Laid out in the late 18th
Century following the rerouting of the Great North Road through the
town, the square is today the centre of this vibrant market town.
Outside the Town Hall, which itself has been subject to a major recent
renovation project, is the Broad Stone. This stone was the base of an
old parish boundary cross, the Dominie Cross, moved here from a nearby
location in the 1800's, possibly from the site of the Victorian Street
by the same name to make way for housing. It is believed that in the
plague years of 1558 and 1664 coins for trading were placed in vinegar
in the hollow of the stone to prevent disease from spreading.
1868 Town Hall seen today replaced a Georgian Hall, built in
1755 and financed by the Duke of Newcastle that was located on
the North East of the square where the roundabout is now. It was
demolished to improve traffic congestion. The new hall includes
corn, butter and meat markets under the grand chambers that are
used by the Council and a splendid ballroom that is available
for public hire. The 'Old Bank' next door has a fine terracotta
frontage with the old town coat of arms. Another coat of arms is
believed to be the Foljambe family, a wealthy local family who
started the bank.
in Market Square
West side of the square are four private residences, two either side of
the archway late C18.
through the nearby opening to the right that leads to the White Hart
Yard, this old coaching inn is said to date from 1730 when Retford was a
major stop over on the Great North Road, the main route from London to
the North East. Many coaches would have stopped including the Royal Mail
London to Edinburgh. The watchmakers shop contains the stalls for the
horses and the coachman's mounting block can be seen in the yard.
centre of the square is the war memorial, marked with distances to the
battle sites of the 1st world war battles.