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The Tuesday Bell

Several markets were held on this site.

4 Lisburn Square, Lisburn, County Antrim, BT28 1TS

This pub is in the shopping centre which replaced the town’s former long-standing swimming pool which, itself, had been built on the site of the old market place, where a bell was rung on Tuesday mornings to start the market. Lisburn has been a busy market town from its earliest days, bringing the town and country together. The ‘Potato, Oats and Grain Market’ opened in 1828, more or less on the site of the later swimming pool and shopping centre. There was also a market house, with a steeple and bell, as well as a weighbridge.

Prints and text about The Tuesday Bell.

The text reads: The name of this Wetherspoon pub recalls the potato, oats and grain market which was held on this site from 1828. At 8am every Tuesday, the start of trade was marked by the ringing of a bell. The bell hung in the tower of the old Market House, which stood close by until it was demolished in 1896.

This market was one of several formerly held on this site and in other areas of Lisburn. The Market Square was the earliest venue, dating from the grant of a royal charter to the town in 1627 by King Charles I.

A market house was built there in the 1630s, and was twice replaced. A general market continued there for centuries, although the pork butchers were soon banished to Smithfield (just to the rear of this site).

On the far side of Smithfield Street, on the corner of Hillsborough Road was the cattle market. Part of the area was later used for the sale of chickens, this trade having previously shared the butter and egg market, held on the former site of the Linen Hall.

This area, along with nearby Haymarket, was cleared in the 1960s for the construction of a new swimming pool. The pool was superseded in the year 2000 by the Lagan Valley Leisure Plex, and the site was transformed into Lisburn Square.

Top: left, Looking from the Cathedral spire, c1885, right, the Market Square, c1875
Left: Horse fair at the Market Place, 1930s
Above: Market Place and Bow Street. 

Prints and text about Lisburn.

The text reads: Lisburn originated as the fortified manor house of Sir Fulke Conway’s Killultagh estate. He called the manor Lisnagarvery, an Anglicisation of the name of a nearby fort, Lios nag Cearbhach, which means “fort of the gamblers”. The name was changed to Lisburn in 1662.

Later that century, William III’s chief commander, the Duke of Schomburg, set up his headquarters in Castle Street before meeting his death at the Boyne in 1690. William had landed at Carrickfergus, before travelling to Lisburn to inspect his troops, camped nearby. He is said to have dined with the senior officers on a site later occupied by the Northern Bank.

The Café Crommelin, in Lisburn’s Irish Linen Centre, commemorates Louis Crommelin one of the best known French Protestant refugees (known as Huguenots) to settle in this area. In 1698, Crommelin had been invited by the British government to set up a weaving and bleaching enterprise in Lisburn. He brought his family and a seventy-strong workforce with him. By 1711, there were about 120 Huguenots in Lisburn. A century later, they had become part of their local communities and the French church in Castle Street had no further need of a French-speaking pastor. Many of their descendants still live in and around Lisburn.

Top: Aerial view of Lisburn in the 1950s, with (inset) views of the Castle Street
Above: Louis Crommelin
Right: The French Church in Castle Street.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: