A quaint market shelter

Inside the Buttercross

THERE IS AN OLD octagonal building in the market place of Somerton in Somerset. According to a website about the town, this building is:

“… the octagonal shaped market cross; also known as the Buttercross. This was built by the Stawell family in 1673 and given the parish council in 1916 … The market place was a busy and noisy area during market day, and in extremely hot weather the dairy products such as cheese, butter and milk would soon go off. These goods would also be ruined in wet weather, and so a shelter was required that would shade and cover the products from the weather conditions. The Buttercross was the ideal solution, as it was both cool and dry. It is now listed as a Grade II ancient monument, and has been repaired on a couple of occasions during the last century.” (from: http://www.somerton.co.uk/virtual-tour/market-cross/)

It is not the only octagonal structure in Somerton. The tower of the mediaeval parish church is also octagonal.

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