Plaques for Market Place

Shoppers are getting the chance to ponder on how Ilkeston came to have a couple of market places.

Two plaques will be fixed to pub walls on Friday pointing out the history of the sites near St Mary’s Parish Church.

The oldest is now known as Lower Market Place and surrounds the toilet block under the churchyard wall.

It dates from 1252 and is probably one of the oldest in the UK. It was the town’s only market place until the 19th century.

Then buildings were demolished from what is now known as the Market Place and that came into use.

Ilkeston and District Local History Society have arranged for one plaque to go on the wall of the Sir John Warren pub and the other on the Observatory.

Steve Flinders said: “The obvious places to begin were the two market places, the oldest of which stands outside the Observatory.

“This was established when the Market Charter was granted to the people of Ilkeston by King Henry III.

“This was the main market place until around 1840 when the land which stands in front of St.Mary’s Church was cleared to make way for the larger market place.

“Until then this area was occupied by a farm and a few cottages and actually formed part of what was known as the Hallcroft, an ancient part of the town on which would have stood the medieval manor house.”