Stockport Market can trace its history back to the Middle Ages.
The site has housed a market since the late Anglo-Saxon period. With the granting of a formal charter in 1260, it has been in continuous use as a market ever since - just imagine the type of goods that have passed through here!
The Covered Market Hall is a Grade II listed building dating from 1861 - back then it was known as the 'glass umbrella'. It is located in the town’s historic core, designated as the Market/Underbanks conservation area.
Nearby is Stockport’s oldest dwelling, Staircase House, offering the opportunity to travel from 1460-1940 through sixteen accessible room sets.
On special event days, you can even take a peek inside Stockport’s original dungeon.
Restoring the Market Hall was a restoration project carried out by Stockport Council. Below is an extract from their own website:
The main aim of the project was to restore the historic building. At the same time maintaining its original function and character whilst vastly improving the facilities offered for the public and traders alike. In terms of the wider area, this project was the final component in an extensive programme of works carried out by the Conservation Team to regenerate the historic market place.
The project team secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of just under £1 million in 2006. This was used to implement the scheme. Work was split into two phases to enable the market to continue trading from January to November 2008.
The Hall had fallen into a poor state of repair and was overcrowded with small stalls inadequate for trader's needs. Internally, it had lost much of its original Victorian character.
The project included the restoration and repair of the external envelope of the historic Hall and its interior. Careful restoration and redecoration of the structure has rejuvenated the original design and creates a striking interior.
New market stalls were designed taking precedent from original historic stalls that had been restored. The layout improves circulation throughout and creates long views through the market, highlighting the restored architectural features.
A new community events space was created at one end of the Hall. Comprehensive disabled facilities were incorporated to enable accessibility and encourage greater by traders, customers and the public.
The scheme was delivered successfully by the conservation team in partnership with key stakeholders. This included the Stockport Market traders liaising closely with local representatives of the National Market Traders Federation.
Work completed in November 2008. The Hall was officially opened on the 28th November 2008 by The Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Pam King.
The project has won a number of awards:
Regeneration Award under the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors North West Awards 2010,
Conservation Award under Stockport’s Conservation & Design Awards 2009
Commendations for Best Indoor Market (NABMA 2009)
Regeneration Project (Government Business Awards 2009)
Heritage Project (NW Royal Town Planners Institute 2009)
The project was also a finalist for the Heritage Award under the Royal Town Planners Institute 2009 national awards.