Leadenhall Market

5 Facts About The Oldest Market In London

Not only is Leadenhall Market the home to our newest London store, but it’s also one of London’s oldest commercial hubs dating back to Roman times. We’ve been looking into the history of this famous site. Discover our top 5 facts about Leadenhall Market below.

1.Dick Whittington
The market was founded in the 1300s and was originally owned by Sir Hugh Neville. In 1411, he sold the building, to Lord Mayor Rickard “Dick” Whittington before a fire destroyed the building in 1484 and was replaced by an open market. In 1488 the market was granted a monopoly for selling leather.

2.Great Fire Survivor
Unlike the rest of London, Leadenhall Market was largely unscathed during the Great Fire of 1666. Only a small section, the herb market, suffered damage.

3.Old Tom
During the 19th century, one of the most popular Leadenhall Market residents was Old Tom. He was a gander from Ostend in Belgium who managed to survive

slaughter twice! He became a regular at the market and lived until the old age of 37 when he died of natural causes. He was buried in the market and The Times ran an obituary published on 16th April 1835.

4.Sir Horace Jones
In 1880, Sir Horace Jones redeveloped the market into the wrought iron and glass structure we know and love today. He also designed Billingsgate and Smithfield markets, and even Tower Bridge, which was completed eight years after his death. The centerpiece of the market is a pitched roof supported by iconic columns and painted sky blue with stars. Look up and you will notice that some of the shops still feature the original iron hooks where produce used to hang from.

5.Harry Potter
In the 2001 film, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, the market was the location for Diagon Alley. In fact, you may notice that our next-door neighbour on Bulls Head Passage is the Leaky Cauldron.

Visit us at Leadenhall Market.

leadenhall market in the city of london
the history of leadenhall market
leadenhall market london
Published October 2016