Days Gone By - The final days of the cattle markets in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 16:54 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:16 26 April 2016

Who was unloading pigs in Ipswich in January 1985. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant)

Who was unloading pigs in Ipswich in January 1985. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant)


Centuries of history came to an end in Ipswich in January 1985, when the last livestock market was held in the town, writes David Kindred.

In 1812 the traditional sale of cattle on the Cornhill was moved to a new site near the top of Silent Street, close to a provisions market, which had opened around two years earlier. The site of the provisions market is now under the Buttermarket Shopping Centre.

In 1856 the cattle market moved from the site, still called the Old Cattle Market, to a new site on the town marshes, which is now between Portman Road and Princes Street. It is now a car park and home to the Sir Bobby Robson statue.

The sale yard, on the other site of Princes Street, closed when the Greyfriars development was built in the mid 1960s.

In this week’s Days Gone By I feature photographs from the last day of the livestock market and some from earlier decades.

Livestock would often escape and wander the streets until they were recaptured.

Our photo gallery also includes a Victorian view of the Ipswich Cattle Market taken in the 1890s.

Princes Street is in the foreground. The buildings, top left, were in Portman Road. The spire, of what is now the Ipswich International Church at Barrack Corner and the tower of St Matthew’s Street, is in the distant background.

What memories of the cattle markets, close to the Ipswich town centre, do you have?

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