Pollock's Toy Theatre Shop green plaque in Ambleside
The early prosperity of Ambleside as a market town was founded upon sheep and the woollen industry serviced by a network of pack horse tracks. For many hundred of years this was an open site with views across fields and meadows to Loughrigg. Flax was also grown nearby and spun and woven into linen cloth. Later Ambleside was known for its linsey-woolsey cloth combining a strong linen warp with a warm woollen weft to produce a coarse hard wearing material. Here were the village tenter fields where a newly manufactured woollen cloth was hung to stretch and dry, and woven linen laid to bleach. What had begun as a cottage industry died out in the 19th century as fashions changed. The site became allotment gardens until a bus station was built in the 1930's. The Market Cross Shopping Centre was completed in 1997.