into a town and the industrial revolution domesticated water supply, the pump was redundant. It was removed and a fountain put in its place in 1902.
Due to some of the archives being in image format and not easily readable when reduced to fit on this page, there is more to read about and see on the desktop website version.
But this was all to change, as the redundant Market trading area was to see a new arrival of activity. On the eve of World War One, the market was opened for farm stock on a Thursday, dating back to the Charter cited by Morant perhaps? This period was a prosperous one for the market, surviving nearly half a century until 1959.
The Livestock Market, Market Square 1920
Essex Records Office Ref: D/DS 213/427
Further to the industrial revolution forcing the removal of the Market pump, so the 20th century’s technological revolution forced the removal of the horse and cart, and moreover, the introduction of the affordable car. Sadly, the Market Square became a car park. Where once travellers stood to board a coach to London, now stood a bus stop for shoppers to covey them to the town centre, to Southend.
Bus Stop and Car Park, Market Square 1960 Essex Records Office Ref: D/DS 213/41
Rochford History -