There was a rare opportunity to take a look inside St Ives’ 19th century Market House when St Ives Archive held an open day at the place which is set to become its new home.

Archive open day coffee
Serving refreshments at the open day are (left to right) Matilda Webb, Lyn Burchess, and Diane Callicott

The Archive is currently based at Carbis Bay Methodist Church, but the trustees have long been searching for a new home back in the heart of St Ives. They were thrilled to work with St Ives Town Council to secure a move to the first floor of Market House.

The grade II listed building will be completely renovated over the next two years, thanks to a £275,000 grant from the Community Ownership Fund

Visitors to the open day were able to view displays depicting the life and times of the historic building, and learn more about Bryan Pearce, the celebrated artist who lived nearby and frequented featured Market House in his work. They were also able to enjoy celebratory cakes baked by Archive volunteers. 

Chair of the trustees Lyn Burchess said: “It’s been very busy here today — many people have told us they’ve never been inside the building before.  

St Ives Market House

“We’ve been working very closely with the town council for many months on this exciting project. It will be brilliant to have our own home, and Market House is a perfect fit for us.” 

The Archive, a registered charity, holds a wealth of fascinating information about the history of St Ives, along with thousands of photographs.

The move to Market House will help the Archive to provide local history services for many more local people and visitors alike. This will help further safeguard and promote the heritage of St Ives for generations to come. 

Tony Harris, chair of the town council’s finance and general purposes committee said: “I am absolutely delighted that St Ives Archive can realise a long-held dream of moving back into the heart of our community, where it belongs.”