Nottingham's Old Market Square

Photo:View of the Old Market Square & Council House, Nottingham 1980

View of the Old Market Square & Council House, Nottingham 1980

The heart of the City

From medieval times until the 1920s a Saturday market was held in the centre of Nottingham. Adjacent streets, which still exist today – such as The Poultry, Cheapside , Long Row and Beastmarket Hill - recall the area’s use as a market place.

The layout of Nottingham’s Old Market Square has changed little since the mid 18th Century, though most of the buildings seen today date from later periods.  

Today, the Square is dominated at its eastern end by the Council House, designed by the architect Cecil Howitt and completed in 1929. Its predecessor, the 18th Century New Exchange, stood on the same site from 1724 to 1926 when it was demolished to make way for the Council House with its well-known local meeting place - “By the lions”.  

Almost every important public celebration in Nottingham has been marked in the Market Square – from military parades through royal visits and jubilees to sporting achievements and open air concerts. Until 1927 the famous Goose Fair was held in the Market Square.  

In 2007, Princess Anne officially opened a redeveloped Market Square – opinions are still divided over the changes, but Nottingham’s Old Market Square remains at the heart of the City.

This page was added by H W on 11/11/2013.

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