Thursday, July 25, 2024

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Market

I first visited the Old Spitalfields market when buying fruit and veg for L’Escargot, which was based in Portsmouth. We also had another place at Canterbury. It became a weekly event, driving up from Portsmouth around 1:00 am in the morning. Then shopping at various fruit and veg stalls in Old Spitalfields Market. After the Van was loaded and half full of fresh fruit and veg I then drove to Billingsgate Fish Market.

Billingsgate was on the Isle of Dogs in Poplar, which is close to Canary Wharf and Blackwall, to purchase the Fish when they rang the Bell at 5.00 a.m. A drive to Canterbury after this and then back to the restaurant at Portsmouth. 

There are plans to merge all 3 markets, Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield (meat market) into one site. Drawn up in 2019 although not confirmed yet.   

Today the area has completely changed. High-rise buildings now surround the market. The fruit and veg traders have long gone off to the New Spitalfields market at Leyton. The New stalls inside the market consist of Food and Drink stalls, Restaurants, Shops and Market stalls, and Events. Old Spitalfields Market is the original East London Market Place. 44 Retailers and Restaurants, 88 Market Stalls and 25 Street Food Traders under one Victorian Market Roof at the Heart of London’s Most Exciting Neighbourhood.     

After a walk around this area, you can always quickly visit Brick Lane, which is only a five-minute walk away.

Open 7 days a week   

Opening Times  

General Old Spitalfields Market

Mon to Fri: 10 am — 8 pm  

Sat: 10 am — 6 pm  

Sun: 10 am — 5 pm.  

Daily Market  Old Spitalfields Market

Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri: 10 am — 6 pm  

Thurs: 8 am – 6 pm  

Sat: 10 am — 6 pm  

Sun: 10 am — 5 pm  

The Kitchens

Mon to Fri: 11 am — 8 pm  

Sat: 11 am — 6 pm  

Sun: 11 am — 5 pm  


Most shops are open between 10 am and 7 pm but please check the store pages for specific opening times.  


Old Spitalfields Market  

16 Horner Square  

London, E1 6EW  

Website Old Spitalfields Website

Location Map

Unveiling the Rich History of London’s Iconic Old Spitalfields Market

Nestled in the heart of East London, the Old Spitalfields Market stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant history and enduring legacy. Let’s embark on a captivating journey through time, exploring the fascinating origins and evolution of this beloved market.

Early Days and Origins

Our story begins in the late 17th century when King Charles I granted a license for the market to be established in 1638. Initially, it was a humble market situated on open fields just outside the city walls. Traders gathered here to sell a myriad of goods, from fresh produce to textiles, catering to the burgeoning population of London.

The Victorian Transformation

Fast forward to the Victorian era, and the market underwent a significant transformation. In 1887, a grand Victorian hall designed by the renowned architect Horace Jones was erected, giving the market its distinctive iron and glass structure. This architectural marvel not only provided shelter to traders and shoppers but also became an iconic landmark in the city.

A Hub of Culture and Commerce

Throughout the years, the Old Spitalfields Market became more than just a place for trading goods. It evolved into a cultural hub, hosting diverse events, live performances, and exhibitions. The market’s cobblestone streets echoed with the voices of vendors and the laughter of visitors, creating an atmosphere that encapsulated the spirit of London.

Revitalization and Modern Era

In the late 20th century, the market faced challenges as the surrounding area underwent urban redevelopment. However, the community rallied to preserve its historical significance. A successful revitalisation project in the early 2000s breathed new life into the market. Today, it stands as a blend of the old and the new, with trendy boutiques, artisanal eateries, and unique shops, attracting both locals and tourists alike.


As we wander through the Old Spitalfields Market today, we are not just exploring a market; we are immersing ourselves in centuries of history. Its cobblestone paths and Victorian architecture whisper tales of the past, reminding us of London’s enduring spirit. So, next time you visit, take a moment to soak in the ambience and appreciate the legacy of this iconic market, where history and modernity coalesce in a truly enchanting way.

Hotels near Old Spitalfields Market

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