Middle Row was the heart of retail in Truro’s past, but is now long gone.
The row of buildings ran down the middle of Boscawen Street, beginning at Market House at King Street and continuing to the Town Prison in front of the Coinage Hall. Truro Borough owned most of the properties, which housed such traders as a Saddler, a Barker (for leather tanning), a Shoemaker and a Cooper. The picture to the right shows a representation of Middle Row as created by the Combined Truro Schools Project for their art event.
Town burghers decided to demolish Middle Row,describing it as “dilapidated and ramshackle buildings”. The demolition let in more light and air and created the wider Boscawen Street we know today.
Andrew Brice describes Truro and Middle Row in 1759 “Tis a considerable town with some regular streets, well frequented market and a large market house (Middle Row) ... and tho’ the market house be a good one yet ‘tis odd that the flesh meat there should be so long dangling ... to one’s shoulders so that persons who come to buy have a difficulty to escape with the vestitures unsmeared with grease and blood. The country wenches too in the open market, stand holding their baskets of geese, poultry, butter etc. Before them, all rank and file like a company of soldiers under the arms to be reviewed.”