Its precise start date is impossible to pin down: there was no official opening, not even a brief mention in a chronicle. The best date available, and the one used for the basis of the market’s millennium celebration, is 1014.
A colourful and chaotic history ensued, with much debate over the market, its purpose and location during the medieval period. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Southwark became a hive of activity, including a centre for commerce. The market was seen to be blocking other trade and commerce in its current location, which sparked a bill for it to cease trading in March 1756. Residents petitioned to start a new market ‘for the convenience and accommodation of the public’. St Saviours acquired land away from the previous site to set this market up and in 1756 the decree came for the market we now know today.
The new market sold a large variety of everyday produce but in time became a centre for wholesale trade. In 1906 the market’s constitution was changed and the management was place in the hands of 21 voluntary trustees. In the 1930 the wholesale trade was at a peak, with an estimated 1,750,000 bushels of fruit and vegetables being sold in 1933. However in the 1970s, largely due to the growth of supermarkets, Borough Market saw a swift and dramatic decline in trade.
Following this sad period, pioneering food businesses, which had moved into empty warehouses in the area, began to host special events around the site and they were instantly popular. Henrietta Green held a three day Food Lovers’ Fair here in 1998, with some of the best food producers in Britain. The event was a huge success and, as a result, it was decided that a regular retail market would be held here each month. Since then, the Market has progressed to what we see today, with traders here six days a week and a hive of activity once again.
|Reception||80 - 700|
|Lunch||10 - 180|
|Dinner||10 - 180|
|Dinner Dance||50 - 120|
|Meeting / Conference||10 - 100|
|Outside Space||50 - 350|
|Exhibition Space (m2)|
|Marquee Capacity||0 - 0|
|Wedding Licence||50 - 180|
|Wedding Reception||50 - 180|