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High St. The Market

In 1638, King Charles I granted Redbourn the right to hold a weekly market. This was to take place on Tuesday.

A market house was built on the site of the Woolpack Inn. This building lay where the extension to Priory House now stands. We can trace it back to around 1635, and included a malt house. Innkeepers and copyholders included John Ellis, Thomas Symons, John Simpson, Susanne Morris (1652) Barnabus Hurst (1659) Catherine Hurst (1660) wife of James Hannell, who issued his own trade tokens owing to a shortage of small silver.

By 1707, the building had disappeared as William Grimston, Earl of Verulam gave the plot to Redbourn so that a market house could be built. It lay just to the north of the Priory building. It stood on the site, being used as a market hall, parish lockup, garage for the village pump (fire engine). It was sold in 1855 and demolished.

The market hall was a covered area, an open market took place in the area where Fish Street enters the High Street. This area on the left hand side of the street as you look up the High Street is significantly larger than the opposite side of the road. Redbourn’s market was rather lopsided.

No records have been found as to when it ceased or photos of it.

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