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Standing at the north end of Conway Square the Market House was built in 1770's to a design of Ferdinando Stratford, a Bristol bridge and river engineer.

The ground floor was originally an open space where a market could be held. Originally North Street entered Conway Square through the central archway built in the Market House, which was fitted with gates that could be opened and closed at night. On either side of the central passage were prison cells. The upper storey had an Assembly Room over the west wing with a drawing room to this Assembly Room over the east wing. Not known as the Londonderry Room the drawing room is still used for meetings and exhibitions.

The Market House was also used as a military base during the 1798 Rebellion, (Betsy Gray and The Hearts of Down) housing a regiment of the York Fencibles under the command of Colonel Stapleton.

Many years later the Market House was used as the local Town Hall, but today it is used as an Arts Centre.

The tradition of holding a market in the town has remained to this day. Unlike bygone days when the market was held inside the market house it is now held outside in front of the Market House in Conway Square.

 


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