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History of Triangle Market

This is a chronological account of Lowestoft's Triangle Market, which has been in existence for over 700 years. 

1208 King John issued Charter to Great Yarmouth creating Great Yarmouth as a free Burgh and other useful things, but were “...not being allowed to receive any custom of goods bought or sold in the market in Lothingland at any time of the year.” (Gillingwater's History of Lowestoft A reprint: with a chapter of more recent events by AE Murton 1897)

1251 Kessingland Market Charter granted in the reign of Henry 111

1308 Lowestoft Market Charter granted in the reign of Edward 11 (from whom? I've been unable to find out)

1350 An Act made it compulsory to mark the beginning and ending of a market by the ringing of a bell ( Markets and Market Places of Great Britain P36)

1367 “...been a market as well as two annual fairs in the town at least from the time of Henry IV” (Lowestoft East Coast Port Robert Maltster 1982 p11)

1373 Great Yarmouth win charter giving them a lot of jurisdiction over Lowestoft – a big win for GY – see 1208 above (Lowestoft Past and Present – Ian Robb/Lawrence Monkhouse P5) Markets had to be 6.6 miles apart – essentially a day – walk to, sell/buy, walk back. (Markets and Market Places of Great Britain p13) Charters set days and times of markets. (ibid p 14)

1399-1401 Changes in what can be traded and where... “nspeximus and confirmation of an agreement between the bailiffs, burgesses and commonalty of Great Yarmouth and the men of Lowestoft, that the men of Lowestoft may come to Kirkley Rood and freely buy and sell herrings and other victuals and merchandise, except merchandise of Ireland, from and to any merchants, except those fishers of Holland and Seeland who are hosted to the said bailiffs, burgesses and commonalty of Great Yarmouth, ain which case for every last of fresh herrings they shall pay 1/2 mark to the hosts of Great Yarmouth, provided that the herrings be sold by clear day and not by night. [CPR 1399-1401, 428]” https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/borough-market-privileges/1…

1500's Sunday markets common until the 14th Century, when many were outlawed ( Markets and Market Places of Great Britain p35)

1660 Parliament removed Great Yarmouth's power, by re-interpreting the meaning of 'leuca' (mile) (ibid)

1689 The Butter Cross in Bungay has a 'whipping post' ( Markets and Market Places of Great Britain p44)

1698 Lowestoft Market moved from just south of Duke's Head Street to near Town Hall(?) (Excursions in the County of Suffolk 1806)

1698 Town Hall was 'Town Hall', a place of worship, with chapel above Lowestoft Past and Present – Ian Robb/Lawrence Monkhouse P13

1698 approx “Townhouse with a corncross on the groundfloor and above it the Town Chamber and adjourning chapel be built” Lowestoft Past and Present – Ian Robb/Lawrence Monkhouse P13

1703 Lowestoft Market to 'where it is now' according to Excursions in the County of Suffolk 1806. The statements 1703 and 1853 only make sense if Lowestoft Market moved back to near Town Hall? A 'Shambles' was a meat market ( Markets and Market Places of Great Britain p24) (I've heard said there was an abattoir in the Triangle area in the 30's and 40's – needs checking) Stocks and/or a Pillory were often found in the market place (Markets and Market Places of Great Britain p43), but no record of one in Lowestoft has been found.

1768 “In the year 1768 the north door of the Cross was closed up, and that part of the Cross was converted into a vestry for the chapel. In the year 1698, when this building was first erected, and the front part of it reserved for the purposes of a Market Cross, the market was removed from the place now called the Old Market, to that part of the High street contiguous to the building; but the spot being afterwards found an inconvenient situation for the market to be held in, it was resolved by the parish, in 1703, to take down an inn—called the White Horse—which stood on the ground where the market is now kept—the whole front was parallel with that of the adjoining houses—and re-build it, further backwards; which resolution being carried into execution, the market was removed from the Cross to the spot of ground where that inn formerly stood, and has continued there ever since. It is now the sign of the Queen’s Head, from Queen Anne, in whose reign it was re-built.” (Gillingwater's History of Lowestoft A reprint: with a chapter of more recent events by AE Murton 1897) True historians might be able to sort this out....

1835 Municipal Corporations Act “...local government...replacing the self-appointed cliques hitherto in charge in many towns” (p 85 Markets and Market Places of Britain Anna Hallett 2009)

1850 Tuttles moved from 66 High Street to 58 High Street ( p 64 Jack Rose's Changing Lowestoft)

1853 Lowestoft Market approximately where Orbis land is now at east end of Compass Street (Lowestoft Past and Present by Ian Robb/Monkhouse p 22)

1860 New Town Hall with four faces to the clock on the Italianate tower (Lowestoft Past and Present by Ian Robb/Monkhouse p 14)

1883 New Lowestoft Trawl Market and Herring and Mackerel Markets opened

1897 Swing Bridge installed

1890's Photo – High Street, looking north from just south of Geneva House (p47 Lowestoft Antiquity by M R White)

1890's Lowestoft Market re-located to Triangle area, after widening and setting back of Town Hall)

1897 Fish Market, Royal Plain, Commercial Road, Belvedere Road flooded

1897 “Lowestoft is bounded on the north by Gunton, on the east, by the German Ocean, on the south by Kirkley, and on the west by Oulton.The soil next the east is light and sandy, but in the adjacent fields it is considerably heavier, being in many places intermixed with clay. There is a market here on Wednesdays, and also two fairs are held in this town, one on the twelfth of May, the other on the tenth of October “ (Gillingwater's History of Lowestoft A reprint: with a chapter of more recent events by AE Murton 1897)

1898 Lowestoft Market relocated to Triangle area (p49 Jack Rose's Changing Lowestoft)

1898 74 pubs and 16 wine and spirit merchants

1900 Lowestoft the fourth biggest fishing port in GB

1903 Picture of Triangle Market – not many stalls (Changing Lowestoft, Memories and Bygones Malcolm R White p9) 1905 Beach Village flooded (story and photo Old Lowestoft by Elizabeth and Jason Freeman 2009)

1916 Beach Village flooded ( Lowestoft Past and Present – Lawrence Monkhouse P11)

1923 (?) Mobb's North Beach Sea Wall built (Changing Lowestoft, Memories and Bygones Malcolm R White p9)

1925 Beach Village flooded (but see above) ( Lowestoft Past and Present – Lawrence Monkhouse P11)

1930's “Fruiterers and butchers stayed open until midnight on Saturdays around the Triangle area, people could buy 'left-overs' cheaply” (Lowestoft Through the Twentieth Century p 21 Peter Clements)

1936 Borough Council declared Beach Village a “redevelopment area”.

1946 Mobb's Sea Defences North Beach breached and broken (this is what you can see on the seaward side now)

1950 New Sea Wall completed behind the remains of the previous wall

1953 3rd Jan - Huge flood on the east coast. Sea wall holds fast, but Beach Village flooded, hastening its already likely demise.

1950's “By the 1950's, Lowestoft had broken away from its traditional dependence on the fishing industry.” Ibid p 67

1963 Rolling Stones appear (Royal Hotel, says Clements; others say it was at South Pier).

1960's Triangle Market “By the 1960's there were also two permanent fruit and vegetable stalls” p43 (Postwar Lowestoft Ian Robb 2007)

1962 Triangle Market – Widening of “...St Peter's Street junction which reduced the size of the market. This resulted in fewer stalls and those that remained had to move to a different position” (p59 Photo Jack Rose's Changing Lowestoft)

1965 Third Crossing is in the Local Development Map

1972 Bascule Bridge opened, replacing swing bridge (cost £700,000)

1980's Triangle Market open three days a week “Thursdays was given over to charity and bric-a-brac” (p43 Postwar Lowestoft Ian Robb 2007)

1998 New market threatens Triangle Market (Lowestoft Journal 18 April 1988)

1988 Nov The opening of Britten Centre Market “...only served to deplete the Triangle Market in the High Street. This market had been established in 1898, only temporarily, on a site that had been bought for the new town hall” (p49 Jack Rose's Changing Lowestoft)

1989 Britten Centre market NOT moving onto Clapham Road car park (Lowestoft Journal 15/9/1989)

1993 69 pubs (population at least 20,000 more than 1898)

1993 Birds Eye Walls currently employing over 1000 people

1990's Lowestoft Market still struggling along in Triangle (Lowestoft Past and Present by Ian Robb p 30/31 incl photos)

2003 (?) Lowestoft Triangle Market revived

2020 Lowestoft Triangle Market revived (dates taken from Lowestoft Through the Twentieth Century by Peter Clements unless otherwise noted)  

2022 Market irregularly occurs.

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