A Market House is a covered space historically used as a marketplace to exchange goods and services such as provisions or livestock, sometimes combined with spaces for public or civic functions on the upper floors and often with a jail or lockup in the cellar or basement floor. Market houses usually included an arcade to protect traders and their goods from the elements while maintaining private access to most of the building.
After this style of market building developed in British market towns, it spread to colonial territories of Great Britain, including Ireland and New England in America. A market house is typically located on a market square, quay or wharf in a central accessible area for the ease of transit of goods and people.
- Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009. Market, n., Hall 1.
- Brown, Abram English (1901). Faneuil Hall and Faneuil Hall Market: Or, Peter Faneuil and His Gift. Lee & Shepard.