All photos of Covent Garden dated 2015-2016 are the actual ones and were taken with iPhone 5s.
In this gallery you will find photos of Covent Garden. Covent Garden is adored by tourists and locals alike for it is wonderful shops, restaurants, street entertainers as well as many historic buildings, museums and theatres. All photos of Covent Garden dated 2015-2016 are the actual ones and were taken with iPhone 5s.
During the Roman times, the area where Covent Garden is located was part of the route to Silchester called “Iter VII”, meaning Road 7.
Silchester is a village near Basingstoke, Hampshire with a population of just under one thousand people. Thus, you probably haven’t heard of it. But Silchester is notable for its archaeological site of a Roman town called Calleva Atrebatum, occupied by the Romans in about 45 AD and it is considered that it has the best preserved Roman wall in Great Britain.
Excavation in St Martin in the Fields have also shown a Roman grave which suggests that the area of Convent Garden might also have had sacred significance. Excavation in 1985 and 2005 have confirmed theories of Alan Vince and Martin Biddle, British archaeologists, who have hypothesized that the area of Covent Garden was significant for Anglo-Saxons who did not originally occupy Roman’s settlement in Londinium. Around 600 AD, town of Lundenwic stretched from Trafalgar Square to Aldwych closer to the mouth of the River Fleet, which at the time was a major river gradually turning into present day largest subterranean river and sewer in London.
The etymology of the word Lundenwic 'London trading town' describes its importance for Anglo-Saxon commerce.
From around 886 AD, the settlement moved to Londinium under Alfred the Great and the site returned to fields.
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In medieval times, Covent Garden was a convent garden that supplied Westminster Abbey with produce.
The first mention of this can be seen as far back as 1200s. It is thought to have been a walled garden containing orchards, meadows, pasture and arable land.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII claimed the lands for himself and his son Edward VI granted them to Earl of Bedford. Not much has been done to lands till the 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell, an active and ambitious businessman who commissioned Inigo Jones in 1630 to design and build a church and three terraces of fine houses around a large square or piazza. It was London’s first Piazza and it attracted at first the aristocracy, who soon moved out when a market was established on the south side of the Square.
Coffee houses, taverns and prostitutes established business there, and by 18th century Covent Garden has become the red-light district of London which was colorfully documented in Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, known as the "essential guide and accessory for any serious gentleman of pleasure".
In 1830, the 6th Earl of Bedford commissioned Charles Fowler to design the neo-classical market building that is the heart of Covent Garden today. However, by 1960s the traffic to the square made the market unsustainable and redevelopment of the building was planned.
In 1980 it was reopened as a shopping centre which you can stroll along today with pubs, coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, jewellery and clothes shops, some fine artisanal shops that sell cigars, fine paper and seals.
However, 1973 marked the year where following the public outcry, the buildings were protected preventing redevelopment and the piazza can be enjoyed in its historic integrity.