Factfile: The Historical Markets in London

Have you ever thought about how London succeeded to become the world’s leading market centre?

During the years, the conception of the market changed radically,  from an essential part of life to an iconic symbol, besides varieties of the same. In the past era, the market was an innovation, the future and the only place giving the opportunity to purchase items from around the world. Their disposal in fact is not accidental; the majority of them, originally were placed at the edges of the Thames river, to allow a straight connection from the merchant ship to the market. With time, the development changed the original position of these markets. Nowadays, the conception of market  is different. It is a a tourist attraction, a connecting symbol to the past and an innovative concept for the future.

Jumping back into the past era, when the numerous markets of London were starting to come up;  just  try imagining these markets as separate from the London. Then think of the places that were born out of this massive city and therefore the origin of its main driving force. Some of them are still the same, some have completely changed, some do not exist anymore while many they still exist in their authentic glory.

Here are some interesting facts of the markets scenes in London that made history.

  • Did you know that the major financial centre, the City of London, was once Roman and the major port?
      Leadenhall Market (1300) placed in what was the Roman London, Londinium (the actual City of London) – 14th century
  • Old Billingsgate (1327): Did you know that at the time of Edward III, in 1327, the setting up of rival markets within 6.6 miles of the City was prohibited? In fact, differently from today, according to the Market rights of the City of London, the distance a person could be expected to sell his produce was six and two thirds miles.
  • Do you know the oldest market in London?
    Borough Market (1014), which is a foodie tourist attraction, is the oldest London market.
  • Did you know that, in 1748 a petition was compiled by some residents, to complain about ‘the nuisances of the market’? It seems that this market has always been really popular, a victim of its own popularity. When nuisances increased, values decreased.
  • One of the London’s main tourist trap, the Covent Garden (1654) is a place where you can still find British-made craft, imaginative artwork and handmade jewellery.
  • Do you know which market was once, the melting pot market in London?
    In the middle of East London, Spitalfields (1666) was the perfect melting pot of the London area, with a good representation of cultures. The real contribution of those cultures it is still evident: Muslim Mosque, Methodist chapel and Jewish synagogue form the main character of that area.




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