Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Moor Market.

The Moor Market, Sheffield
Photo © Copyright Peter Barr and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Castle Market may have breathed its last but, to take its place, we have the brand new Moor Market which manages to be diametrically opposed to its predecessor both geographically and conceptually, being at the polar opposite end of the town from the traditional markets area - and being what's basically a large shed as opposed to the insane labyrinth of Castle Market.

To be honest, being tight-fisted, I've not yet bought anything there but have had a couple of walks around. What most strikes me is that, despite its greater simplicity, it seems harder to navigate than Castle Market. Castle Market may have seemed convoluted but, thanks to the stairwells and the junction with the neighbouring meat and fish market, you mostly understood where you were relative to the overall building. The Moor Market's lack of such landmarks makes it easier to gain a sense of disorientation.

Design-wise, the most impressive thing about the building is its high-profile arched entrance that contrasts dramatically with the near-secret entrance to Castle Market.

The least impressive thing design-wise is probably the blank, unadorned wall facing Cumberland Street. It does seem odd that the side that faces where all the buses stop should be so anonymous and present no noticeable point of access. On the other hand, the side that faces the neighbouring car park has two entrances. Clearly, when they were designing it, the council were far more concerned about convenience for drivers than for bus passengers. It seems some people's fears about the new markets being part of an obsessive council drive towards gentrification of the city may not be totally unfounded.

Overall, despite those reservations, I think I have to conclude that the lighter, less claustrophobic feel and the lack of internal staircases, make it a better place to shop than Castle Market. But the real good news for me is the building has a large Iceland and Poundland built into the side of it which is perfect for a man of my quality.

According to The Sheffield Telegraph, footfall on the Moor is up 30% thanks to the new building's opening. Hopefully this bodes well for the future development plans of the rest of the Moor.

Sadly, how footfall is holding up on Waingate since Castle Market closed, has yet to be reported.


Jane said...

Lovely website. I am new to Sheffield and love finding out about a city's local history.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Jane. :)

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