From "Reminiscences of Exeter" by James Cossins
Published in 1877
"The Lower Market was designed by Mr. Fowler, architect, as a butchers' market, with the corn exchange in a large room over the entrance; the Higher one for fish, poultry, butter, vegetables &c. The complaints were so numerous from the inconvenience of purchasers having to go from one to the other, that the Market Committee were induced to remove the centre row of the butchers' stalls from the Lower and place them in the Higher market. It is frequently remarked what a mistake in having two such buildings for the purpose and as the present generation may not know the reason, I will endeavour to explain it.
The authorities having decided to remove the markets from the streets, there arose the question as to the site. (At this time it was of great consideration to shopkeepers, the sellers being the wives and daughters of farmers who bought what they might require in the vicinity of their standing, and who were hospitably treated, and in return tradesmen were welcomed at their country residences.) The tradesmen in High Street wishing to have it in their neighbourhood; and those in Fore Street in the lower part of the city. Every influence was used for each locality. After a long delay, the expense being defrayed by subscriptions, and no chance of being unanimous, the Committee proposed two separate buildings, which was adopted. The Lower one was opened on Friday, 9th December 1836; the Higher one, July 24th 1838."