Old Market Hall

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 United Kingdom
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The Old Market Hall (in recent years branded as the "OMH") is an Elizabethan building situated in the town centre of Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building.


A market hall has stood on the site since the 1260s. The structure immediately prior to the current structure was erected in 1567. The current building, which is thought to have been designed by Walter Hancock in the Classical Renaissance style, was completed in 1597. The Royal Coat of Arms of Queen Elizabeth I, with the date of 1596, and the English lion and the Welsh dragon as supporters, were carved into the stone above the main arch.In the 17th century the large upper room was originally used by the Shrewsbury Drapers Company to sell Welsh cloth and the lower floor was used by farmers to sell their corn.High up above the main arch there is a statue of a man in armour; it is thought to be Richard, Duke of York (died 1460) and is believed to be the only statue of him in the country. This sculpture was originally located on the Welsh Bridge and it was moved to its current location on the orders of the town mayor in 1771.The lower part of the structure has been used for many purposes, including as an air raid shelter during the Second World War while the top room of the old Market Hall was used as the town's magistrates court until 1995.The building underwent a major restoration, to the designs of Arrol & Snell, to convert it into an arts venue and café, showcasing films and digital media. The restoration was completed at a cost of £1.7 million and the building re-opened in 2004.
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