THESE photographs capture the history of Colchester Market which made a return to the High Street three years ago.

And give us a chance to look back at its rich history.

It was almost full circle for the site which first saw bargains exchanging hands in Roman times when the High Street was the central street.

Around 900 years later, Saxon Colchester arose from a market opposite the present town hall.

In Norman Colchester, a royal charter confirmed the town’s right to hold a market – the legal basis for the market now.

Medieval ‘shops’ were more like stalls, open to the air; ‘shop’ is short for workshop, where craftsmen sold on to the street goods they made in their room behind.

The cattle market, too noisy and smelly for the high street, moved to Middleborough where it remained until 1976 but market stalls stayed in the High Street until the 1960s when a boom in the ownership of cars pushed a move to Culver Street car park.

The introduction of the one-way system and plan to create further shopping at Culver Street saw it moved again to outside the old public library.

In 1981 it moved back to the High Street, amid doubts about the stalls and the effect on shops which, in 1989, saw it decamped again to Vineyard Street.


A move back to the High Street was short-lived in 1993 and it then disappeared before being successfully restored in April 2015.

These images show it in the High Street and in the 1960s in Culver Street after a break of more than two decades Colchester Market made a return to the High Street two years ago.


* Do you have memories of the market’s early days ? or images you would like to share ? please contact us on 01206 508186.