Before the Haddington Corn Exchange was built in 1854, the town's weekly market was held in the open street. This market held on Fridays, is said to have been perhaps the largest for wheat in Scotland ("New Statistical Account"). The Corn Exchange was built at a total cost of £3,000, £1,900 being raised by public subscription. The following papers give an indication of the uses to which it was put over the years, including its use for public entertainments, and as a barracks during the First and Second World Wars. It was taken over by Haddington Town Council in the early 1970s.