Based in design and purpose on market houses in England, a market house
was one of the first public structures built in each town in colonial North Carolina.
The original market house in Hillsborough, once located approximately where the 1845 Orange County courthouse
is now on the south east corner of Churton and King streets, was built circa 1758. The 1768 map of Hillsborough by Claude Sauthier
shows its location (indicated by the letter "D") at the southeast corner of King and Churton streets (see map excerpt below).
There are numerous references in The Hillsborough Recorder regarding enslaved people being hired or sold at the markethouse.
The structure was demolished in 1826. It at one time housed the town clock that is currently in the cupola of the 1845 courthouse.
Above is a conjectural sketch of what the original market house might have looked like; however, this sketch was likely based on the 1838 Fayetteville Market House and not exactly what the original Hillsborough market structure would have looked like (From "History of the Town of Hillsborough").
The 1768 Sauthier map seems to indicate it was a "fourquare" structure with a pyramidal roof. It can't be discerned if it was a one or two-story structure from Sauthier, but what it looked like was something similar to the image below, but perhaps simplified and built from wood and without the shed overhang around the first floor.
"Market House, Market Square, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire" (image via Buckingham County Museum)