Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

Explore the cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market

Delight in the stunning Victorian architecture of this unique food and dining market in central London, used as a location for many well-known films, including Harry Potter.

Highlights

  • View the stunningly ornate 19th century painted roof and Victorian shop front designs.
  • Shop and dine in a unique, boutique market of independent retailers and dining establishments offering something for everyone.
  • Seek out the set locations for Diagon Alley and the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, a must for Harry Potter fans.

What to See and Do

A Shopping Experience

Most of us like a little retail therapy and Leadenhall Market is a little gem of a market with a mix of quality independent stores alongside well known high street names. The market itself offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of London outside and feel transported back in time within the Victorian setting. The variety and type of stores adds to that feeling of a time gone by.

However the shops themselves provide modern, quality products and services. This is a unique boutique shopping market where you can buy books, clothing, shoes, home-ware, jewellery, flowers, food, drink and more.

A Unique Place To Dine

Once you have worked up an appetite from shopping you do not need to leave the market to find somewhere to eat and relax. Within this unique market setting, there is a wide variety of food offerings from around the world. From gourmet restaurants to traditional pub fare, the market caters for all tastes. Fresh fish straight from Billingsgate, pizza, eat on the go sandwiches plus traditional Italian, Spanish, French and Korean food are a sample of the eateries on offer, all combining to create a truly cosmopolitan feel.

Admire the History

One of the pleasures which keeps bringing people back to Leadenhall Market is the history and the surrounding architecture. Shopping and dining are the primary purpose of the market, but visually it makes an impact of some note too. Set out as market streets enclosed by large expanses of glass, one of the jewels of this Grade II listed building is the ornate 19th century painted ceiling. Beneath your feet are cobbled streets, while all around the beautifully ornate theme continues in the structure and facade of the two-story shop buildings.

Trace Your Favourite Film Locations

Leadenhall Market meticulously maintains its Victorian style, making it a prime spot for movie and television producers looking for locations to film. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy and Hereafter have all filmed scenes at the market. The Harry Potter films have also used the Victorian interior for scenes and fans will recognise Diagon Alley in the market’s exterior. A stroll along Bull’s Head Passage within the market will bring you past a blue door which served as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron.

Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. In 2012 the whole sporting world was given the chance to look inside Leadenhall Market as it featured as part of the London Olympics marathon course for both the men and women. Runners entered the market at Whittington Avenue before exiting through Lime Street. With music and spectators lining the streets it offered a great place to sample the atmosphere and watch the marathons.
  2. The market was originally owned by Sir Hugh Neville, but he sold the building to the Lord Mayor, Richard “Dick” Whittington. This was the merchant who inspired the folk tale and then the pantomime about Dick Whittington and his cat.
  3. The Great Fire of London tore through the capital in 1666 but only damaged a small section of the market. This was rebuilt soon after, at which point it became a covered market too.
  4. An 18th-century gander somehow managed to escape slaughter at the market on two occasions, when 34,000 others were not so lucky. From then on it became a bit of a celebrity at Leadenhall and was allowed to wander around the market. Named ‘Old Tom’ by the locals he went on to live to the grand old age of 38 and was buried in the market when he died. Old Tom’s popularity had grown to the extent that The Times printed an obituary.
  5. You would be hard pushed to find a pub with such a gorgeous interior as the nearby Counting House pub. A former banking hall built in 1893, the lush interiors have maintained many of the original features, fitting for an establishment so close to the Victorian Leadenhall Market.

History

  • 1300’s – Mention of a market in manor grounds owned by Sir Hugh Neville.
  • 1411 – Lord Mayor Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington acquires the site which grows in importance.
  • 1666 – Although suffering some damage the market escapes destruction in the Great Fire.
  • 1881 – Redevelopment of the market under architect Horace Jones using wrought iron and glass for the structure.
  • 1991 – Market undergoes a major restoration, preserving the Victorian roof, buildings and cobbles.
  • Mid 20th century – The market has become more of a general retail shopping and dining site.
  • 2000/2001 – Location for filming of scenes for Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
  • 2012 – Part of the Men’s and Women’s 2102 London Olympics marathon race route.