Located at the southern end of the town, a Market House has stood on this site since 1234. In that year, David de Barry was granted an official Charter. The charter allowed him to hold a weekly market in Buttevant, and an annual fair in October that lasted for several days. This allowed Buttevant to become a thriving and prosperous market town. The Market House had the scales used to weigh produce for sale and from which to determine taxes.
The Market House and Market Green are part of the original grid pattern layout of the medieval town. This precise plan resembles the Bastides of South West France. During Medieval times and later, the Market Green was alive with the buzz of trading. It was also a place where the stocks were used as punishment, while criminals could be hanged. Indeed, up to the 1970s the upper story was used as a courthouse.
The handsome building with its fine arcade that stands here today was erected in around 1750. The beautiful limestone fireplace inside is a more recent inclusion.
Garrett Barry first erected the fireplace in Lisgriffin Castle between 1605 and 1610. It was rescued from Lisgriffin Castle in 1911 by Col. James Grove White and installed in his home, Kilbyrne House in Doneraile. Kilbyrne House was demolished in the 1950s and Canon Murphy, parish priest of Buttevant, arranged for it to be removed and re-erected in the Market House, Buttevant.
Today the Market Green with its modern children’s playground is filled with the noise of happy children at play.