Market Place

The photograph above, shown with the generous permission of Chetham's Library, shows the market stalls arranged along both sides of Market Place and the roof of the Old Wellington peeking out from behind the building on the corner.  The Old Wellington was the first building in this row of medieval buildings.  Ironically they survived the Manchester Blitz in WWII and the IRA bombing.  The Old Wellington has been moved twice and now stands not far away in Exchange Square.

The OS map below, dated 1844, shows Market Place running away from Market Street and creating a rather wide area which the map indicates is the location of a "flower, fruit, vegetable and poultry market".  I have also seen the street referred to as Victoria Market.  Beyond the Old Wellington Inn, in an area referred to then as The Shambles, stood a fish market.

The print below shows the view looking towards Market Street with The Exchange on the right.

The photograph below shows Victoria Street.  The building numbered 2 is Sinclair's Oyster Bar at the far end of the Shambles row.  The building numbered 1 must be the one that housed the fish market.

A review of the "Goad Maps Insurance Plan of the City of Manchester" shows Market Place in 1888 in much greater detail.  Below is a sketch map I made based on that Goad Map.

Above the Old Wellington Inn there is a Fishing Tackle shop which features in old postcards of the building.  Where Market Place narrows and becomes Old Mill Gate, you can see a Seed Merchant shop which is shown in the photograph below.  You can also see that the fish market has been replaced by a "Cotton Waste Exchange" and a series of shops.  There is no shortage of public houses or restaurants in the area.
  The Old Fish Market went through a number of changes throughout its history.  Below you see it as the Coal Exchange.

The image below shows the southern corner of Market Place looking along Market Street.  The Royal Exchange is on the right of the photograph.  Today's Marks and Spencer store occupies the site of the block housing, among others, Beaty Bros Tailors.

In 1935 Market Place is still there across from the Royal Exchange. (The map below is shown with the generous permission of Eric Rowland the creator of the genealogy web site - Artus Genealogy Resources.)

Below is a view of Market Place during the pre WWII period.

During the bombing in WWII large areas of the city centre were destroyed or so badly damaged that demolition followed soon after.  So, fast forward now to 1953 and you can see the site in this RAF aerial photograph (shown with the permission of English Heritage). The building that stood on the corner of Market Street and Market Place is still there, as is the Shambles directly behind it.  However, Beaty Bros Tailors has gone, as have most of the buildings that once stood on that block.  For a few years after the war Manchester had a large number of outdoor car parks until the post-war redevelopment began.