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Old Market Hall

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Title: Old Market Hall  
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Subject: Elizabethan architecture, Grade I listed buildings in Shropshire, Shrewsbury Library, Ditherington Flax Mill, St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury
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Old Market Hall

The Old Market Hall (locally known as the "OMH") is an Elizabethan building situated in the town centre of Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England.

The Old Market Hall, situated in the Square, Shrewsbury
Back of the OMH, facing the Music Hall. The clock tower of the current Market Hall stands in background (left)

Built in 1596, the property is now in the ownership of Shropshire Council. In 2004 the building underwent a £1.7 million restoration, having been previously restored in 1904. The OMH is a scheduled monument.

The Hall, an example of late Tudor influence with primarily Elizabethan architecture, had two storeys: the large upper room was originally used by the Shrewsbury drapers or dealers in cloth to sell Welsh wool and the lower floor was used by farmers to sell their corn. The Old Market Hall was one of the earliest forms of prefabricated buildings; it was erected in less than four months. It bears the Royal Coat of Arms of Queen Elizabeth I, with the date of 1596, and the English lion and the Welsh dragon as supporters. It is thought the OMH was designed by Walter Hancock.

A previous Market House was built on the same site in the 1260s. This building was demolished to make way for the Market Hall.[1]

The OMH is made from Grinshill stone (from the north of Shropshire) and was used by wool merchants as a place to sell their fleeces. The post holes where fleeces were hung can still be seen today.

The top room of the old Market Hall was used as the town's magistrates court until 1995. The lower part of the structure has been used for many purposes, including as an air raid shelter during the Second World War.[2]

Above the main arch on the North side of the OMH there is a statue of a man in armour; he is thought to have been of Richard, Duke of York (died 1460), which would be the only one of him in the whole nation. This sculpture was originally located on the Welsh Bridge and it was moved to its current location on the orders of the town mayor in 1771.

Recently the Market Hall building has been refurbished as an arts venue and café, showcasing films and digital media.[3] Since 2006, the Market Hall has been the venue for the annual Rainbow Film Festival - Shropshire Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.[4]

The Old Market Hall falls under the administration of the Shropshire Council's Arts & Heritage Department.

See also

External links

  • Old Market Hall website
  • Music Hall website
  • BBC article
  • Another BBC article
  • Old images of the Old Market Hall
  • Info on the Square
  • Film Festival - Shropshire Lesbian and Gay Film Festival website


  1. ^ OMH Website (2007-03-01). "OMH". S.A.B.C. 
  2. ^ Secret Shropshire (2007-03-01). "Secret Shropshire". Crime and Punishment. 
  3. ^ Shrewsbury Tourist Information & Visitor Guide (2007-03-01). "Shrewsbury". Virtual Shropshire. 
  4. ^
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