Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market (110)

In the heart of London, in the heart of the City, you will find a beautiful covered Victorian market that was established in 1463 and survived the great tragedies that have plagued this city since then, such as the Great Fire of 1666 and the two World Wars.

The market dates back to the 14th century and is located in the centre of what was then the Roman town. It began as a meat market, selling poultry and game, but gradually expanded to offer cereals, eggs, butter, cheese and spices. Over the next 200 years Leadenhall Market became the centre for the sale of fresh product in the Roman city, gradually becoming a market for other products such as wool and leather.

In 1666 the market was affected by the Great Fire, an event that led to its reconstruction, after which it became a covered market divided into three sections: The Beef Market, the Green Yard and the Herb Market. 

In 1881 the City architect, Sir Horace Jones, the same architect who designed the Billingsgate and Smithfield markets, redesigned Leadenhall market, replacing the existing stone structures with glass and iron, making it a true Victorian market. This glass and iron structure is what has survived to this day, and has been a cultural heritage site since 1972.

Leadenhall Market sells mainly fresh produce, such as meats and cheeses, but is also home to florists, cafes and pubs, making it a popular place for City employees to visit after working hours. 

And what would become of Harry Potter without London? Or London without Harry Potter? As is to be expected, the Leadenhall Market has also featured in the famous wizard's films. Remember Diagon Alley? If your answer is yes, then these galleries will be very familiar to you. And if your answer is no, you can see how this wonderful market is transformed into busy Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

And here's a curious story about an illustrious 19th-century inhabitant of the market. The character in question is "Old Tom", and he was a goose, no less. Legend has it that Old Tom arrived from Belgium along with other 34,000 other geese with the intention of selling their meat. And this was the precisely fate of all of them except for Old Tom, who managed to escape the slaughter house and became the market's most famous resident, strolling around as if he owned the place. Such was the affection afforded him by pedestrians and shopkeepers that they baptized him as Old Tom and, on the day of his death at 37 years, 9 months and 6 days old, an obituary appeared in TheTimes. Today there is a pub in Leadenhall Market called "Old Tom's Bar", an authentic pub the name of which pays homage to the illustrious market resident.

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