top of page

In the early nineteenth century Yarmouth, like Brighton, became a favoured middle-class resort, and was painted by both Constable and Turner as well as the Norwich School artists, such as Crome and Cotman. 

But long before it became a seaside resort it was a thriving market town. 

As well as shipbuilding, Yarmouth's prosperity was also due  to the herring industry. Herring were only in the East Anglian waters in the autumn. Every year to co-incide with this would be a Herring Fair, held in the market place. It The lasted from Michaelmas (29 September) to Martinmas (November 11) and was administered by bailiffs from the Cinque Ports - a source of tension  between the Cinque Ports and Great Yarmouth. Tradesmen and women (often young girls would set up herring stalls in the market place. The girls (or herring lasses) were groups of women who would travel the east coast of the United Kingdom from as far north as Aberdeen to as far south as Great Yarmouth, following herring as they migrated throughout the year.


The Medieval Market Place stretched from St Nicholas Priory (seen dominating the background of the market place) southwards to the Dominican Friary on Friars Lane, and was bounded by the Town Walls to the East and the Rows to the west. Very few of these buildings remain today. 




A South-east view of the marketplace of Great Yarmouth, JohnButcher - Print

  • Image Number: 1271
    Title: A South-east view of the Market Place, Yarmouth

    Artist: John Butcher (1736-1803)

    Engraver: Robert Pollard (1755-1838)

    Aquatinter: J. Wells (fl.1792-1809)

    Publisher: J. Butcher, Chapel Street, Yarmouth
    Medium: Aquatint & Etching

    Date: 1791
    Price: £800

  • If you would like to come and see a print or have any questions please get in touch by emailing

bottom of page