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Leadenhall Market

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
Published December 16th 2011
Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market 1881

There has been a history of markets going back nearly 2000 years in the area where the current market is located. Under the Roman occupation a basilica (market place) was built on the site of the present day Leadenhall Market. The area then occupied was bigger than Trafalgar Square and the market was the largest north of the Alps.

Nothing much happened until 1321 when the area was a centre for poulterers, who were joined later in the century by cheesemongers.

Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall cheesemonger

Between the middle and end of the fifteenth century wool and leather were added to the produce traded and by 1622 Leadenhall was the only place where cutlery could be purchased. After its destruction during the Great Fire of 1666, the market was rebuilt as a covered structure and divided into three sections: the Herb Market, the Green Yard and the Beef Market.

Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Butcher and Poulterer

It was later demolished and rebuilt in 1881 using the glass and wrought iron so greatly favoured by the Victorians.

Leadenhall Market
The Renovated Market Today

In the twenty-first century the market sells a diverse range of products. There are branches of multiple shops, but also independent traders that hark back to the fourteenth century poulterers and cheese vendors. Additionally there is a wide choice of restaurants, pubs and wine bars to satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst.

Leadenhall Market
A Little Festive Cheer

Finally, true to its original ethos, you can visit the market stallholders who trade between 11 am and 4 pm on weekdays. They will be happy to display and sell their wares, ranging from hot and cold foods to arts and crafts.
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Why? To see another bustling renovated London market
When: Check with the individual businesses for their trading hours, but market stalls are open Monday - Friday between 11.00 and 16.00
Where: Leadenhall Market Gracechurch Street London EC3V 1LR
Cost: Varies
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