The Market Hill, bordered with the old school and clock at one end; shops, pub, restaurants and bowling alley down its flanks; and the High Street at the other end, is considered the centre of Brandon. It was once the site for the town stocks, and after WW1 was considered as a home for the town’s war memorial. In 1816 it was the scene of a ‘Bread’ riot and in 1919 residents gathered there again to riot down the High Street, both events making national news.
A brief outline of the modern history of the Market Hill was written by Bernard Lingwood, and reproduced in his ‘Brandon Notes’ in 1978 …
“This was held on the Market Hill on Friday originally, but by the beginning of the 19th century it was almost defunct. In 1834 the day was changed to Thursday and was held at the Great Eastern Hotel, but it did not survive into this century. (1900s)
In 1948 a cheap-jack opened a stall on the Market Hill and was followed by a fishmonger, and by 1950 a flourishing market was established on Thursdays with a smaller edition on Saturdays. This resurrection was largely due to the Polish housewives from the London Road Camp who possessed the preference of European peasantry for stall shopping, in strong measure.”