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Corn Exchange and New Markets

A large conference and banqueting venue on Chesser Avenue in Edinburgh, the Corn Exchange and New Markets lie 2½ miles (4 km) southwest of the city centre. This collection of buildings were developed from 1909 by the City Architect to provide a new home for Edinburgh's agricultural markets and slaughterhouses on the edge of the city and formally opened on 23rd June 1910 by Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847 - 1929). The Corn Exchange is the grandest of the buildings, with an ashlar frontage incorporating a Roman Doric entrance. Almost its equal is the slaughterhouse for St. Cuthbert's Co-operative Association, which were the work of T.P. Marwick and comprises a substantial facade with saucer-domed corner pavilions.

Edinburgh's markets were once located on the High Street, and its closes (for example, Fleshmarket Close), but cattle, horse and grain markets were moved to the Grassmarket by Royal Decree in 1477. Fruit and vegetable sales remained in Market Street and then the Waverley Market until the early 1980s. Slaughterhouses were located to Lochrin / Tollcross in the mid-19th century, but residents of local houses complained of the smell. James Swan's cattle market moved to Chesser from Haymarket in 1909. The Edinburgh Meat Market moved from Fountainbridge in 1921, although the Meat Market Arch remains as a monument on that site. The Corporation Abattoir was also established here and cattle, sheep and pigs were all auctioned and slaughtered on the site.

Have fallen from use, the Grade A-listed Corn Exchange was bought in 1997 and has been refurbished into a large conference hall, which provides a venue for receptions for up to 3000 people, with subsidiary rooms accommodating a further 1350.

Part of the site has been cleared to make way for an Asda superstore, while the remaining market buildings have been redeveloped to form a football, ten-pin bowling and snooker venues.


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