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Charterhouse Street, EC1
Nearest Tube: Barbican
This market is London's infamous meat market, originally sited in Smithfield just outside the city walls. Animals had been traded here since the 12th century and the area first gained its charter in 1400. Another charter formally established a cattle market there in 1648.
For many years the area was also London's prime location for public executions. But once the Tyburn Gallows this was no longer London's main execution ground. Nevertheless, records show that executions took place here as late as 1650.
In the 1850s the market was transferred to its present location in Charterhouse Street. It was called the London Central Meat Market, but the name of Smithfield persisted.
Nowadays the market covers a massive 10 acres, employs around 1,500 people and sells an astonishing 150,000 tons of meat each year. As you would expect of a meat market, it is extremely bloody and definitely not for the faint-hearted - it might even make you convert to vegetarianism.
Now officially known as London Central Markets, it is open from 5am-10.30 am Monday to Friday. Many of the surrounding pubs open at 6am to cater for the stallholders so if you can stomach the market you can be rewarded with an early morning pint.
|During the Peasant's Revolt of 1381, Wat Tyler travelled to Smithfield Market in order to meet Richard II. And it was here that Tyler was killed by the then Lord Mayor William Walworth.|
The dagger that Walworth used to kill Tyler is now held at the Fishmonger's Hall.
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