Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Newark Buttermarket

click photo to enlarge
It's widely assumed that multi-purpose buildings are a product of the twentieth century and later, with earlier times erecting single purpose structures. Though there is something in this belief, it's not the whole truth, as the subject of today's photograph - Newark Town Hall - shows.

In 1774-6 John Carr of York built Newark Town Hall overlooking the market square. It is a Palladian design of seven bays. The ground floor has smooth rustication pierced by doors and windows with rounded arches. The centre is a three-bay loggia that retains its original iron grilles. Above is a giant, tetrastyle Doric portico with balustrade, triangular pediment and pedestals with a lion and a unicorn. Inside the building is a large assembly hall with Corinthian columns, a council chamber, and other rooms. However, it isn't the main building that concerns us here, but rather the additional function that the town built into the ground floor.

Behind the three central entrances is a market hall, now called the Buttermarket. It is stone flagged, has two rows of free standing columns and further "engaged" columns against the exterior walls. Originally it would have been a place where butter, other dairy produce, meat, etc was sold from stalls. Such Buttermarkets are common throughout Britain. They are usually small, columned, open structures (the earlier structures) or larger, more elaborate well-lit halls, and usually date from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. At Newark a later, two-storey, iron-columned and glazed market hall extends from the back of the more modest Georgian beginnings, and is in fact Newark's only covered shopping area. I first came across this charming feature last year. On my most recent visit I tried to secure a photograph of the old, dark, stone-columned space. This is the best of my attempts. It shows the central aisle through the columns that acts as a thoroughfare, to either side of which are shops and stalls.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 85mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 800
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On