The present Borough Market, in the Southwark district of London, is the immediate successor to the market that was at the end of London Bridge. The first recorded mention of the Market was in1276 although the market itself claims to have been there since Roman Times. The market made a nuisance of itself at the end of London Bridge, constantly causing congestion over the busy bridge. It was moved just south of St Margaret’s Church on High Street. However, by 1754 the market was still causing such congestion that it was closed by an Act or Parliament. The Act allowed parishioners to open a new market, which they did at Rochester Yard. In the 19th Century it became one of London’s most important markets due to its close proximity to the wharves of the Pool of London.
Historically Southwark was London’s red light and entertainment district. There were a number of brothels and theatres, including Shakespeare’s Globe, and bull and bear baiting were popular. It was also the location of several prisons.
Today Borough Market has become a fashionable place to shop. It has been featured on several television programs and used as the set in a number of films. The present buildings were designed in 1851, with the art deco entrance added in 1932. The market is a labyrinth of traders – from cheese, meat and fish, to artisan producers of breads and cakes. There are also stalls belonging to importers of international foods, from Scilly to Argentina to Portugal. Some of the stalls move to different positions of different days but you can check on the website to make sure you can find your favourite stall when you are visiting.
The market is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with Saturdays being the busiest day. If you want to avoid the crowds it is best to visit the market on a Thursday. And if you’re a bargain hunter the prices are usually dropped later on the day as vendors try to get rid of their stock so that is the time to snoop around for a bargain.
Tel: 020 74071002
Address: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL
Tube: London Bridge, Borough
Overground: London Bridge mainline.