St. Nicholas Market Bristol

The huge wooden doors of St. Nicholas market in Bristol #thursday doors

In England non essential shops and indoor markets have been shut since the middle of March due to the corona virus pandemic and this has  given me the chance to notice doors that would normally be open including these heavy wooden doors with the impressive lion door handles. These days   the corn exchange in Corn Street is home to a bustling indoor market selling everything from old books to oriental fabrics and is very popular with locals and tourists.

The history of the Corn Exchange

Lion door handles on the doors of the Corn Exchange
The lion door handles

The exchange was built between 1741 -1743 based on the designs of John Wood the elder who was also responsible for much of Georgian Bath. A corn market was held in the exchange every Tuesday and Thursday during the nineteenth century.

In the 1960’s it became a popular concert venue hosting groups such as the Rolling Stones, the yard birds and cream.

The Nails

Four nail shaped tables outside the market
The Nails

Four nail shaped tables stand outside the market and are supposed to be where merchants could conduct their business outside. The edges are raised to prevent coins falling off. It is said to be the origin of the phrase paying on the nail and the oldest is said to date from Tudor times.

Another interesting feature is the market clock.

The clock in St. Nicholas Market has two minute hands.
The clock St. Nicholas market

It has two minute hands to show the time in London (GMT) and the time in Bristol. It was not until the arrival of the railways that Bristol adopted London time.

This post will be added to Thursday doors. Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Author: Anne Fraser

Hi, I am Anne, I am a retired nurse from Bristol in South West England. I am married with five grown up children, four boys and a girl , a grandson and a cat. I like History, travel and reading. I hope to connect with other people with similar interests.

12 thoughts on “St. Nicholas Market Bristol”

  1. I didn’t know that about ‘paying on the nail’ and I’ve almost certainly walked right past them on numerous occasions and not noticed them so I’ll keep an eye out for them the next time I go there – which may not be for a while until things get back to normal!

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