Webpage created: February 16, 2019
Webpage updated: February 20, 2019
When the Cattle Market was put out to tender on Tuesday March 20th 1860 it was said to have room for 300 bullocks, pens for 400 sheep, and space for horses and pigs.
However, as the Borough grew and agricultural land was pushed further and further to the northern and eastern fringes, so Plymouth's Cattle Market lost importance. There were, after all, cattle markets at Saltash, Callington, Tavistock and Plympton. This was highlighted as early as 1889, when a correspondent in the Western Daily Mercury complained: 'The Council first gives the Cattle Market for a building site to the Art School Committee, and drives the Cattle Market in to the lower end of the cattle yard, where the only inlet or outlet is by one opening in Rowe Street for man and beast.' Furthermore, the correspondent stated that the Council had provided a market inspector at an annual salary of £45, plus accommodation and services valued at £20 per year, when the Market only provides them with an income of £40 per annum.
Market day was on Mondays but in January 1918 the Town Clerk complained that the Plymouth Cattle Market 'had been practically made little use of for a number of years' so the day was changed to a Thursday as from January 17th 1918. Seventeen bullocks were brought to Market that day, which the Council thought was encouraging.
Although the Plymouth Cattle Market of Rowe Street, behind the Plymouth Technical College and Art School, continued to exist until the 1950s, it is not known when the last Market was actually held there.
The Roland Levinsky Building of the University of Plymouth is now on the site of both the old Technical College and the Plymouth Cattle Market.