holiday and travel guide to the UK

Smithfield Market

Central Markets
Charterhouse Street
City of London
Post Code : EC1A 9LH
Telephone : 020 7248 3151

Smithfield MarketSmithfield Market, London's wholesale meat market, most likely takes its name from the 'smooth field' on which it was built.

This large open space near the City was used for public events, such as jousts, tournaments and executions. Queen Mary I, 1553-58, had 300 Protestants burned at the stake at Smithfield, earning her the nickname 'Bloody Mary'.

The most famous event to be held here was the annual Bartholomew Fair. Founded in 1123, this cloth fair degenerated over the years into one of London's most raucous entertainments. In 1855 the fair was suppressed by the City authorities for encouraging public disorder and Smithfield Market was built on the site.

The building opened in 1868, designed by Sir Horace Jones, who was also responsible for Billingsgate and Leadenhall Markets.

Inside Smithfield MarketSithfield Market, known officially as London Central Markets, has recently undergone a £70 million restoration programme. Sir Horace Jones's East and West Markets are now restored to their original colours of deep blue, red and green with gold stars.

Seeing the market in action means getting up very early - it's all over by 8.00 am! As well as meat you may well find stalls selling produce such as olive oils and cheeses.

Some of the local pubs have special early licences and keep market hours, so breakfast with beer, with the meat porters and early-rising office workers is possible.

London bus tour
Map How to get to Smithfield Market

Nearest Underground Station

Nearest Underground Station Barbican

Nearest Railway Station

Opening Times
Mon-Fri 02:00 onwards, visitors should come by 07:00. Closed Sat-Sun and Bank Holidays.
Have You Visited Smithfield Market ?
Featured Budget Hotel
Premier Inn London Blackfriars
Premier Inn London Blackfriars
1 - 2 Dorset Rise, City, London
Where to Stay in London
Get Our Newsletter
Offers, short break ideas, event news, and ideas on attractions to visit, all in our newsletter emailed direct to you.