The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History
The earliest published description of what was then the Dock Market dates from 1812 :
It will be noted that no corn was offered for sale and no cattle either; it was almost entirely produce. Poultry and butter were sold in an extensive loft over the shambles. The reason it was well supplied was no doubt because of the fresh fruit and vegetables brought down from Calstock and other quays on the River Tamar by the market boat.
The stalls from the old shambles were moved from outside the Dockyard Gate to the new site in 1762 and a new building was erected in about 1800. 
On June 12th 1835 the Royal Assent was given to the Devonport Market Act 1835, which authorised the enlargement of the Market and the establishment of a market for corn, grain and other articles. 
Mr James Saint Aubyn, Lord of the Manor, laid the foundation stone of a new market on July 13th 1852 -- the building that still survives today. It was designed in the Italian style by Mr James Piers St Aubyn of London and built by a Mr Clift at a cost of £17,944 7s 7d. The tower at the south end of the butchery was in the style of an Italian campanile and is 124 feet high to the weather-vane. It contained a bell and each face displayed a clock. 
The building had three iron-trussed roofs with iron lattice balconies supported on slender iron columns with palm-leaf capitals. 
In 1940 the ARP used the basement of the Market as a control room but it was damaged in the air raids of April 1941. A sign on a pillar in the basement indicated that it had previously been used as a garage for the Royal Hotel. 
In November 1952 it was occupied only by a Mr Cecil E H Jones and Messrs Arthur E and Frederick G Marquand, the fruiterers. 
The Market was taken inside the Royal Dockyard boundary in 1956 and became a Sale Store for the Principal Supply and Transport Officer (Navy). 
It still survives and is now a scheduled ancient monument.
|© Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK|
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