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persons engaged in the business of printing linen; and the garden is converted into a bleaching ground-such are the vicissitudes attending the works of earthly magnificence.
Court House-Market House.
IT appears that a market house was built in Croydon chiefly at the expense of Francis Tirrel in the year 1566. This building having stood more than 200 years, had been long decaying, and owing to the increasing trade of the town, become inadequate to the purpose for which it was intended, was at last pulled down in the Summer of 1807, when a brass plate, taken from one of the girders, exhibited the following inscription:
This Markett Howse was bvylt att
And departed this worlde in Sepbr. 1609.
For his other benefactions, see his epitaph in the Ap
After the unfortunate contest which we have mentioned in a former chapter*, Messrs Jolliffe and Banks, of Merstham, contracted to build the present court-house. It is a spacious convenient structure of stone, erected upon the scite of Francis Tirrell's market-house, and is ornamental to the town. It has a handsome cupola, containing a bell and a clock. The interior of the building consists of two large and convenient courts, with rooms for the judges, sheriffs, grand jury, and officers attendant upon them. The civil causes are tried in the upper Court, where the ladies are accommodated with a gallery. In this part of the building a court of Requests is held every fortnight, for the recovery of debts under the sum of £5.
The crown business is conducted in the court below, in which the corn market is also held every Saturday, except, of course, when his Majesty's commissioners administer justice on that day.
In the judges' room, the local magistrates assemble every market-day, to transact the business of their division.
* See page 59.
This Court House was finished at an enormous expense, exceeding £8000, and was first opened for the reception of the King's judges in the Summer of 1809.
The Butter Market House.
Archbishop Tenison had erected a building of this description for the benefit of the town of Croydon; but after the lapse of more than a hundred years, it fell into a state of decay, and was found to be much too small for the purposes of business, on account of the great increase of population. Consequently, the present Butter Market House was erected in the year 1808, and the expense of it defrayed out of the fund which supplied the money for building the Court House*. The trustees of Waste Lands contracted with Mr. Thomas Blake, that according to a plan and specification, he should erect and complete, for the sum of £1219, a building more spacious and convenient than the former one.
It is a handsome structure, but it seems that external appearance was more consulted than
* See page 55.
the purpose for which the edifice was intended. It is much too small, and we must say that in our opinion a building more adequate to the purpose might have been constructed at the same expense. It is of brick, covered with roman cement; it has a small pediment in front, next to the High-street, having a turret and a bell at the top. The interior consists of two floors; on the lower one of which may be found a plentiful supply of butcher's meat, bacon, cheese, vegetables, and sundry articles; on the upper one, which is nearly level with the houses in the High-street, and supported upon arches ; purchasers may be accommodated with butter, fruit, eggs, fowls, &c. Both markets are under the direction of the trustees of Waste Lands, and thus the inhabitants of Croydon are abundantly supplied with all kinds of provisions.
LITTLE could be said by ancient writers respecting the trade of this place; still however, in former times Croydon was a town of some trade, and the commodities chiefly in request were Oatmeal and Charcoal; for the purchase of these, the markets were regularly attended by the London dealers and Innkeepers. Large quantities of Oatmeal were made here; and the Charcoal was made from the wood upon the adjoining hills, of which we are informed there was great abundance.
But since, by means of good turnpike roads, the Canal, and the Railway, a better communication has been made through Croydon, between the interior of the County and the Metropolis, the country has been opened to trade; and men of industry, perseverance, and property have embarked as merchants in a general course of business. They take off the produce of the Country, such as corn, seeds, hops, &c. and in return, supply both the town and neighbourhood with such articles as are principally