THE ENGLISH MARKET
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The English Market, comprises Princes Street Market and Grand Parade Market, and is a municipal food market in the centre of Cork, Ireland. The market is administered by Cork City Council. The market is well supported locally and has become a tourist attraction - drawing visitors from throughout the world, including a visit by Queen Elizabeth II during her 2011 state visit. The term English Market was coined in the 19th Century to distinguish the market from the nearby St. Peter's Market (now the site of the Bodega on Cornmarket Street), which was known as the Irish Market.
There has been a market on the present site since 1788 but the present group of buildings was constructed in the mid-19th century with the ornamental entrance at Princes Street being constructed in 1862 by Sir John Benson. The market changed little over the next century or so until it was seriously damaged by fire on 19 June 1980 and had to be extensively refurbished by Cork City Council. The refurbishment work was done in sympathy with the original Victorian building's design and won a Gold Medal from the Europa Nostra heritage foundation for conservation shortly after its completion. The refurbished market suffered a second fire in 1986 but the fire was less damaging than the first.
Since its refurbishment the market has become more multicultural, and a variety of fresh produce from around the world can be bought there. The market is still best known however for its fresh fish and butchers, and it serves many of the city's top restaurants. It is a source of local specialities such as drisheen, spiced beef, and buttered eggs.