Newmarket is a Suffolk market town in the Forest Heath district. Despite it’s small market town status, Newmarket is known worldwide as the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing and training, as well as the centre of equine veterinary advancement.
Newmarket has had royal connections since the time of James I in the early 17th century, who built a Palace there, and it also served as a base for the monarchy since Charles I.
In the early 19th century, this Palace was largely torn down, while what remains of the Palace House, now forms part of the The National Horseracing Museum campus.
Newmarket’s medieval Market Charter was one of the earliest granted in Suffolk, and the Royal grant of a Fair Charter soon followed in 1223. The Heath was also a spacious location for medieval tournaments which attracted large crowds. Weekly markets and annual fairs brought many people to Newmarket and allowed the town to prosper. Before Newmarket’s racing industry was established, farming was the area’s primary occupation. As such, the market attracted a variety of stalls, selling a variety of produce and crafts, by 1472 there were over 100 stalls at the market! The market grew to have enough importance that it had its own laws and courts, prospering enough to eventually have its own corn exchange too.
Market Place worked with local people to bring the arts and sports together in Newmarket at the Newmarket Kite Symphony, where beautiful & locally made kites were flown on the racecourse grounds! Did you know that a horse, who raced at Newmarket, was named XYZ in honour of the kite.
Highlights for Market Place have included bringing the United Nations Bureau of Significant Inspiration ‘The Garden of Curious A’MUSE’ments’ to Newmarket, working with the Newmarket Creative Makers to make giant illuminated puppet & lantern workshops and have hosted boot camps to help local creative practitioners in their work.