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Market Hall, Monmouth facts for kids

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The Market Hall
Nelson Museum Monmouth.jpg
The Market Hall, now the home of Monmouth Museum
General information
Type Market Hall
Address Priory Street
Town or city Monmouth
Country Wales
Coordinates 51°48′47″N 2°42′56″W / 51.813028°N 2.715444°W / 51.813028; -2.715444Coordinates: 51°48′47″N 2°42′56″W / 51.813028°N 2.715444°W / 51.813028; -2.715444
Current tenants Monmouth Museum
Opened 1840 (1840)
Renovated 1968–69
Design and construction
Architect George Vaughan Maddox
Designations Grade II listed
Renovating team
Architect Donald Insall Associates

The Market Hall, in Priory Street, Monmouth, Wales, is an early Victorian building by the prolific Monmouth architect George Vaughan Maddox. It was constructed in the years 1837–39 as the centrepiece of a redevelopment of part of Monmouth town centre. After being severely damaged by fire in 1963, it was partly rebuilt and is now the home of Monmouth Museum (formerly the Nelson Museum). At the rear of the building are original slaughterhouses, called The Shambles, opening onto the River Monnow. The building is Grade II listed as at 27 June 1952, and it is one of 24 buildings on the Monmouth Heritage Trail. The Shambles slaughterhouses are separately listed as Grade II*.

Fire and later uses

In March 1963, the entire central part of the Market Hall building was destroyed by a fire which started in the newspaper's paper store, on the first floor. The Borough Council, on the casting vote of Monmouth's mayor, decided that the building should be restored rather than demolished to provide space for car parking, although lack of funds meant that the upper storey and clock tower could not be replaced. A new flat roof for the single storey building, together with a Modernist metal and glass façade at the rear, overlooking the Monnow, were provided in 1968–69 by architects Donald Insall Associates.

Six years after the fire the restored Market Hall opened to house the Nelson Museum and the post office. It was intended that the library would also move in but that remained at the Shire Hall. Apart from the museum—now the Monmouth Museum—and post office, the remaining parts of the building have at various times housed the county court, a labour exchange, Monmouthshire County Council offices, and a café.

The slaughterhouses, which are visible from the railings behind the southern end of the Market Hall, remain physically intact but are disused, dilapidated, and increasingly vandalised. Many of the original slaughterhouse fittings remain in place. Various schemes have been put forward to re-use the slaughterhouses, without success. A feasibility project to investigate the site's potential was proposed by the County Council in 2009.

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