Covent Garden Market had its beginning in 1835 when a patent was issued to hold a “public fair or mart” in the area of Richmond, Dundas and King Streets. In 1845, the Market found a permanent home when city business owners donated land near Richmond, Dundas and King Street.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were the days the farmers arrived to sell their wares. Inside the main floor was strewn with sawdust where shoppers could choose meat from many different butchers. Outside, buyers and sellers mingled and bargained over wares ranging from boxes of trinkets and wild raspberries to kitten litters.
Until well after World War 1, the Market was the business and cultural heart of the City. In 1955 when the advent of the automobile began to take its toll on the time-honored tradition of visiting the Market, nine business s formed the Covent Garden Market Building Inc. in 1958 to replace the old Market building, which contained four levels of parking along with an area on the main floor for the traditional Market.
In 1998, it became apparent that a new building was once again needed and the new Market opened in October of 1999. Thousands of London citizens attended the unveiling of the newest version of a much loved landmark.
With the Covent Garden Markets fresh produce, gourmet foods, unique gifts, Public Square, seasonal outdoor farmers’ Market, ice rink and regular family programming, it continues to build on its long and rich traditions as one of London’s center of commerce and community.
Throughout the year, the Market offers a range of events on its public square and mezzanine, including music and theatre festivals and community events.