Sunday 6 March 2011

Derby - Corn Exchange

Exchange Street came into existence around the mid 1870s and was named after this building... 

... the Corn Exchange.

The building dates back 150 years; the foundation stone being laid by the mayor of Derby, Mr T W Cox, on September 11, 1860. Construction was completed in early 1862 and the premises opened with an inauguration concert on January 20 of that year.

The financier of the construction was The Corn Exchange Company which was founded in 1860 and wanted the building, primarily, for the trading of corn, an activity which had previously taken place in an open air market. In addition to trading, however, the exchange room could be used for meetings and concerts, plus there was a news room and telegraph office.

The building continued to hold the weekly corn market until the end of WWI, at which time it was converted into a dance hall 'The Palais de Dance'. Only a few years later, it changed hands again as it was taken over as the new premises for the Derby Evening Telegraph at which point it was renamed Northcliffe House (the name by which I have always known it). The Telegraph remained here until 1981, when it moved to a brand new building on the Meadow Road Trading Estate.

When the newspaper moved out, the building was divided up and sold. The back section currently houses a bookmakers... 

while the main hall is now a snooker hall.

Although serving multiple functions, the entire building has grade 2 listed status and therefore enjoys protection from unsympathetic development, meaning that its future is relatively safe for the time being.


  1. I especially like the conical tower on the front of this very attractive building - I'm pleased to hear it's one of the protected buildings, as it would surely be a great pity to lose it to some 'ugly' modern structure!

  2. OOO! And I noticed the clear blue sky!!! Looks like your weather might be warming up a tad???

  3. Oh dear - I hope I'm not commenting twice, but I think I lost my comment. Meant to say that it is a comedown for such a lovely building, to be housing two such low-market businesses - but at least it is protected by heritage designation.

  4. I know this sounds like a silly question ... but what is corn? I always assumed that it was another name for wheat but wiki claims that it is another name for maize. But surely maize production wasn't that common to justify exchanges and laws and whatever. And if it means wheat, why not a wheat exchange?
    Yours etc, Confused of Huddersfield