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Welcome to Covent Garden


Food & Drink



Street Features

Then & Now

Say Boo to a Ghost

St Clement Danes School

This Month’s Magazine




then.jpgLandmarks And Discoveries
Any historic city has a wealth of things to see, but surely few can rival London and in particular in and around Covent Garden. Within our square mile we have...

then2.jpg Market Traditions
Covent Garden has long been associated with the market trade. For some 300 years the area has hosted traders of all sorts of wares, perhaps most famously...

then3.jpg Jubilee Market Hall
Whatever day of the week you decide to visit Jubilee Market Hall you’ll be amazed at the variety of goods on sale and the friendly vitality of the atmosphere...

then6.jpg Famous Covent Garden Traders
Covent Garden is renowned for market trade, market gardeners, and the historic market buildings. But the history of trade...

then4.jpgCovent Garden Architecture
Much of the beauty of Covent Garden is thanks to its unique architecture. Some of Covent Garden’s stunning buildings are elegantly classic, others daringly modern..

then5.jpg Literary Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s contribution to literature is exciting and extensive. Over the last four hundred years the foremost literati of the time have convened around the taverns,...

then7.jpgFair Ladies & flower girls
The classic Covent Garden tale of rags to riches has a contemporary resonance, though a modern-day Eliza in the Piazza... come and meet her!

then8.jpg Inside Freemasonry
What links Mozart, Burke and Kipling? Or a Chinese Supermarket in Soho with Covent Garden pubs and a monumental Grand Temple?

Coliseum and Company
then9.jpg Part 1
The first part feature brings on the past, present and future of the London Coliseum, with a unique insight into the English National Opera...

then10.jpg Part 2
The concluding part brings more insights into the workings of a world famous opera company, and its unseen stars, with an update on the Coliseum’s historic restoration...

then12.jpg King’s College, Then and Now
Kings College stands as sentinel on the Strand and has done for 175 years. In 1829 when the College was founded,... [more]

then13.jpg Snapshots of the Strand
Let’s all go down the Strand (have a banana), I’ll be the leader you can march behind. Once a high-class residential street with riverside properties,... [more...]

then14.jpg The Royal Courts of Justice
The first time you step inside the Royal Courts of Justice at the far east of Covent Garden on the cusp between Fleet Street and... [more...]

then15.jpg The Mighty Thames Then and Now
Old Father Thames is the single reason for the foundation of London as a city, providing early settlers with water for drinking and... [more...]

then16.jpg Maiden Lane
Running south of the Market, Maiden Lane has not always been the workmanlike thoroughfare it is today, for 200 years it was a murky cul-de-sac,... [more...]

then17.jpgVive La France
Covent Garden has had happy links with France for many centuries, going right back to 1066 and all that. When the Normans invaded the shores of Albion in... [more...]

then18.jpg Boxing Clever Then and Now
Sir William Cubitt’s is a name largely lost to history, although a hidden space North of Covent Garden Market bears his name... [more...]

then19.jpg Keeley Street Then and Now
Keeley Street is an unassuming thoroughfare on the fringes of the legal hinterland of Lincoln’s Inn and the consumer hub of Covent Garden. Like many streets in the area, Keeley Street is named in honour of... [more...]

Russell Street Then and Now
An important street in the history of Covent Garden, Russell Street has seen the comings and goings of many illustrious and less savoury characters in its 350+ year history... [more...]

Celebrating 25 years of Covent Garden Market in its current form.
It is strange to think that for much of the 1970s there was no actual Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden’s History 43-1632
Covent Garden Piazza 1633-1976
Six Statues to celebrate 25 years of Covent Garden Market

The Way We Were: Photographs by Nigel Dicker

Policing Covent Garden
In 1749 Covent Garden blazed a trail in modern policing technique.
.. [more]

St Martin-In-The-Fields a centre of prayer, a centre of care
Community outreach has been one of the tenets of St Martin’s since at least 1525 and probably long before; the church continues to offer an invaluable service to the homeless community offering food and shelter to 250 homeless people every weekday… [ more]

Southampton Street Then & Now
When Bedford House was demolished in 1706 it was decided that Southampton Street would be built to occupy some of London’s most eminent persons. One day 250 years ago a lynch mob descended on 27 Southampton Street, then the residence of the famed actor and impresario David Garrick… [more]

Endell Street Then & Now
Before its construction in 1845/6 the area where Endell Street now stands was a ghastly sprawl of slum tenement rooms which were home to the festering reaches of the fœtid underbelly of early Victorian poverty...[more]

Great Queen Street Then & Now
Long before Covent Garden Piazza was constructed there existed a royal thoroughfare along the present route of Great Queen Street. Offering convenient access between the city and the Royal borough... [more]

The Battle of Trafalgar
On 21 October 1805 a naval battle took place between the Royal Navy led by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and the allied French and Spanish under the command of Napoleon... [more]

St Giles-in-the-Fields
With a splendid 161 foot Baroque steeple, St Giles-in-the-Fields parish church is a fine landmark to the North of Covent Garden, although somewhat dwarfed by Centrepoint... [more]

Cleopatra’s Needle
Fifteen centuries before a single brick was laid for the foundations of London, a colossal granite obelisk was hoisted in Egypt to commemorate the life and reign of a proud pharaoh... [more]

Pall Mall
Pronounced by members of the aristocracy as “Pell Mell”, the street was laid out in 1661 when the horses and carts had become troublesome, interfering with the game of pall mall... [more]

Long Acre
Long before Covent Garden became the pancultural destination it is today, there was a humble track running through the farmsteads of London connecting the Roman City of Londinium to Westminster whereupon bucolic farmers would lead their livestock through a pastoral idyll...[more]

John Adam Street
Sandwiched between the Strand and Embankment Gardens is a curiously placid district of Central London. Home to the Savoy complex, the Adelphi and numerous unassuming business concerns... [more]

High Holborn
Holeburnstreete was first recorded in literature in 1249 as an important trade route whereupon the luxuries of the day would be ferried by wealthy merchants to their wealthier customers in the City...[more]

The River Fleet
Beneath our feet there are centuries of history, if you had an industrial metal detector and licence to drill you could find treasures from earlier civilisations as well as the skeletons of our ancestors...[more]

Wiliam IV Street
Originally King William Street was part of the construction proposals to gentrify the slum which occupied the Western Strand. Before the triangular streetscape you see today, the area was a squirrelly complex... [more]

then36.jpgFloral Street
People who are familiar with the streetscape of Covent Garden will already know that Floral Street runs parallel to Long Acre just to the South but how often do we ever drink of its charms...?

Museum Street
The origins of this street go back to the 1300s and beyond, although it remained largely rural until the late 17th century when the growth of London necessitated sprawl. Known as a thoroughfare since... [more]

Gate Street
A scion of Kingsway, you might be forgiven for thinking that Gate Street is as modern as the Kingsway development of 1905. You’d be very wrong; Gate Street can trace its history back to... [more]

Kingsway marks the Eastern reach of Covent Garden and before it was constructed, traffic had had to use the narrow thoroughfares of Drury Lane or Chancery Lane. Indeed before Kingsway came to be, the area had some of London’s most fœtid slums... [more]

Compton Street, Old & New
Retrospectively named after Henry Compton, the erstwhile Bishop of London who performed the coronation ceremony of William and Mary, Old and New Compton Street share little similarity but their names... [more]

Cecil Court, Old & New
One of the older thoroughfares in Covent Garden, Cecil Court can date itself back to the end of the 17th century and earlier maps clearly identify a hedgerow running down the street’s course... [more]

Shaftesbury Avenue, Old & New. Part 1
Constructed to improve accessibility in Central London in the 1880s, Shaftesbury Avenue might be a new kid on the block of London’s streetscape but it still has a strange and marvellous tale to tell... [more]


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