Llanidloes – old market hall

History

The market charter was granted to Llanidloes by English king Edward I in 1280. Originally it was held in the center of the town under the open sky. The market hall was built at the beginning of the 17th century, but some of the timber beams come from the mid-sixteenth century, suggesting the earlier construction of the building, or rather the re-use of wood from an older building. The market hall was originally called Booth Hall, which referred to stalls located under and around the building. In the eighteenth century, the north façade of the building was rebuilt using bricks. Until the nineteenth century, the hall was the busy center of Welsh wool trade, and then was occupied by the Working Men’s Institute and the library. At the beginning of the 20th century, fees for storing horses in stables on the ground floor of the building were collected. It was not until 1930 that the museum was located in the hall, and in 1957-1959 the entire building was carefully restored.

Architecture

The old market hall is located in the town center, at the intersection of the four main streets of the town. Originally it was built in a half-timbered frame construction, made of stone and wood. The two-story building had five spans supported by timber pillars. Its southern wall was rebuilt in stone shortly after the creation. On the ground floor there were commercial stands with stalls on cobbled pavements. Above it was a long and well-lit room supported by oak beams, used for lucrative wool trade. Large upstairs doors were once used for loading and unloading. Access to the upper room was provided by doors and stairs in the eastern part. It was a typical commercial building of this period for most towns in central Wales.

Current state

At present, the market hall houses a permanent exhibition about frame buildings, describing their history, construction techniques and adoptions. It also contains a part dealing with the methods of wood dating and the reconstruction of buildings. Today, it is the only surviving market hall in Wales.

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bibliography:
Website coflein.gov.uk, Old Market Hall, Llanidloes.
Website wikipedia.org, Old Market Hall, Llanidloes.