Markham Moor services
Markham Moor is an old roundabout which became a magnet for various facilities, a few of which have survived and continue to operate today.
COVID-19 update: These details were updated on 24 January 2021, with changes caused by COVID-19.
COVID-19 update: Most service stations are open with fewer facilities. General advice here.
Additionally, a Starbucks Drive Thru is available close to the southbound carriageway, but not part of the service area.
- 🗺 Grid reference: SK718736
🌍 Operators (Official Websites):
Trivia and History
The original Markham Moor Roundabout, built in 1957 and extended in 1967, had facilities on each corner. The roundabout has now been replaced by a normal interchange junction but services still stand at a number of parts of the junction, confusingly signposted in all different directions:
The south-west corner (serving northbound traffic leaving the junction) started with a garage besides the new, northbound A1 (old A57). This is understood to have been the site of Morley's Café. In the 1988 this was demolished and replaced by the Markham Moor North branch of Little Chef, a Travelodge and a new Shell forecourt. The old garage was where the car park is now.
This large Little Chef trialled the original Little Chef Express in 1994. This became a Burger King, and then Coffee Tempo!. In 2011 it received the Wonderfully British refurbishment, gaining a 'Good to Go' deli counter. Subway opened alongside the Little Chef in September 2014 replacing Good to Go.
It was able to withstand many portfolio reviews. It eventually closed in January 2018 and was replaced by Euro Garages's own-branded EG Diner following the loss of rights to the Little Chef name. This closed in October 2018 and a KFC drive thru took its place in January 2019.
This Shell garage was refurbished in August 2018. Shell Recharge electric vehicle charging points are expected to join the site soon.
In 1992 the independent Markham Moor truckstop was built next to the main service area.
In the north-east quadrant (serving southbound traffic leaving the junction) a McDonald's and another Shell forecourt trade. The McDonald's opened in 1991, and was one of their first developments in rural Britain.
The north-west corner (serving southbound traffic approaching the junction) has two former Little Chefs. There is also the Markham Moor Inn and Garage on the A638 (historic A1).
A distinctively-shaped roof was designed by Sam Scorer to cover a petrol station on the new southbound A1 (old A57), built in 1961. Known as a hyperbolic paraboloid, he used similar designs for a petrol station and church in Lincoln. It was supposed to be striking and easily identifiable. At Markham Moor, Happy Eater took over the unusual building in the 1980s and built their own restaurant underneath the roof, using it as a distinctive landmark to help promote the branch.
In 1996, Forte decided to change their Happy Eaters to Little Chef, so it became the Markham Moor South branch.
Meanwhile, in 1987 Kelly's Kitchen and Petrofina built a restaurant and petrol station next door. In 1989 this was purchased and turned in to a Little Chef, the Retford branch. When the more distinctive Happy Eater was acquired, this branch closed and became a Chinese restaurant. The petrol station was closed during the roundabout works.
As part of the roundabout replacement, this building was planned to be demolished. After a public campaign, the junction was re-designed to work around the building on a much sharper slip road.
In 2012, the restaurant closed, leaving its distinctive building empty. The canopy became a listed building in March 2012, specifically excluding the building beneath. In 2016 there was a plan to reopen it as a Little Chef and Burger King drive thru, but this didn't happen. Inside the building was still in good condition, with some Little Chef signage and colours.
In 2016, the roof was accessed illegally for skateboarding by a group known as 'Urban Cowboys'. The group's YouTube video received a lot of media attention.
In April 2019, a planning application was made to convert the building into a drive thru Starbucks. This application was withdrawn in June 2019, but on the same day a new application was made under the title "Starbucks Development". Work then started on refurbishing the building and painting it in a dark colour scheme. A few days later, Starbucks publicly denied that a new branch would be opening here, adding that they had "no news to share".
Despite this, the building was re-fitted in Starbucks style, as well as gaining two new electric vehicle charging points. It opened as a Starbucks in December 2019.
| Cromwell (northbound, 10 miles)|
North Muskham (southbound, 11 miles)
|Services on the A1||Blyth (12 miles)|
| North Muskham (southbound, 11 miles)|
Colsterworth (41 miles)
|Euro Garages services||Carcroft (northbound, 28 miles)|
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