THIS was one of the last pictures taken of Burnley's Victorian Market Hall before it closed in May 1966.

It shut only five months short of the centenary of the laying of its foundation stone in October 1866.

Just how well-built it was was indicated by the fact more than 10,000 tonnes of stone went into the construction and it took until New Year's Day in 1870.

Burnley's market is among the oldest in the country.

It's charter was granted by Kind Edward I in 1294.

When it opened however, it had offered shoppers 80 stalls, selling a variety of produce and wares, while outside the vast open market drew in hundreds of customers with 230 stalls, a third of which sold fruit and vegetable.

The old market took a lot to pull down, as it was one of the most solid constructions in Burnley with walls six feet thick at basement level and more than three feet at ground level.

Originally the town's markets were held near St Peter's Church where a market cross was erected in 1296.

The towns new markets opened in November 1969, marking the completion of the first phase of the town's central redevelopment.

In the centre of the picture, among the shops on market street, is the New Market Hoel where Burnley's Phoenix Theatre was based.