Leadenhall Market: A Rich & Varied History

One of the oldest of London’s historic marketplaces, Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th Century.

Even before that, the site of the market was the central part of Roman London. Always a centre for commerce, today the covered market mostly caters to food and flower shops and even has a magical connection.

The market has famously been used for a portion of the Olympic marathon event and even set the scene for the cast of Harry Potter as they explored the legendary ‘Diagon Alley’ – played by Leadenhall Market.

The old market was demolished in 1881 to make way for a more Victorian building designed by Sir Horace Jones, who also built the Billingsgate and Smithfield markets. Like many buildings of the time (such as the Crystal Palace) it was rebuilt with wrought iron and glass.

The architecture of the market has been restored and enhanced over the years to ensure that it continues to be a major destination for shoppers and tourists alike.

Leadenhall Market is a building listed for its special architectural and historic interest, and includes parts of Lime Street and Cullum Street - both intimate, ancient lanes.

The market is an important conservation area; the close-knit historic townscape of the Leadenhall Market Conservation Area contrasts sharply with the larger scale of the surrounding east-west thoroughfares, Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street and the main north-south route through this part of the City, Gracechurch Street.

The most dramatic improvement to the Market was the redecoration scheme in 1990-91, which transformed its appearance, enhancing its architectural character and detail. The scheme received a special mention in the Civic Trust Awards 1994.

Now Leadenhall Market is also home to one of London’s newest skyscrapers – the Leadenhall Building, which houses the highest event space in London on Floor 42 where events are catered by Create Food & Party Design.

The contemporary space offers panoramic views of London, stretching over six counties. From the venue guests can look down on landmarks such as The Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie building. Contact us to find out more about this exciting new event space.