The Market Hall stands in one corner of the Market Square, on a site once occupied by the town gaol. The gaol closed in 1834, when a new prison was built at the Maison Dieu. The site was auctioned in September 1837, when it was purchased by the Corporation Market Committee for £555. It was planed to build a new market but on further consideration the Corporation could see no way of financing the project.The project was revived at the Annual Meeting of the Borough Council in 1846. In April 1846 the designs for the new Market Hall with Museum above were unveiled. The estimated cost of the building was £3000 but when the tenders came in they were all above the architect’s estimate and the design had to be revised. The use of Caen stone for the building and some of the ornamental work was abandoned. This reduced the lowest tender to £3448, and that, with the £555 paid for the site was the cost of the building. The Museum, which was placed in the upper part of the new building in 1848, had been established in the old Guildhall in 1836. The nucleus of the new Museum consisted of the collection of Mr Edward Pett Thompson, a former Mayor of Dover. The exhibits were greatly increased and varied after the removal to the new building. During World War Two the Market Hall was badly damaged. On 21 October 1940 the Market Hall and the Museum above it were seriously damaged when a bomb hit the rear of the building. The building was further damaged by another bomb on 23 March 1942 and by shelling on 4 October 1943. After the war the building was restored and the market re-opened but the Museum moved to new premises in the basement of the Town Hall.The Market Hall finally closed in November 1973, when the stall holders moved to a temporary accommodation in Biggin Street. It was intended to refurbish the Market Hall as part of a new development in the Market Square. Unfortunately the redevelopment scheme did not come to fruition, and the Market Hall remained empty and dilapidated, a victim to the attacks of vandals.The Market Hall remained empty and uncared for until the late 1980s when it was redeveloped. The main part of the building was demolished but the façade was incorporated into the new building. The Market Hall is once again home to Dover Museum, which moved to its new home on its old site in 1991. The new museum, with galleries over three floors, is a great improvement on the cramped quarters it used to occupy in the basement of the Old Town Hall. It is now an excellent showcase for Dover’s rich and varied history, including a purpose built gallery to house the Bronze Age Boat, which opened in 1999.