Oxford's Covered Market

External view of the Lindseys Unit with vinyls      Debbie and Tom stand outside the Lindsey'Unit in the Covered Market

Oxford Preservation Trust and Oxford City Council are working in partnership to restore the former Lindsey’s Butchers, Unit 46-48 Oxford’s Covered Market. OPT received a generous grant from the William Delafield Trust to put towards the restoration of this unit.


The Covered Market was established in 1771 following The Oxford Mileways Act of 1771, this Act sought to encourage traffic into Oxford city – a very different place to the Oxford we know today! The Covered Market was designed by architect, John Gwynne, who also designed Magdalen Bridge. The Lindsey’s Butchers Unit is situated in the earliest surviving part of the Covered Market, built as part of the ‘New Market’ extension of 1839/40. The unit holds high evidential value with the potential to reveal information about the earlier form of the market and its various phases of change. 

What we've found so far

Strip out works began in the unit in May 2019. The first thing we uncovered was the lath and plaster ceiling which needed significant repair. After removing some plasterboards we discovered sections of wrought iron trusses which wrap around the outside of the unit and would have provided ventilation to the former butcher's unit.

Hugo, Rowena Creagh and Rosangela Sinapi at Oxford Open Doors

Although we originally believed the columns to be made of concrete, during the strip out works we found they were actually solid stone columns, although they are severely damaged after years of unsuitable alterations. The most exciting discovery for us was uncovering a pristine stone flag floor which lay well-preserved under a latex screed.

The latest

In January 2020, restoration work began on the unit with lath and plaster repairs on the ceiling and repointing original brickwork.