Kornhausplatz was originally the ditch around the first city wall. Following the Great Fire of 1405 the ditch (known as the Steininbrügg-Graben) was filled in to form a plaza. For about three centuries, it was known as Platz (literally: plaza or place). In 1545 or 1546 the Kindlifresserbrunnen (Bernese German for Child Eater Fountain) was built by Hans Gieng in place of a wooden fountain on the Platz. Originally it was known as Platzbrunnen (Place Fountain), though the current name was used first in 1666.
In 1711-1715 the Kornhaus (German for granary) was built on the western side of the Platz. Following construction of the Kornhaus, the Platz was known as Kornhausplatz or Kornmarkt (Grain market).