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Horndon History Hunt

The Woolmarket

The Woolmarket.jpg

Built in the 16th century, The Woolmarket is mentioned in The Court Rolls of 1596 and was originally held for markets selling products such as wool, woolen products, wheat and other grains. When not in use as a market it was used for other purposes including Court Sessions.

In 1688, following the collapse of the weaving industry, "le Market House" was converted into a cottage, and in 1734 was converted into "three tenamants" in trust for use of widows and other poor persons. By 1883 the building had become so dilapidated so as to become hardly tenable, leading to efforts by the Vicar, Churchwarden and Overseers to raise a fund to restore the building, retaining a part for use as accommodation for poor and elderly folk, with the remaining space used as a reading room and for other parochial purposes until the middle of the 1960s.


At this time the last of the elderly folk were rehoused by the Council with the building closed and the windows boarded up, and following restoration works in 1969-70 removal of Victorian brickwork exposed the original timber columns upon which the upper storey is supported, giving the building the look you see today.

Words adapted from: Tinworth, W.M., Saffron Cider and Honey: A Town Trail of Horndon on the Hill, Horndon on the Hill Society (1985)

Photos provided by residents of Horndon on the Hill. To see full quality photos visit

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