London’s Most Historic Markets

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London’s Most Historic Markets

As a city built around a river, London has naturally amassed a wealth of trade and commerce. It’s one of the main reasons it was originally built by the Romans back around the 1st century AD. The travel routes into the North Sea via the Thames made it the perfect route for ships coming in and out of the country, and so masses of wealth were gained from the easy access. This also led to the development of trade markets along the river, many of which still stand today. Guests of luxury hotels near Hyde Park needn’t travel far to discover markets that were founded centuries ago and survive to this day.

London markets are still a popular day out for locals and tourists alike. The diversity of foodstuffs, crafts and unique novelty items make these markets a popular outing. Location is a factor too, many located within historic parts of the city. Customers of spa deals in London are never far from a market, and many of them are famous not only for their wares, but for their design too.

This blog will outline some of the oldest markets in the city and how they can elevate your stay at the hotel Montcalm London. From food to art and everything in between, London local commerce is a perfect souvenir for your trip and a great way to support the local culture of London.

Borough Market 

Borough Market

Borough Market is situated on the southern riverbank of the Thames close to London Bridge, the Globe Theatre, a preserved piece of the London Wall and the Elizabethan Golden Hind replica galleon. Indeed, the location of Borough Market is ripe with history, and Borough Market blends it with modern London 

History 

Records suggest that there was a market at this location as far back as the 11th century. With a few relocations, it was eventually brought back to its original site where it stands today. Now located partly underneath the railway arches of London Bridge, Borough Market still retains an air of the bustling, chaotic atmosphere that it would have had back in the Mediaeval era. 

Goods 

Originally a wholesale food market, the 100 stalls under the Grade II Listed Floral Hall shelter have slowly changed to focus more on foodstuffs and ingredients. With a variety of street food stalls from across the globe and boutique cheeses and spices, Borough Market is the one stop shop for foodies. 

Petticoat Lane Market 

It may not be as old as Borough Market, but Petticoat Lane is still a must-visit in East London. Taking up the lanes and alleys around Middlesex Street, Cobb Street, Goulston Street and Wentworth Street, Petticoat Lane Market is easily reachable for guests of hotels near Park Lane via the Underground station at Aldgate or Aldgate East.. 

History 

Dating back to the 17th century, the market is famous for being a major trading spot for Huguenot silkweavers, French Calvinist refugees who fled to London from France to avoid punishment for not converting to catholicism. The name Petticoat Lane is thought to have been inspired by the silk petticoats that they made. Reflective of London’s diversity, the market became synonymous with Jewish traders who settled in East London during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Goods 

A bric-a-brac marketplace, the wares on sale here are diverse and include clothes, foodstuffs, homeware, CD’s and much more. You’ll find different traders taking up shop here every morning of the week except for Saturday and Monday. 

Leadenhall Market 

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is located on Gracechurch Street in the City of London and is known for its beautiful gilded ceilings, popular London food stalls and high end clothing. With butchers, florists, cheesemongers and pubs, Leadenhall Market is one of the more high end markets on this list and one of the most atmospheric thanks to its wrought iron and glass ceiling. It was even used as a location in films such as Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy due to its beautiful decor. 

History 

Leadenhall Market has its roots in the Roman era of Londinium. A basilica and Roman forum were found under the market, whilst the market itself developed during the 14th century, thus continuing the legacy of the area being a social and commercial hub. 

Goods 

Nowadays, Leadenhall Market sells a range of wares, including clothes, jewellery and dine in restaurants. Leadenhall Market is situated in the heart of the City of London and is a regular meeting place for people who work in the nearby financial sector of the city. You can expect a certain level of classiness from this lavish market. 

Spitalfields Market 

Spitalfields Market

The City of London is home to a wealth of markets, in part because it is one of the oldest sectors of the city. Spitalfields is a major transport hub, connecting Liverpool Street Station to the nearby financial district. Recent years have seen a major redevelopment of Spitalfields Market and it is now a worthy competitor for Brick Lane and Shoreditch’s commerce nearby. Part outdoors and part sheltered, the market has two public spaces Crispin Square and Bishops Square. 

History 

Dating back to the 13th century, there have been many iterations of Spitalfields Market on the site where the new one stands. The most prominent of past forms – partly because it was the first “official” market – is probably the one opened by Royal Charter for King Charles II. This butcher, poultry and vegetable market was a busy area, and more culture imbibed Spitalfields in later centuries through the immigration of Huguenot silk weavers, Irish famine refugees and Eastern European jews escaping persecution. However, The market was only given a roof as late as the 1870s, and this led to its redevelopment throughout the 20th century. 

Goods 

Open every day of the week, Spitalfields Market is one of the most diverse yet consistently high quality markets in London. The market is home to art and craft stalls, jewellery, fashion and homeware items as well as a dizzying range of mouth watering street food stands. On top of this, the market is home to bars, restaurants and pubs.