Market Street: South Side
The George*. This former hotel dominates the corner formed by the intersection of the town's two main road, London Road and High Street. Parts of the structure date from the 16th century although it was completely renovated and 'Georgianized' in the 18th century. It was obviously a public house as early as 1602 when the publican, Richard Staines "at the George, Harlow, was charged with buying, selling and keeping beer on the Sabbath". When it was on the market in 1829 it was described as possessing 'convenience and accommodation for families of respectablity with a large yard, coach-houses and stabling for 18 horses'. The stables were located in the 50,000 square foot 'George Yard', located to the north in what is now Station Road on the site currently occupied by Evans, the motor engineer.
When The George was for sale again in 1890 the advertisement indicated that it had a large sitting room, five bedrooms and box room and a water closet on the first floor and 3 bedrooms on the second. The ground floor had an 'entrance passage, bar, commercial and smoking rooms convertible to one large room when required by the removal of a movable partition, taproom, small parlour, kitchen and larder.' The basement was said to provided 'capital cellerage comprising coal, wine, spirit and large beer cellars.' The public house license was given up in 1948 and since then the building has housed a succession of different businesses including Frank Peering's 'George Fabrics' and Ivy Arden's dress shop. In 2016 most of the building was occupied by Intercounty Estate Agents. The north-west corner of the ground floor was occupied by the Gloria M. Skincare Centre, which closed in April, 2018, when Gloria McCartney retired after 28 years of trading.
The Marquis of Granby* is an early 16th century building (ca. 1519) with later additions. The first floor was jettied but this characteristic mediaeval feature probably disappeared when the building was faced with plaster in the early 18th century. A survey of 1722 identified it as The Wheatsheaf public house, "situate and being in Harlowe Towne in ye Middle Row there", but it had taken on its present name by 1769.
The area west of the Marquis was occupied for a long time by the Middle Spine which ran westwards from the pub, It consisted of the two Judd's Cottages (facing Market Street), a terrace of 8 cottages facing Fore Street, and another terrace of 9 cottages. All of these are shown on the 1875, 1920 and 1947 O.S. maps. The group of 9 had been demolished by 1958 to make way for a parking lot and the remaining 8 disappeared during the post-1969 redevelopment of Market Street. They were replaced with another parking lot. While the lots are always full, as every inch of parking space is in the U.K., the removal of the buildings of the Middle Spine destroyed the visual continuity of what was previously a much more attractive street.
5-9 Market Street.
At the end of the 19th century, Robert Aplin ran Piper's Mill in the Sheering Road, and a bakery at the west end of this mid-18th century building. By 1910 this had been taken over by Seeley's Bakery and Confectionary, perhaps because Aplin's daughter married a Seeley. In the 1920s the business was taken over by Steve Martin, who had previously operated a bakery in the High Street. His premises occupied the largest part of the building and Boulevard Chemists the remaining portion. Both businesses faced south onto Fore Street. The building was converted into three cottages in the early 1970s during the reconstruction of High and Market Streets by the Harlow Development Corporation.