The cottages date from 1553 or earlier and were used by forest workers who, until c1600, maintained Rayleigh’s Royal Park where kings, queens and nobility hunted.
It is thought that the market may have originated at the time of the Domesday survey but the earliest date recorded for the market is 1181 in the reign of King Henry II. It was originally held in Rayleigh's wide High Street which may date back to Saxon times.
Between the two great wars the market moved to this location at Hockley Road Car Park, where it continued the great tradition of weekly trading. The licence for the market has recently changed from Rochford District Council to Rayleigh Town Council and the Market has moved to the lagoon (outside Martins) in the High Street. The Market is held every Wednesday morning and in addition on 10 Saturdays during the year for seasonal festive/ farmers/themed/ and continental style markets.
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