The Cockpit Theatre was located at the rear of the Raven Inn (Now The Crown) and replaced a smaller theatre on the same site that was in use pre 1790.
On average there were three shows per week at the cost of a shilling in the gallery or two bob to be in the pit.
Stars of the theatre included Edmund Kean, Charles Stanton and Harriet Mellon.
The last performance was “Wallace, Regent Of Scotland” on the 16th February 1824.
On 11th December 1824 a new theatre was built in West Castle Street (Now the site of the Newmarket Buildings) and it opened with ” The Wheel Of Fortune “. This thetare continued until 1850 when the building was demolished and the theatre had a new home in The Agricultural Buildings on the High Street. (Now The Factory Shop).
The building remained on site used as a cock fighting pit, a coach house and later as a garage / car park.
It became a Grade II listed building 1954 and was listed as :
“Circa 1811. A square single-storeyed building of brick with tiled pyramidal roof and wood ball finial. Used as a cockpit and theatre until mid C19 when converted to a coach house and provided with a new front brick wall incorporating 2 arched doorways with cambered heads and a gabled sack hoist. Interior, now used as a garage, has brick floor and wooden stairs in brick enclosure giving access to roof space. Loft has boarded floor, which may originally have been a peripheral gallery, carried on a lattice of beams which support the fine roof structure consisting of a massive king post and radial struts supporting the principal and hip rafters.”