The right to hold a market in Ross was granted in the 12th century by King Stephen. This stimulated the economy and encouraged trade with the surrounding countryside. There are records that indicate that Ross supported a variety of tradesmen, shops, market stalls, mills and iron forges during the reign of Edward 1.
The current Market Hall was built between 1650 and 1654, replacing an older probably wooden building, and is now used as the Ross Heritage Centre. Regular markets are still held under and in front of the Market House.
The Market House seen from Gloucester Road during the 2008 Ross Town Carnival (Click for a larger image)
House of the "Man of Ross"1 (Click for a larger image)
The Market House is one of the most famous views of Ross-on-Wye and crops up in most guidebooks that mention Ross. This is a typical example showing the House of the "Man of Ross" (John Kyrle) with the Market House to the right-hand side.
It is believed that the upper doorway, that can be seen on the north side, was the original entrance that was accessed via an external wooden staircase. It has been suggested that there is evidence that the internal staircase was added after 1690 due to its similarity with others in and around the town and from findings whilst renovation was carried out.2
The clock tower was a later addition and dates from the 18th Century although it may well have replaced an earlier structure removed due to problems sealing it with the roof.2
The market house from Broad Street (Click for a larger image)
Views of the market house from Gloucester Road (Click for a larger image)
View out from under the market house down Broad Street (Click for a larger image)
View from the market house balcony down Broad Street (Click for a larger image)
Plaque to Charles II on the market house (Click for a larger image)
The corner of the Market House (Click for a larger image)
The black mark up the corner of the Market House is because there was a chimney built up the side that has since been removed.