The Market Place. In the 16th century Ambleside was a centre of the woollen industry and was granted a Market Charter as a town in 1650. Here was the original site of the Market Cross and Bedlam (Bethlehem), the 17th century Poor House. The Market Hall was a low timbered building with an open ground floor and an upper gallery supported on columns. In front was the village pump. Behind was Cheapside with market stalls and the Shambles where butchers worked. These buildings were swept away in the 18th century and replaced by the handsome Victorian buildings of the Market Hall and Mechanics Institute on the site of the original Cross House, and by the Court House rebuilt in 1868.