Named after local builder, developer and entrepreneur Richard Grainger and opened in October 1835
The Grainger Market was built to replace an open air butchers market, which lay between Mosley Street and High Bridge and is one of the few remaining covered buildings still trading as a market in the UK.
Inspired and built by Richard Grainger, John Clayton and architect John Dobson, the Grainger Market revolutionised shopping in its day, standing as the biggest indoor market in Europe.
At the time of its opening the Grainger Market was described by the Evening Chronicle as being ‘the most beautiful in the world’.
The market still holds many of its original features, including the Weigh House, which was a legal requirement for all markets at the time to check the weight of purchases. More recently it has been used to accurately weigh customers instead. The worlds oldest and smallest Marks and Spencer store, which opened in 1896, still trades.
Although the market is generally in its original condition and is Grade 1 listed, the Grainger Arcade lost its timber roof in a fire.
The present steel girded roof, reminiscent of a railway station, dates from 1901.
An extraordinary piece of architecture, the Grainger Market has survived fires and continues to contribute to the commercial life of the city.