Based in design and purpose on market houses in England, a market house was one of the first structures built in each town in colonial North Carolina.
The original market house in Hillsborough, once located approximately where the 1844 Orange County courthouse is now, 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 below).
The market house was demolished in 1826. It originally housed the town clock that is currently in Hillsborough's "old courthouse."
A conjectural sketch of what the original market house might have looked like; however, this sketch was likely based on the 1830s Fayetteville Market House and not at all what the original Hillsborough market structure would have looked like (From "History of the Town of Hillsborough")