The iron trusses and glass roof and the interior masonry arches of Newcastle upon Tyne’s Grainger Market, which has been attributed John Dobson. 1835. Richard Grainger was the builder and developer of central Newcastle, while Dobson was one of his most important architects. Grainger Market was planned as the
commercial hub of [Richard] Grainger's scheme for his new commercial centre.... The new building fills a large area between four of the newly planned streets. The internal arrangements are very satisfactory: four long top-lit clerestory alleys from N to S, crossed by four arched passages from E to W. Much of the original detail, including original shopfronts with fish-scale cast-iron grilles above, still survives. At the W side, a very impressive larger hall, the Vegetable Market, with a roof of glass and latticed-steel arches which replaces the timber and glass one ... which burnt down in 1901. The external walls — forty-six bays on the long sides, thirty-four on the short ones — are very plain and articulated, like the rest of Grainger's scheme, with a classical order. In this case, Corinthian pilasters flank the entrance bays and the end pavilions. [Grundy et al. 455]
When it was opened, the market was considered to be "the most beautiful in the world" (qtd. in "History of the Grainger Market"), and it is still one of the largest market halls in England. On the other hand, it contains the world's smallest Marks and Spencer's store, opened in 1895, "the last surviving example of the [Penny Bazaar] shops that gave birth to a legend in retailing" ("Visit Newcastle: Markets"). The Weigh House is the original facility used by retailers and customers to check the weight of their goods, but it now seems to be used mainly for checking body weight! The notice above the 10p. charge sign says, "Please do not bring food or drink into the Weigh House."
Left: The Entrance. Right: Looking toward clock. [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Left: Marks . Right: The Weigh House interior. [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Left: The exterior of the Weigh House. Right: The Northern Optical Company. [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Photograph, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Grundy et al., eds. The Buildings of England: Northumberland. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992, p. 455.
Last modified 21 May 2015