"improving Yeovil's markets"
In 1846 the newly appointed Special Commissioners, created to improve Yeovil's markets and build a new town hall, purchased George Court from its then owner, Michael Cumbrune Davey, as well as other neighbouring properties including the Bell Inn with a view to demolition.
On 5 April 1849 the Sherborne, Dorchester & Taunton Journal in an article entitled 'Opening of the New Market House at Yeovil' reported "Underneath the Town Hall is the Corn Market, not yet completed.... Next to the Corn Market.... is a light, airy and commodious Butcher's Market.... Next to the Meat Market is a building for fruit and vegetables; then follows a Fish Market, Clerk's Office, and a spacious market for bacon and cheese, the latter opening on to South Street. Over the dry goods market is a large Flax Room, which on this occasion was pretty well filled with the commodity for which it was designed."
The Cheese Market was converted to a fire station in 1913 while George Court, as well as other neighbouring properties including the adjacent Borough House (the former Bell Inn), was finally demolished around 1925 for the construction of municipal offices and King George Street, which was completed by 1928.
The old Cheese
The 1886 Ordnance Survey showing the Town Hall & Market House, the Corn Exchange, Meat Market and the Cheese Market facing South Street.
The three-storied building to left of centre is the Market House Inn. The two-storied building to its left is the Cheese Market building with its three arches at ground floor level. Between the two buildings is very narrow South Street entrance to George Court. This photograph dates to about 1910.
Dating to about 1915, this photograph looks south along George Court towards South Street. At right, towards South Street, is the flanking wall of the Cheese Market. The buildings at the far end are the Newnam Hall and the Baptist church on the other side of South Street.
This photograph of the 1960s shows the Cheese Market building as converted to Yeovil's fire station. At ground floor the left-most arch can be seen to have been filled in with a small window inserted while the central and right-hand arch were replaced with large doors to accommodate the fire engine. Above the doors the sign reads 'Somerset Fire Brigade'. The house at left had been the Hall Keeper's house. The Hall Keeper was responsible for the Town Hall, Cheese Market, the Meat Market and the Corn Exchange. From the 1880s until his death in 1927 this was the residence of Henry Jesty - Hall Keeper, Town Crier, Mace Bearer and Bill Poster.
A closer view of the Fire Station / old Cheese Market during demolition.