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Eagle’s Meadow

Eagle's Meadow 1872

Eagle’s Meadow 1872

Eagles Meadow (Dôl Yr Eryod) took its name from a nearby inn on Yorke Street and is shown in the 19th century as containing a bowling green at the western end of the meadow and from 1874, for approximately 100 years, there were regular horse sales held on part of the meadow, behind the premises on Yorke Street. The lack of earlier development of the meadow is likely to relate to regular flooding from the river Gwenfro.

 

Eagle's Meadow 1899

Eagle’s Meadow 1899

The sales were established by auctioneer Frank Lloyd of Eyton House, who in 1891 constructed stabling for 350 horses, and sale rings that could cater for 2,000 people. Alongside the sales area was a quarter-mile trotting track where horses and ponies could be exhibited. By 1892 Frank Lloyd was able to claim that ‘this sale can eclipse all its rivals by more than three times the number, and without a doubt it is the largest horse sale in the world’.

 

The decline in the demand for horses during the 20th century led to the gradual decline of the horse sales. During World War II the area formed the backdrop to a US Nissan hut encampment for elements of the U.S. Army’s 83rd Infantry Division. After the US Army withdrew its forces in Europe after the war, the buildings and treated surface they had created were ideal as a Horse Repository. The area of the bowling green and the horse market was considered in 1965 as the site for a multi-storey car park, but was eventually redeveloped as the Asda supermarket in the 1970′ s, which closed in 2000. This was replaced by the Eagles Meadow shopping centre which opened in 2008.

 

In the early 1970s the land was divided between a large urban car park and a small retail development which included a new Asda superstore. A bridge, known locally as the Asda fly-over, was constructed to carry the then town’s ring road between Smithfield Road and Salop Road. After these developments, the car park was used as the main weekly market in the town, which moved from St George’s Crescent (the original ‘Beast Market’).

 

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