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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1205740



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Bridgwater

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 24-Mar-1950

Date of most recent amendment: 31-Jan-1994

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 373860

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



ST2937SE CORNHILL 736-1/10/46 (West side) 24/03/50 Nos.30-34 (Consecutive) Corn Exchange/Market House and attached railings (Formerly Listed as: CORNHILL (West side) Nos.30-34 (Consecutive)) (Formerly Listed as: CORNHILL (West side) Corn Exchange/Market House)


Includes: Nos.1-11 HIGH STREET. Corn exchange and market house. 1834. By John Bowen. Corn Exchange of 1875 by Charles Knowles. Limestone ashlar with slate roofs and lead dome. Tall single-storey market hall to the centre, flanked by lower 2-storey shops to the sides; Corn Exchange fronting market hall set to rear of a spectacular shallow-domed circular portico to the building is the focal point of Cornhill. A tall glazed hexagonal domed lantern with a large finial surmounts the dome which stands on a drum with six recessed panels, those to the front contain raised olive wreaths. A larger circular parapet wall over a double colonnade has recessed panels and an entablature supported by Ionic columns to the front with Tuscan columns behind. The paired plinths are set in a circle of 4 steps. To the sides the entablature, with a blocking course replacing the parapet, continues around the building. The colonnade is flanked by recessed panels with Tuscan pilasters and blind flat-arched windows in moulded eared architraves which taper towards the tops. The stepped-forward bays to the outer ends have 3 steps to the centre of the blocking course and paired plinths to Tuscan antae and Ionic columns in antis which flank C20 shop fronts. The returns in High Street and Cornhill have the central bays, entrances to the market hall, stepped forward; they are pedimented over Tuscan antae and Ionic columns in antis on double plinths. The bay to left of the right return has 3 steps to centre of blocking course and paired Tuscan pilasters flanking a plate-glass shop-front with a 3-light horizontal window above. Between this and the centre are 5 unequal bays with gauged flat stone arches articulated by Tuscan pilasters; C20 doors and plate-glass windows below 3-light plate-glass horizontal fixed windows which fill the upper part of each bay. 5 similar unequal bays to right of the central entrance have an additional storey; this has 6 plate-glass sash windows in moulded eared and shouldered architraves below a cornice and blocking course. Window to right is between paired Tuscan pilasters. To right of the central entrance pediment are the faintly painted words POST OFFICE. The left return in Cornhill is similar though single storey with a similar pedimented entrance in the left projecting bay. INTERIOR: the Corn Exchange immediately behind the rotunda is square with a glazed hipped roof above horizontal-planked coving and rich late C19 ornament to front and back walls. The central entrances have Byzantine-style semicircular gauged brick arches each with a slightly pointed arch to the extrados; a large keystone; heavy cable moulding in a concave moulding to the intrados; Town Arms to tympanum of the rear arch and angels to tympanum over the main entrance. Flanking the entrances are triple concave ashlar niches in similar style with floral capitals to stone columns; the central, slightly larger niches have windows, some now blocked. The market to the rear has a late C19 iron-framed roof over original open-air area; range to rear of market hall retains early C19 king-post roof with later clerestorey. The undercroft of the rotunda, now public toilets, has brick vaulting. SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: cast-iron railings to the sides of the colonnade flank the entrances to the undercroft. Tall cast-iron double gates to the market hall entrances have long/short railings, arrow head to short ones, fleur-de-lys to long ones, a diamond-pattern frieze to middle and a scroll frieze below the top rail. History: The buildings occupy an island which had been developed as shambles in the mid C14. John Bowen was an amateur architect who worked as an India merchant (Pevsner). A very fine example of a market building of this scale and architectural quality, of major townscape value in the centre of Bridgwater. The town markets for corn, livestock and cheese were by the 1790s the biggest in Somerset. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset: London: 1958-: 98; Kelly's Directory: Somerset: London: 1910-: 138; VCH: Somerset: London: 1992-: 206).

Listing NGR: ST2981937044

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Dunning, R W, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, (1992), 206
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, (1958), 98
'Kellys Directory' in Somerset, (1910), 138

National Grid Reference: ST 29816 37032


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End of official listing