Market houses in Northern Ireland

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Market houses are a notable feature of many Northern Ireland towns with varying styles of architecture, size and ornamentation making for a most interesting feature of the streetscape. Originally there were three, four or even five bays on the ground floor which were an open arcade. An upper floor was often used as a court house or ballroom. Ornamentation consisted of a cupola, a clock or sometimes a dome or tower. Today most of the market houses in Ireland have been put to use as cultural venues or business premises. Some are still derelict.

Table of market houses locationsEdit

Built (date)
Current use
Image and/or link
Antrim Antrim 1726 Vacant (formerly Court House)
Armagh Armagh 1815 Library and Learning Centre
Aughnacloy Tyrone Shops
Ballycastle Antrim 1830 c. Local Museum
Ballyclare Antrim 18th century ? Demolished 1866, Town Hall built on site
Ballyclare Antrim 19th century (2nd Market House) Shopping Centre
Ballygawley Tyrone 19th century now an accountant's office
Ballymena Antrim 1684 Burnt down 1919, Town Hall built on site in 1924 History of Ballymena, photograph of Market House
Ballymoney Antrim 1755 c. Masonic Hall
Ballynahinch Down 1795 Community centre (recently restored)

History of Ballynahinch Market House

Banbridge Down 1832 Offices
Bangor Down 1810 or 1780 Bank
Belfast (Waring Street) Antrim 1769 Formerly a Bank, now unused Belfast markets history
Belfast (St George's Market) Antrim 1890s Still in use as market
Brookeborough Fermanagh 1837 (before) Vacant ? (Formerly Orange Hall)
Caledon Tyrone 1830 c.
Carrickfergus Antrim 1755 ? Art gallery
Castlewellan Down 1764 c. Library
Clogher Tyrone 1837
Crossgar Down 1829 Boarded up and missing its clock
Cushendall Antrim 1858[1]
Dervock Antrim 1805 Cafe and Hairdressers
Donaghadee Down 1819 c. Shops
Draperstown Londonderry 1839 Ground Floor, Library; 1st Floor, Toddler's Playgroup
Dromara Down 1830 c. Masonic Hall
Dromore Down 18th century Replaced in 1886
Dromore Down 1886
Ederney Fermanagh 1839 c. Rebuilt in 1889 as a town hall 1989 Redeveloped to a Community Centre
Ederney Townhall
Eglington Londonderry 1825 Derelict[2]
Hillsborough Down 1760 c.; 2nd phase c. 1810 Court House and Tourist Information
Hilltown Down 1828 Part of Public House
Irvinestown Fermanagh 1835 (before) Shop
Kilkeel Down 1800 upper floor was used as a courthouse. Demolished in 1952
Killyleagh Down 1788 c. "Drop-in" centre
Lisbellaw Fermanagh 1830 c. Butchers
Lisburn Antrim 18th century ? Irish linen Centre & Museum
Loughgall Armagh 1746
Maghera Londonderry 18th century ? Replaced in 1824
Maghera Londonderry 1824 (2nd Market House) Offices
Maguiresbridge Fermanagh 1835 c. Vacant ?
Markethill Armagh Shop
Middletown Armagh 1829 Offices
Moira Down 1810 c. Offices ?
Moneymore Londonderry 1819 Public House and Vacant
Moneymore Londonderry 1839 Shops and private houses
Newtownards Down 1765 See full article on Market House, Newtownards
Newtownbutler Fermanagh 1830 c.
Portaferry Down 1752 Sub-Office of Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Randalstown Antrim 1831 Library (previously Court House)
Rathfriland Down 1770 c.
Saintfield Down 1802 Orange Hall
Toome Antrim 1830 (before) Bookmaker
Trillick Tyrone 1820 c. Masonic hall

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Museums NI". Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Eglinton Market House". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  • A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Samuel Lewis (1838)
  • Buildings at Risk (various volumes) – Ulster Architectural Heritage Society
  • Saintfield Conservation Area – The Planning Service agency of Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland

Further readingEdit

  • McParland, Edward (2001) Public Architecture in Ireland 1680–1760 Yale University Press ISBN 0-300-09064-1

External linksEdit