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In 1247, a Royal charter was granted to the Lord of the Manor, for the right to hold a market every week in East Grinstead High Street, and a fair lasting two days on 24 and 25 July. The medieval planners had made the High Street very wide, in order to accommodate the market. In the 1950s,  it transferred to Cantelupe Road, to the area behind the Crown Hotel. 

This market, for livestock and general trading, was started by local estate agents and auctioneers, Turner Rudge and Turner, which owned the land.  The market place was arranged with animal pens at the front and an auction shed to the rear, as can be seen in the photograph above.   

 When the market closed in the 1990s, the land was purchased by East Grinstead Town Council.  They gifted it to the Town Museum, which was then housed in East Court, and in need of a larger and more convenient location.  Heritage Lottery funding was obtained and the purpose-built museum opened in 2006.  It stands on the exact footprint of the auction house which preceded it.

And, of course, you can still see cows in Cantelupe Road, if you know where to look ………





Written by  Loral Bennett

With acknowledgements to  East Grinstead and its Environs, by David Gould,  and East Grinstead Through Time, by Dorothy Hatswell and Simon Kerr

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