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.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

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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