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The history of Winster Market House

A black and white line drawing of Winster Market House, Derbyshire
Winster Market House | © National Trust Images

Discover the history of Winster Market House, the first place in Derbyshire to be acquired by the National Trust, at a cost of £50. Read on to learn about the building of the house and its ownership through the years.

The construction of Winster Market House

There is no evidence to show a precise date for the construction of the Market House, but it is generally believed to have been built during the sixteenth century.

The house itself is two storeys high and rests upon a massive stone base. It follows the traditional pattern of such buildings, originally having the whole of the ground floor open with the upper storey supported by five arches. The date at which these arches were filled in is not known, but it was probably during the decline of the market, between 1795 and 1855. The upper chamber is mainly built from brick, in a pleasing contrast to the stone arches and facings.

In the days when they were in use, the stocks were close by, as was the busy Angel Inn.

The house's owners through time

In 1717, the market (though with no record of the Market House) and its dues were the property of Thomas Eyre of Row Tor, in nearby Birchover. The Market House passed from the Eyres to the Massarene family by female descent, where it remained until at least the early nineteenth century.

Acquisition by the National Trust

After the lead mines closed, markets were less important and the Market House became neglected. By the end of the nineteenth century it was almost derelict and the upper storey had to be removed for safety in 1904.

In 1906 the building was bought from Mr Joseph Greatorex for the National Trust, largely with funds raised by Mrs Childers Thompson.

Under the direction of Mr Henry Rye of Bakewell, architect for the Duke of Rutland, local labour was employed to reconstruct the building. The plans were drawn up by Mr Weir, the National Trust’s architect at the time. Wherever possible the old materials were used, and the original lines of the building were followed.

Winster Market House was one of the earliest buildings to be taken into the care of the then recently formed National Trust, and the first property to be acquired in the Peak District.

The Market House is part of the remains that show evidence of the original thriving and prosperous market town. Local history tells of annual cattle markets held before the First World War, when sheep were herded along Pump Lane, and cattle and horses were sold in front of the Miner’s Standard public house.

A black and white line drawing of Winster Market House, Derbyshire

Discover more at Winster Market House

Find out when Winster Market House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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