Opened in response to the 'untidy, messy and unsavoury' stalls littering the area around Market Street and High Street in central Oxford, the Covered Market was officially opened on 1st November 1774 for the selling of 'Meat, Fish and Garden Stuff.' Described by the Universal Business Directory in 1794 as containing 'forty commodious shops for butchers' as well as 'eight others equally commodious, occupied by gardeners, &c. between which are two spacious colonnades for poultry, eggs, bacon, cheese, &c. &c. divided into forty stalls; and beyond these, extending quite to Jesus College Lane, is a large area for country gardeners, fruit, and divers other commodities.' The market is still going strong today and, though hardly commodious by today's standards, half the stalls still retail fresh food, while others are gift shops, bakeries cafes etc. Built half a century earlier than the Oxford Museum of Natural History, the tangle of cream wooden beams against the red painted roof, designed by John Gwynn, architect of the Magadalen Bridge, seemed, to me, a relic worth recording. My daughter studied in Jesus College, which backs onto the market, and she informs me that she could get very reasonably priced joints of chicken in the market, another fine reason to paint the scene for posterity. This painting could make an interesting pair with the Oxford Museum of Natural History.