Market Inn at Risk?

The Market Inn (locally known as Ma Shaw’s, after a particularly redoubtable C20th landlady) is a particularly striking quayside pub at Back Quay. It nestles against Truro City Hall and has running within its curtilage a passage which was, until the early 1960s part of Carne’s Ope, which ran from Boscawen Street, along the backs of King Street shops and residences, into a yard at the back of Ma Shaw’s, culminating at Back Quay.

Many people have become increasingly concerned over the past few years at the increasingly dilapidated state of the exterior of The Market Inn. It has continued to trade in a difficult economic period and is well-appointed in the commercial area of the ground floor. However, recently, a notice has appeared declaring ‘Closed for Refurbishment’. This has been displayed for a number of weeks now, and nothing appears to be happening. People feel that a business will close to refurbish – and this is a good time of year to do so – but will get on with the job to be re-open as soon as possible.

The lack of activity is of concern because it is a listed building which should now be considered a ‘Building at Risk’, and people are suspicious that it is now being simply let-go until it becomes unsafe and an eyesore, so that it can be removed to open up a small but, due to its location, lucrative development.

The listing citation says: –

Public house. c1900. Glazed tiles and polychrome terracotta; roof hidden behind parapet.

2 rooms deep with through-passage on the right.

2 storeys. Nearly symmetrical 2-window street front surmounted by stilted triangular pediment with scrolled abutments and ball finials.

Ground floor has central tripartite horned sash, doorways at left and right, panelled doors, panelled tiled dado apron, moulded entablature over. First floor has 4-pane horned sashes, chamfered voussoirs, projecting key block, moulded entablature over with original name panel MARKET INN to centre of frieze flanked by blind arcades.

INTERIOR has been altered in C20 to ground floor. A complete and unaltered public house façade.

The resonances and heritage of this building are not simply architectural. The place is regarded with affection, and is felt to be an important part of the everyday (and night) life of the town.

The citation that it says: ‘Interior has been altered on C20th to ground floor’. This infers that the first floor is original, as are many retained features on the ground floor. A number of elements and details of the complex facade are showing signs of critical deterioration.

There are a number of examples of Dutch Gable style buildings of this ilk (e.g., UNEEKA) of which the façade of the Market Inn is the best.

The Civic Society is concerned about the future of The Market Inn and its contribution to the built and social heritage of Truro, and would ask that CC officers will instigate a heritage safeguarding watch over this building and to seek to ensure as best as possible that any works will be expedited with alacrity, in keeping with the designated status of the building, and that it can be restored to playing its role as both a discrete and popular hostelry and contributor to the diversity and quality of Truro’s ‘street scene’.

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