The main Wulfruna Street entrance.

The wholesale market was a splendid brick and terracotta building in true Wolverhampton style and was designed by J.W. Bradley. Building work started in 1902 and it opened in 1903. The building survived for 70 years and was demolished in 1973 to make way for the Civic Centre. The market itself moved to new premises in Hickman Avenue.
It's hard to imagine the hustle and bustle of the busy market today. Trading would have started very early each morning and the surrounding streets would have been filled with many horses and carts and parked vehicles being loaded-up with produce in readiness for the day's trading. The streets would vibrate with the passing traffic and the air would be full of smells of fruit and vegetables and alive with the sounds of the market traders announcing their wares. 

Looking down Wulfruna Street towards the market.

The middle part of the building.

While the town centre was still quiet and deserted and reclining in the grip of dawn, the wholesale market was a lively vibrant metropolis echoing to the sounds of commerce. In the early hours of each morning traders would arrive with their fresh produce and arrange the goods to their best advantage. Quantities of flowers would be displayed in readiness for the arrival of the retailers who would purchase the goods in readiness for their day's business.
By late morning it would all be over and much of the produce would be gone. Many of the market traders would be seen cleaning up and the market floor would slowly empty.

Above the trading area was a large balcony on which could be found the offices that were used by some of the traders. All kinds of traditional vegetables and sometimes exotic fruit would be ordered from here.

The market was the main wholesale distributing centre for the retail trade for many miles around. The wholesaler's contacts would have extended to almost every part of the British Isles.

A considerable amount of the business carried out here was in cut flowers and plants.

The entrance to the Municipal Cold Stores in St. Peter's Square.

The cold stores behind the market.

Behind the wholesale market were the Municipal Cold Stores. In 1903 refrigerators weren't the commonplace items that they are today and many food suppliers such as fishmongers relied on a plentiful supply of ice to preserve their products before sale. Ice was available from the cold stores and perishable items could be stored there. There were five cold store rooms and an ice store. The system adopted was claimed to be "the best obtainable"
The ice plant was capable of making ten tons of ice daily "from water taken from the Corporation mains".


Looking towards Giffard House which in those days was still at the same height as the walkway in front.

The western end of the market which adjoined the Chequer Ball public house.
Looking through the entrance on the corner of St. Peter's Square during demolition.

The same view near the end.

It's a pity that such a fine building couldn't have been saved. It stood on the site of the Civic Centre car park and would have made an excellent covered car park.

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