history of the market

Covent Garden dates back to medieval days when the Abbey of Westminster owned the 'Convent Garden' from which surplus produce was sold to Londoners near to The Strand. A regular market grew up and in 1670 Charles II granted a charter to the Earl of Bedford to hold a market there. The market square was partly designed by Inigo Jones on an Italianite design.

The Market grew rapidly and the Dedicated or 'Charter' Market, designed by James Fowler, was erected in 1829/30. Eventually the Market spread to some 30 acres.

After 1918 the Market and its trading rights were sold by the Duke of Bedford to a property company. Eventually the government recognised that public sector involvement would be necessary to modernise the Market and in 1961 Covent Garden Market Authority was established.

The Authority selected Nine Elms at Vauxhall as the new home for the Market and the acquisition of the site and construction began in 1971.

On Monday 11th November 1974 trading began on the new site.

'Transplanting the Garden' which covers the relocation of the Market to Nine Elms is available by emailing hello@cgma.co.uk price £26 (UK) and £32 (Overseas)