2021 marks the 700th anniversary of Leadenhall Market, which dates back to 1321 and is situated in what was the centre of Roman London. To mark the occasion, the Market is running a series of events this summer, to celebrate, recreate and educate people on the remarkable history of the iconic London landmark.
Located in the centre of the City of London’s financial district, the market was originally a meat, poultry and game market but is now home to 35 boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes, wine bars and an award-winning pub, The Lamb Tavern.
The site is owned by the City of London Corporation, who were gifted it in 1411 by the former Lord Mayor Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington. Surviving changes in use, rebuilding and even the Great Fire, its current beautiful Victorian architecture with soaring archways, spectacular painted roof and cobbled streets was designed by Sir Horace Jones (who also designed Smithfield Market and Tower Bridge) and dates back to 1881.
The first market was recorded in 1321, when Sir Hugh Neville, who owned what was ‘The Manor of Leaden Hall’ at the time, opened the grounds up to tenants to trade and it soon became a popular meeting place for poulterers. Since then, the market has been known to trade wool, leather and cutlery. It has played host to festivals and events and at one point even housed a chapel and school.
The Lamb Tavern has functioned as a public house since the 1880s and houses a cellar bar ‘Old Tom’s’ named after the legendary goose who escaped his fate in the poultry market and went on to become a celebrated fixture in Leadenhall Market – lying in state when he eventually died at the age of 37.
This summer, the market will be running a series of events to celebrate the spectacular venue’s past. From organised tours to self-guided walks, music events and exhibitions, key events for the diary include:
Leadenhall Market guided tour – Discover the secrets of the Victorian arcades of Leadenhall Market on a guided walking tour.
Wednesday 7th July and weekly from 18:30 – 19:45 until 4th August.
Tours are free to join but must be booked in advance as limited spaces. Book here.
Lunchtime Lives – Experience musical entertainment with a nod to the past – from Victorian music hall to 50s Jazz and Street bands.
Every Thursday and Friday lunchtime, from Thursday 15th July to 6th August.
Just turn up and enjoy.
Legends of Leadenhall – Enjoy hearing the tales of Leadenhall and the legendary characters – including ‘Old Tom’ – that have frequented its cobbled streets with an interactive audio guided tour.
Spot the posters in Leadenhall Market, use the QR code to download the app and discover the stories of the past with your own personal audio tour.
Available at any time of day throughout the year.
Electric City – Immerse yourself in neon, lights and colour as God’s Own Junkyard exhibit some of its most iconic creations from filmsets of the past 40 years.
The exhibition is free to visit and open daily until midnight until 31st July.
An information hub is open from 11.30am – 7pm Weds-Saturday.
UAL Graduate Showcase – Be inspired by the creative talents of final year students from the renowned University of the Arts London (UAL) who have taken over one of the shop windows to display full costumes for theatre productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, realistic and intricate animal models, set design maquettes and boards detailing the creative process.
The window is free to visit and open daily until late August.
For more details on how Leadenhall Market will be celebrating its 700th anniversary this year, visit www.leadenhallmarket.co.uk. Visitors of the market – past and present – are being asked to share memories via the Market’s social channels using #Leadenhall700 @LeadenhallMkt.