“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oxford in Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom

Cornmarket & Market St

Cornmarket & Market St Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, August 8, 2018
1. Cornmarket & Market St Marker
Cornmarket & Market St
Cornmarket is a busy modern shopping street that has been a main road since Saxon times. It was formerly known as Northgate Street after the gate in the city wall which stood beside the Saxon tower of St Michael's Church (c.1020), one of Oxford's oldest buildings. Near this church stood the Bocardo prison, where the Oxford Martyrs were imprisoned in 1555-56 prior to their execution in nearby Broad Street.
Among the modern shops there are timber-framed buildings dating back hundreds of years, including the Golden Cross and the former New Inn on the corner of Ship Street. Ahead of you, Carfax Tower (Quadhrifurcus - a place where four roads meet), is all that remains of the medieval church of St Martin. Market Street, on your left, leads to Oxford's famous 18th century Covered Market.

Ten centuries of trade
The name Cornmarket recalls Oxford's historic role as a local market centre From 1536-1644 there was a roofed building in the middle of the street to protect the corn stocks from the rain. Its lead roof was destroyed in 1644 to make bullets for the Civil War! The corn trade moved
Cornmarket & Market St Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, August 8, 2018
2. Cornmarket & Market St Marker
indoors in 1751 but farmers and dealers continued to gather here until the late 19th century.
For centuries, Cornmarket was busy with local traders and craftsmen who made many of their wares on site and lived upstairs. Boswell's, now Oxford's only independent department store, began like this in the 1730s. Academic halls and inns also flourished in the street, usually behind a fringe of shops which provided rental income. The former New Inn, a three-gabled timber-framed building on the corner of Ship Street, is one example, dating back to c. 1390. Until the early 19th century, Cornmarket was also a seat of local law enforcement. Bnn A market with a difference
Market Street leads to the Covered Market, designed by John Gwynn, the architect of Magdalen Bridge. It began as part of an improvement scheme to clear Oxford's streets of the "untidy, mess and unsavoury stalls" that proliferated around Carfax.
The market opened for butchers on 1st November 1773 and other food traders moved in during 1774. The market was rebuilt in the 19th century with high timbered roofs, and the entrance in the three-gabled stone wall you can see from here bears a date-stone 1897. Today the market is not only a paradise for foodies, it's also the place to browse the independent shops for something 'special' or relax with a drink and watch the world go by. Bnn The Common Scavenger
Oxford was once full of street markets, often surrounded by rotting rubbish. It was the job of the 'common scavenger' to clean up.
The scavenger came daily to pile up bones, meat scraps and other waste into his cart and wheel them away.
Street sales of meat and fish were later banned. The scavenger still rode his cart around the streets collecting household waste.

( photo captions )
- Butchers' stalls at the Covered Market
- An etching of the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, burnt at the stake as a heretic in 1556. The site in nearby Broad Street is marked by an area cobbled with stones forming a simple cross.
- The Roebuck Hotel Cornmarket Street. The hotel was demolished in 1924 to make way for a Woolworth's store, and the site is now occupied by Boots.
Location. 51° 45.167′ N, 1° 15.487′ W. Marker is in Oxford, England, in Oxfordshire. Marker is at the intersection of Cornmarket Street and Market Street, on the left when traveling south on Cornmarket Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oxford, England 3EY, UK, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Crown (within shouting distance of this marker); Oxfordshire Boer War Memorial (about 180 meters away, measured in a direct line); Great Jewry (about 180 meters away); This Stone (about 180 meters away); George Claridge Druce (about 180 meters away); The High Street (about 240 meters away); Oxfordshire County Council (about 240 meters away); Oxford Martyr’s Memorial (approx. 0.3 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oxford.
Categories. Industry & Commerce
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Credits. This page was last revised on March 8, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 8, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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