The Magic of Market Square, Cambridge

The Magic of Market Square, Cambridge

The Magic of Market Square, Cambridge

Cambridge’s Market Square has been a bustling centre for the city’s inhabitants to stock up on delicious food and drink since the middle ages. Even during the Saxon era, Cambridge had a market on Market Hill (the official name of Market Square).

Market Square, as it is affectionately known by locals, is one of the town’s most famous landmarks and it is the perfect place to spend a lazy morning or afternoon. Read on to find out why you should head to Market Square on your first day off in Cambridge.

With the market sitting on the site for hundreds of years, as you can expect, it has witnessed some incredible moments in its history. The two most notable events are:


Peasants’ Revolt of 1381

The Peasants’ Revolt, or Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, or the Great Rebellion, was a huge uprising in 1381 that swept across England. It was due to socio-economic and political tensions caused by the Black Death of the 1340s, higher taxes caused by England’s war with France during the Hundred Years’ War and instability within the local leadership of London.

On the 16th June 1381, a mob led by the Mayor of Cambridge destroyed the ledgers at the university, which were then held in Market Square. A rally cry of “Away with the learning of clerks, away with it!” rang up through the mob which was led into a dance by Margery Starre.


Hobson’s Conduit

Hobson’s Conduit, or Hobson’s Brook, is a “watercourse that was built from 1610 to 1614 by Thomas Hobson and others to bring fresh water into the city of Cambridge, England from the springs at Nine Wells.”

In Cambridge’s Market Square was a branch bringing fresh water into the Market fountain for the inhabitants and businesses of the market. A fire in 1849 led to the market being redeveloped. The fountain was replaced in 1855 with a Gothic Revival gabled fountain but this was demolished in 1953 and the fountain has never been restored.

Aside from Market Square’s history making it a site worthy of a visit during your time in Cambridge, the wide array of goods on offer are well worth checking out. According to the Cambridge City Council website, at Market Square on Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

stalls at the general market sell a wide range of goods. These include books, music, films, clothes, jewellery, fresh food, second-hand bikes, plants, mobile phones and accessories, and much more.”

Whilst you are in Market Square, it is well-worth visiting King’s College Chapel, which is in the vicinity. A mere 4 minute walk away from the market, King’s College is a stunning building that is at number 5 on the 168 things to do in Cambridge list on Tripadvisor.

 Keep your eyes peeled for more blogs about Cambridge’s attractions, must visit places and everything else that makes the stunning city one of the best places to live. We are the short and medium-term accommodation experts. We know exactly what it is that you are looking for in a new home when you are relocated for work or study.

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Images: Pajor Pawel /, Mariia Kamenska /