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Campbell Street Market, Campbell Street, George Town, Penang

The Victorian-style Campbell Street Market at the junction between Campbell Street and Carnavon Street, George Town.

Campbell Street Market, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the two markets in the city centre, the other being Chowrasta Market. Built in the 1900s, the Victorian-style market is located at the junction between Campbell Street and Carnavon Street.

Initially, the land on which the market now stands was said to be the site of a Malay cemetery. The George Town Municipal Council bought the land in the 1890s and subsequently built the Carnavon Street Market, as Campbell Street Market was known then.

Unlike Chowrasta Market, Campbell Street Market still retains its original architecture. Thus, although Chowrasta Market, built in 1890, is older, the Campbell Street Market building is the oldest of its kind in George Town. The market is scheduled to be upgraded in late 2016.

The wet market is in session every morning, with market activities spilling out onto the northern stretch of Carnavon Street.

History

Campbell Street, George Town, Penang (1930s)

Campbell Street in the 1930s, with Campbell Street Market partially visible to the left.

The land on which Campbell Street Market now stands was rumoured to be the site of a Malay cemetery, known as Hutan Mayat ('forest of dead bodies' in Malay). To this day, the market is said to be haunted, with several rumoured paranormal sightings inside the market in the wee hours of the morning.

What is known is that the land was previously owned by the Indian Muslim community around the Kapitan Keling Mosque at Pitt Street. This particular location was at the edge of a larger piece of land allocated to the Indian Muslims for the construction of the mosque in 1800. The area around the junction between Campbell Street and Carnavon Street was bought back by the George Town Municipal Council in 1899.
Campbell Street Market, George Town, Penang

The front façade of the Victorian-style market consists of two arches topped by a pediment with an arch window.

Having bought the land in 1899, the George Town Municipal Council subsequently built the Victorian-style Carnavon Street Market, as Campbell Street Market was known then, in the early 1900s at the cost of $21,000 (Straits dollar). It comes with a front façade facing the junction between Campbell Street, Carnavon Street and Buckingham Street. Two arches grace the façade topped by a pediment with an arch window.

Although Chowrasta Market was established and built earlier than Campbell Street Market, the latter still retains its original design to this day, whereas the original Chowrasta Market has been replaced by the current structure in the 1960s. Today, both are the only operational wet markets in the heart of the city.

The market is set to be renovated in late 2016. Upgrading works are expected to be completed in two years and will involve the expansion of the market to allow roadside vendors to move in.

Market

The wet market opens every morning, with market activities spilling out onto the northern stretch of Carnavon Street between Chulia Street and Kampung Kaka.

Housewives typically go to the market at around 0900 hours for the freshest batch of seafood.

Opening Hours

0800 hours - 1100 hours

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Hockton, K., Howard Tan, 2012. Penang : An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. MPH Group, Kuala Lumpur.
  2. Cheah J. S., 2013. Penang 500 Early Postcards. Editions Didier Millet.
  3. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/campbell-street-market.htm
  4. http://www.timeout.com/penang/shops/campbell-street-market
  5. http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2016/02/03/space-for-roadside-traders-in-market-rep-they-will-move-in-once-upgrading-is-completed/

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