Leadenhall Market is a beautiful covered market full of shops, restaurants and cafes in the City of London. This Victorian-covered market, which has a beautiful star-filled ceiling, is also known for being one of Harry Potter’s filming locations.
Leadenhall Market’s History
Leadenhall Market began as a meat market in the 1300s, where mainly poultry and game were sold. It gradually expanded to sell cereals, eggs, butter, cheese, and spices. During the following 200 years, Leadenhall Market became the centre of the Roman city of London and eventually grew bigger to sell other products, such as wool and leather.
In 1666 part of the market was affected by the Great Fire of London, and when it was rebuilt, it became a covered market. It was then divided into three sections: Beef Market, Green Yard and Herb Market.
In 1881 architect Sir Horace Jones redesigned the market. He had previously designed the Smithfields and Billingsgate markets at the time. The existing stone was replaced with glass and iron structures, turning it into a proper Victorian market. This Victorian glass and iron structure is what we can see today and is considered a cultural heritage building.
What to See at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is full of restaurants, pubs and shops. It’s perfect to stroll through the market, go for a drink, or get something to eat. It is a small market and will probably take 30 minutes to visit.
Restaurants and Pubs
There are many restaurants and pubs. The Lamb Tavern is a grand old bar and dining room stretching across three floors. You will also find a cheese bar, a brasserie, and a Spanish Tapas bar, among other fantastic eateries. Pizza Express is a family-friendly option if you are visiting London with kids,
As you walk through Leadenhall Market you’ll come across some retail boutiques, as well as a few high-end fashion shops, a Waterstones bookstore and a flower shop.
Harry Potter and Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market has been a popular filming location, and some scenes from the first Harry Potter film, such as the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley, were filmed here. Find out more about this here: Harry Potter in London.
There are several intersting tours that focus on this market, as part of a historic city tour or filming locations tours.
Old Tom at Leadenhall Market
We love unusual stories and curiosities, and as a curiosity, we have to mention Leadenhall Market’s famous goose nicknamed Old Tom.
Old Tom was a goose who managed to escape his fate at this meat market in the 19th century and lived around the Market until he was 37 years old. He was known by all the traders, and nowadays you can see various mentions of Old Tom around the market, including the pub Old Tom.
Leadenhall Market Opening Times
Leadenhall Market is open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. It is also somewhere I’d happily visit when it’s closed, as you can still walk through the market and admire its beauty.
How to get to Leadenhall Market
The nearest underground stations are Monument and Bank, in travel zone 1 of London.