Street Markets

Street Markets

London's first markets were street markets. Some of the capital's 100 modern markets continue to operate from the street. Most remain on the sites where they first flourished centuries ago.

Petticoat Lane

Petticoat Lane originally marked the boundary between the City of London and the County of Middlesex. Because of different administrative and financial controls, trading developed between the two areas.

From Elizabethan times, pigs were sold in the street then known as Hog Lane. The name Petticoat Lane grew from the area's association with Huguenot silk weaving in the 18th century. The market developed with the growth of the local Jewish community in the late 19th century. A Sunday market arose in response to Jewish observance of the Saturday Sabbath.

Victorians renamed the street 'Middlesex' to reflect its former status as a county boundary and to remove the (then rather shocking) reference to women's undergarments. However, the old name persisted and Petticoat Lane market was officially recognised in 1927.

Petticoat Lane remains one of London's most famous street markets. It continues to thrive, specialising in inexpensive mass-produced clothing as well as general retail goods.

Brick Lane Market

In medieval times, bricks and tiles were manufactured at Brick Lane. A market developed there from the 18th century, when farmers sold livestock and produce just outside the City in Middlesex County.

Club Row, north of Brick Lane, was formerly a market for dogs cats, reptiles and birds. Rats were also sold as live bait for the dogs that were used in the fighting pits attached to many East End pubs.

Brick Lane is a sprawling East End institution. The market reflects the diversity of its local community, with Jewish bagel shops and Bangladeshi curry houses found next to Indian sari silks, and cockney stalls.

Bookmark with:

  • What are these?