markets & market towns
East of England
Everyone says this, but Stockport is not your average run of the mill market. In 2023 our market was crowned Best Small Indoor Market 2023 and Stockport Town Centre was named in the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live.
Stockport’s market charter was granted by Prince Edward, the Earl of Chester in September 1260. However our market, built on the site of a Castle, actually dates back to the Saxons who named it Stokeport (meaning ‘the market place at the hamlet’). We are surrounded by residential properties, eateries and bars, with spacious event areas on all four sides and together we are simply called Market Place. By 1814 Stockport Market was thriving and known for ‘grander quantities of corn, oatmeal, cheese etc than any other market in the County’. Back in the day we had all the mod cons, including dungeons, stocks, whipping post and pillory – we still have the dungeons, though everything else was removed as traders felt they impeded normal market trading.
Our home today is a stunning, Grade 2 listed ‘Glass Umbrella’ which was constructed of timber, iron and glass in 1861. The strength of feeling which the folk of Stockport harbour for their market is extraordinary; but understandable, as our residents consider Market Place their ‘back garden’.
We don’t have a shiny new market hall with all the latest design features, but we do have a beautiful, iconic Victorian building. If we’re honest, the paintwork might be a little tired in places, it can be cold in winter and hot in summer...but we promise you won’t notice that as you stand in awe before the Victorian’s unapologetic devotion to ornament, and flourish; very much in evidence in the intricate iron and glass architecture. We are renowned for our passion, with over 30 fiercely independent businesses, an eclectic mix of traditional and artisanal traders. We offer everything from freshly baked Polish goods, fresh produce, meat, fish, cheese and sweeties to original artwork, custom gifts, to traditional trades such as jewellery, clothing, mobile phone repair, collectables, bedding and too much to mention here.
Regular monthly outdoor events, such as the Makers Market (2nd Saturday) and Foodie Friday (last Friday), alongside large events such as Comic Con, SK Food Festival and Christmas Markets attract visitors from far and wide. The increased pedestrianisations creating a more attractive and welcoming environment for a new generation of market shopper.
Stunning as it is, we aren’t just a beautiful market hall with some stalls. We are surrounded by the best independent businesses Stockport has to offer. From amazing eateries in Market Place to the quirky bohemian stores on Underbanks. We’ve got architecture galore; from Tudor pubs to post war brutalism and Edwardian baroque to 30’s Art Deco. Our significant industrial heritage is very much a part of our town and our art, music and cultural scene is buzzing. You can learn more in the Stockport Museum (opposite the Market Hall), the Hatworks, WWII bunkers and Dungeons, as well as the plethora of art studios in Market Place and Underbanks. We will respect our past because it has shaped our market and town centre
We don’t just serve our community, we ARE our community, in a neighbourhood to be proud of. Our market and town are about people. People who come here to be part of something special, whether it’s just for one day or to belong somewhere. People who’s lives, memories and hearts are intrinsically entwined with our market past, present and future. We are just at the beginning of our story and much remains to be done, but today we are laying the foundations for a glorious future. Why not pay us a visit and learn more?
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