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1896 – St. George’s Market, Belfast

Architect: J.C. Bretland

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Recently restored, the markets contain a working fish market and a bric-a-brac market of stalls and traders. Both markets were designed by J.C. Bretland and completed in 1896. In comparison to the equivalent markets in Dublin, the St. George’s Market exterior seems lighter and less permanent. Unlike Dublin, there are no sculptural clues to what lies within the classical screen walls except for what can be glimpsed through the many windows and doorways which pierce it. It is a stern municipal trading place, a place of commerce not frivolity. Like Dublin, the building carries the municipal arms but here they are set into the triumphal arches that surround the entrances whereas at Dublin, the arms are proudly supported by freestanding sculptures.

The interior is very bright and airy as seen in the above photograph, with arrays of light cast iron columns supporting a top lit roof. The building can be best appreciated after around 4 in the afternoon when the traders start to close up and the fish market is being washed down after the day’s busines