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Cambridge's central market, established hundreds of years ago

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Sunday Farmers Market
Hobson's Conduit Fountain
Stripped Canvas Stalls
Views of King's and St Mary's
Cambridge Market is the city’s central and most popular market. Based in Market Square, stall holders have been selling produce here for many hundreds of years. Found in the centre of the city near the Guildhall and the Senate House, the market is open every day of the week and provides a great place to snatch a bargain and soak up the working life of Cambridge.

Market Shoppers
Photo © llamnudds (CC)
The general market from Monday to Saturday sells fresh produce, cut flowers, books, DVD's, clothing and souvenirs. On Sunday the market is also open, but the fruit, vegetable and goods are replaced by crafts, artwork and local farm produce.

The view of the market from the top of St Mary the Great
The history of the square is long and varied. It has seen the burning of Protestant Scholar’s coffins as well as the pre reformation burnings of Luther’s books. The Duke of Northumberland also declared his support for Queen Mary here after a failed uprising in the name of his daughter, Lady Jane Grey.  In 1610, Thomas Hobson built a conduit to carry water here from springs at nearby Great Shelford. This was for public use and a fountain fed by Hobson’s conduit can be found in the centre of the square. Currently there are plans to build a new one.

Students shopping in the Market Place
The Market is surrounded by numerous historical buildings such as the beautiful Great St Mary’s Church, and the stunning King's College Chapel. There also used to be buildings behind the Church, which forced the market hill into an L shape. After a great fire in 1849 however, the opportunity was taken to create the rectangular space now known as Market Square.

The Guildhall
A market cross once also stood in the centre of square. It was used for public announcements and a Mayor who was once insulted by an undergraduate requested the student be nailed to the cross by his ear. To the young student’s relief he managed to avoid the punishment.

Spring flowers for sale on the market
The old strict stall divisions, one for meat, one for vegetables, one for dairy, has now gone and the random distribution of stalls  means a walk through the market is an eclectic journey through all Cambridge has to offer, from food to clothes, souvenirs to educational and literature.
Visitor Information
The market is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm. Sunday farmers market with art, crafts and antiques, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Entrance is FREE.

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