The Town Market, between Hunter and Augusta – Hamilton’s Cork-Town

The Town Market, between Hunter and Augusta
The Town Market, between Hunter and Augusta

The Town Market, between Hunter and Augusta

As a condition for the granting of town status, George Hamilton had to provide for a jail, a court house and a town market. Being practical and self-interested, he donated lands for the court house and the town market neatly in the middle of his Cork-town land holdings.

The Town Market was located one block south of the court house, essentially where the Hunter Street Go Train and Bus station is today. Haymarket Street market the center of the market. Given its location off John Street, the town market had easily access to agricultural products coming from ships unloading at the docks and from farms on top of the mountain.

The Market, located in the heart of Cork-town, provided an ideal location for Irish families to make some extra money. With most of Cork-town still undeveloped, there was lots of opportunities to earn extra monies by selling fruits and vegetables. Also, many families had a cow to provide milk.

For example, in 1839, Darby O’Keef, who was married and had one son and three daughters, rented a house on James Street. Despite living on James Street and renting, he still was able to own a cow.

Peter Cronan, had a bit more money and was able to own a wood frame shanty. He also own a cow, which must have been helpful with a family of three boys and three girls.

By 1839, Town Council had decided to re-locate the farmer’s market to where the current market is today. The old market then evolved into a hay market for horses and the selling of fire wood savaged from the sides of the Mountain and the forests that laid beyond Wellington Street. This market operated until the building of the Hunter Train Station in 1933.

Published by Chris Erskine

Inspired by architecture and landscapes, my art explores our relationship to place, memory and identity. As a mid career artist, my art practice includes: painting, murals, short films, and sound art.

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