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Marshall's Yard History

Marshall's Yard History

The Marshall's Yard site was formerly occupied by the Marshall family's Britannia Iron Works which was founded in 1848.  The company built steam engines, threshing machines and agricultural machines which were exported all over the world.  During the First World War, the workforce grew to 5,000 to cope with the production of munitions.

After the war, traction engines, steam rollers and tractors became the focus once again.  During the Second World War, the workshops produced military hardware, including midget submarines.  Like many engineering companies, business declined during the 1970s and the factory closed in the 1980s.

The site is steeped in industrial heritage, and many of the original structures were listed.  These have been refurbished and retained, with new architecture sensitively designed to blend the old with the new.  The heritage is celebrated throughout the site an old steam crane from the engineering works provides a dramatic entrance to Marshalls Yard, and information boards across the centre celebrate the history of this once internationally renowned hub of world class engineering.

Joint developers Prospect Estates and Dransfield Properties secured planning permission for the site in 2005, and the site was named Marshalls Yard by local schoolboy Alex Stephenson.  Construction began on 1 January 2006 and the centre opened in Easter 2007.

Its impact on the town was recognised by the British Council of Shopping Centres in December 2007, who gave it a gold award saying it was "a shining example of regeneration."

Marshall's Yard is owned and operated by Marshall's Yard Ltd, a joint venture partnership of Prospect Estates and Dransfield Properties.

More information about Marshall's Yard can be viewed at the local heritage centre. For more information visit