Turn a certain corner in the City of London and you'll step into the Victorian grandeur of Leadenhall Market, which has a long and fascinating history. It's located in what was once the epicentre of Roman London and has had several notable incarnations, first becoming the sort of covered market you see today when it was rebuilt after The Great Fire of London in 1666.
Think it looks familiar? That's probably because it appeared in the first Harry Potter film as the atmospheric Diagon Alley. Both Harry and Hagrid were filmed wandering to the popular wizarding pub, The Leaky Cauldron, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s not the only film that Leadenhall Market has appeared in, as it also provided a backdrop in Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy and director Clint Eastwood’s fantasy-drama Hearafter, among others.
Dating back to the 14th century, Leadenhall Market was initially a meat, poultry and game market, although it is now home to numerous boutique retailers, swanky wine bars, restaurants and an award-winning pub. The current ornate roof structure, painted in a mix of green, maroon and cream, was designed by London architect Horace Jones in 1881 and is now Grade II listed.
Getting to Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is a five-minute walk from Monument underground station – interlinked with Bank – which serves the Circle, District, Northern, Central and Docklands Light Railway. The market’s main entrance on Gracechurch Street can be reached in less than 15 minutes on foot from Aldgate, Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations too, while the 25, 35, 40, 47 and 48 bus routes all stop at or near Leadenhall Market.
Several of London’s top attractions can be reached on foot from Leadenhall Market in under 10 minutes, including the historic Tower of London and the spectacular Tower Bridge, a feat of Victorian engineering. Monument, built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London, is a five-minute walk away, as is the rooftop restaurant at Sky Garden, which offers extensive panoramic views of the city. The museums, shopping opportunities and galleries of central London can be reached via the city’s extensive underground network.
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