THIS week in Looking Back we look back to the history of one of the town’s markets – the former fish market – which enjoyed its final days 40 years ago.

This picture from the 1970s shows shoppers looking for fresh fish and cheese which was among the items on sale.

Originally built as an open shed adjoining a covered hall, it was designed by Stevens as part of an early regeneration of the area in the mid-1850s.

Warrington Guardian:

It is one of the structures to feature in a book by the town’s heritage boss, Janice Hayes, called Warrington in 50 Buildings.

By the 1970s, the structure was obscured by ugly side panelling which protected the traders and shoppers alike from poor weather.

Warrington Guardian: Warrington Market butchers v fishmongers cricket match at Thames Board

The market buildings were bulldozed in the late 1970s to make way for the Golden Square with the traditional surrounds kept and remodelled.


The old market in the 1970s

The old market in the 1970s


Now restored to its former glory as the focal point of the Old Market Place it is used by Golden Square to house many festivals and entertainment.

It has housed Warrington’s Christmas Markets and has been the the venue for the Christmas Lights switch-on.

Warrington Guardian:

It also staged Warrington Music Festival in the past and now is used for activities as diverse as comedy nights and live TV screenings of important football matches.

The market is near to the granite sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Designed by Edwin Russell and featuring characters from Daresbury author Lewis Carroll, it was commissioned by Legal and General – the property giant which invested in the development of Golden Square.

The statue was unveiled by Prince Charles and Princess Diana in May 1984.

Golden Square’s name was taken from a historic map of the area which referred to a property on the site once being owned by a Mr Goulden. Not from the Golden Gates as is commonly thought.

Janice Hayes’ book Warrington in 50 Buildings is out in bookshops now.