Thursday Markets at the Butter Cross

Thursdays from 9am

The Butter Cross at the Market Place in the centre of town is home to the market. This market dates from the 14th Century when Richard II gave permission for the weekly market to be held here on Thursdays.

The Butter Cross area is owned by the Town Trust who give the following history of the market:

Originally, the market centre consisted of trader’s stalls clustered around a central stone cross, but by Tudor times, many of the traders had started to build permanent shops and dwellings around the market area, and the cross was replaced with a roofed building to provide shelter in bad weather.

In 1688, much of Bungay was destroyed or damaged by the Great Fire. The Market Cross was one of the first buildings to be replaced in order to re-establish trade as quickly as possible. Wooden steps inside the domed structure were provided where traders could sit and display their produce of butter, eggs, and cheeses, so it became known as the Butter Cross.

In 1754 a lead statue of Justice was placed on the top of the dome, as a symbol not only of fair trade in the market, but also because criminals awaiting court trials were temporarily imprisoned in a dungeon beneath the Cross, or in a cage above it. Other miscreants were put in the stocks on market day or received a public flogging. The wrist irons to which they were attached can still be seen on one of the pillars.

In 1871, the Town Reeve and Feoffees decided to purchase the rights and dues of the market from the Duke of Norfolk. They paid the sum of £40 for the privilege, and the Town Trust has managed the markets, and paid for the maintenance and repair of the Butter Cross ever since.

The Market adds bustle and colour to the street scene on Thursdays, and long may this ancient tradition continue.

Summer Artisans’ Markets at the Butter Cross

Saturdays 10am – 3pm

Usually on the last Saturday of the month in the warmer months, local artisans cram onto the Butter Cross with all sorts of wares, from homemade cakes to local honey, to handmade scarves and jewellery and refurbished furniture.

Country Market

Thursday mornings 9-10:30am

This is held in the new Community Centre, around 10 mins walk from the town centre next to the Health Centre (there is also a car park here for Community Centre users, accessed from Hillside Road West).

Here local growers and producers can sell their homemade cakes and savouries, preserves, cut flowers and plants, seasonal fruit and vegetables, and fresh local meat as well as handicrafts.

Very popular with local folk, the Country Market is the place to go for a real taste of Bungay.

For regular updates please like the Facebook group

Bungay Street Markets

Seasonal street markets

Bungay is always buzzing when a street market is on.  There are now four throughout the year: the Garden Market in May,  homes/gardens/handicrafts in July, the Food & Drink Market in October and the Christmas Market in December.

For regular updates please see 

Earsham Street, the long shopping street that runs from Market Place to Cock Bridge (the main route to Earsham from Bungay) is closed to traffic for the day.  There is always a buzzy atmosphere at the Markets, with live music under the ancient Butter Cross in Market Place where local charitable organisations also have their fund and awareness raising stalls.

Additional parking is provided at the Golf Club car park (accessed from the A143, off the roundabout by Clays printworks that leads to the Common).  From there it is just a short walk across the bridge to Outney Road and Earsham Street.

All of Bungays shops/cafes and restaurants are open for the day, not just in Earsham Street, but on Market Place and St. Mary’s Street too.

Bungay Street Markets make a great day out.

The street markets are organised by the Bungay Events & Business Association.  For stallholder information see here