Swindon's Oldest Covered Market

Welcome to the new home of the Swindon Tented Market. We recently reaquired the website and now it's back!

Bigger, better, brighter and always upto date.

Currently there are some indoor and out door pitches available to compliment our long term traders. Contact Nik Hayward on the contact or more info link.

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The history of the Market

1892 - The Market is established

About 1800 the meat market was apparently very small, only attended by one butcher who was the sole source of fresh meat in the town. In 1848 poultry and butter were sold weekly and cheese monthly. In New Swindon facilities for the sale of country produce were first provided in a covered market attached to the Mechanics' Institute.

In 1892 this was replaced by a new market off Commercial Road, provided by the local market board. The triangular building provided 17 shops, while the centre was an open space for country dealers. If you look over the top center of the Market, you can see the Rollaston Hotel, now the Rollaston Arms Public House.

The picture above is looking up Commercial road with Farnsby Street to the left and Milton Road behind you. (Todays Road names are used, but as you see from the Map circa. 1894, part of Commercial Road was renamed to Milton road).

The victorians,  The edwardians

Well, they new a good thing and left the market pretty much as it was until the Market was roofed over in 1903 and then in 1906 was acquired by the corporation.

It stayed almost the same the same when the Edwardian era came to an end in 1910 and continued as it was until the 1950's.

1950s & 60s - before it was demolished

There were minor alterations, the main market entance above was demolished in this period and "modernised" but still keeping the dove cot type spire from the original market hall.

 In 1965 it was used mainly for the sale of fruit and vegetables, and small items of hardware. Fridays and Saturdays were the principal market days.

1970s - the end of an era

The Victorian market building on the Commercial Road site was demolished in 1976 as part of the complete reconstruction of the town’s shopping centre, and the market relocated.

We have not been able to trace where it was relocated to or any photo's. Please contact us if you have any information to fill in this gap.

1994 to present day - the dawn of modern construction

In 1991, Thamesdown Borough Council decided to move the market it back to its original location, and Urban Space Management won a competition to find a development partner to design, build and manage the new market. That partner was Architen Landrell.

An innovative and dynamic design was an essential part of the brief, and USM’s response was a steel-framed fabric–roofed tented structure that has become a landmark for miles around. The building was completed in six months, and its five peaks represent the fairground that was always part of market activity in country towns. The forty units comprise a wide variety of traders, from the staple to the exotic, and there are additional stalls and a performance space in the pedestrianised area outside the building

The building has remained very much the same today as it was when it was built in '94.