Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market.

I believe everyone that has visited London for pleasure, has been to Covent Garden Market. It’s one of the most touristic places of the city.

I read a little bit of its history here and I found it quite interesting:

“The first written reference to “the new market in Covent Garden” dates from 1654.  More a hotch-potch of food sellers than any kind of formal market, it grew rapidly, taking over more and more of the grand square. In May 1670, the Piazza’s owner, the 5th Earl of Bedford, secured a grant of letters patent which formalised the presence of the market, giving him and his heirs the right to gather traders every day except Sundays and Christmas Day and, more importantly, charge those traders for the privilege. The two key rules in the grant were that only fruit, flowers, roots and herbs could be sold and that the market could not extend beyond the Piazza.

By the mid-18th century, the market was becoming a victim of its own popularity. In 1748, a group of local residents compiled a petition to complain about “the nuisances of the market”. They were concerned about the noise, the stench, the obstructed streets, the unauthorised selling of booze and the “great number of profligate and disorderly people who frequent the square, and particularly that part of it called Irish Row”. Their biggest concern was the impact of the market on house prices. Values, they wrote, had “abated in proportion as the nuisances have increased”. 

In 1828, politician John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford petitioned for a government bill “for the improvement and regulation of Covent Garden Market”. This bill, allowed the Duke to build a market and the Architect he chose for this, was Charles Fowler. In 1838, the critic JC Loudon wrote that Fowler was “one of the few modern architects who belong to the School of Reason and who design buildings on fundamental principles instead of antiquated rules and precedent”. He described the Covent Garden market building as “so expressive of the purposes for which it is erected, that it cannot by any possibility be mistaken for anything else”. Covent Garden Market is still there 180 years later, pretty much unchanged, still operating as a market building, still impossible to mistake for anything else”.

Covent Garden is open to the public daily and the shops operate between 10:00 and 19:00 and on Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00. There are many shops in the market and around the area, as well as places to eat and drink. In addition, there are many museums and theatres with notable plays around the area. Covent Garden is also famous because there are many street performers.

Covent Garden is decorated  each time according to season and the events that take place there or in the city. This time of the year is very romantic. Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

Until next time ♥