The Butter Market, Hay-on-Wye

The Butter Market, Hay-on-Wye

hay_on_wye_butter_marketThis building was erected in 1833 as a covered market place, on the site of an established market. The nearby Cheese Market was built shortly afterwards.

The Butter Market’s frontage, complete with Classical columns, is apparently meant to call to mind an ancient temple. Produce was sold here by farmers’ wives and other vendors on Thursdays – market day in Hay. The photo on the left was taken in the 1930s.

In its first decades the building was known as Enoch’s Market-house, as it was built by local businessman William Enoch. You can see his name above the High Town entrance. In 1867 Sir Joseph Bailey bought the Butter Market. As Lord of the Manor of Hay, he already had a right to charge tolls on markets and fairs in Hay.

hay_on_wye_butter_market_with_wallsSoon after the Second World War, side walls with windows were erected at the Butter Market (visible in the photo on the left). The enclosed interior was used as an egg packing station, and later as a chemist’s storeroom.

The Hay Warren Trustees – who had previously saved the riverside area known as The Warren – reopened the sides and restored the building in 1985, winning a Prince of Wales Award for their work. The building reverted to being a market place on Thursdays and is also open to stallholders and charities on most Saturdays and holiday weekends.

With thanks to Eric and Tim Pugh

Postcode: HR3 5AF    View Location Map

Website of Hay Warren Trust