From its humble beginnings as a farmers’ market trading in livestock and farm produce, Cardiff Market has evolved over the centuries to suit the changing needs of traders and consumers both locally and further afield.
A centre of food excellence, with an enormous variety of other products on offer, this city landmark has a fascinating story to tell.
Read how the changes have affected the day-to-day life of the city, find out who was responsible for the design and construction of the building and learn more about the role the market has played in the development of Cardiff’s retail centre.
Originally the site of Cardiff gaol, the gallows were located on the site of the current St. Mary Street entrance, where Dic Penderyn was hanged on 13 August 1831.
The market was designed by the Borough Surveyor, William Harpur, and opened in May 1891. A farmers’ market is known to have existed at the site since the 18th century.
The market consists of two shopping levels, a ground floor and a balcony level which wraps around the market exterior walls on the interior. Entrances to the market are located at St. Mary Street, Trinity Street and from an alleyway off Church Street.
A large H. Samuel clock has hung above the High Street entrance since 1910. The current clock dates from 1963 (by Smith of Derby) and was restored at a cost of £25,000 in 2011.
Since 1975 the building has been listed and is currently Grade II.
Traders in the market offer a variety of fresh produce, cooked food, various delicacies and more durable goods.
A trader of note is Ashton’s the fishmongers, who claim to have traded in the market since 1866 at the Trinity Street entrance selling a wide range of fresh seafood. In 2012 they hit the headlines when they sold meat from a 20 foot long 550 lb thresher shark.
Another longstanding trader is The Market Deli, a small family run business trading for over 100 years, located at the same stall since 1928.