Billingsgate Market

Old Billingsgate map
Old Billingsgate, 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, 16 Lower Thames Street, City EC3R 6DX
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Bank CNT DLR NRN W&C, Cannon Street CRC DSC, London Bridge JUB NRN, Monument CRC DSC, Tower Hill CRC DSC
The nearest train station to Old Billingsgate is Monument
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Old Billingsgate Fish Market dates all the way back to the 9th-century when fishermen tied their boats up on the banks of the Thames. They sold their goods in the streets, and over the years wholesalers and retailers were erected to inspect their day’s catch.

This ramshackle arrangement stayed in place until 1877 when the Corporation of London decided to better the premises and open up a trading hall. Problems persisted however, as the traffic had difficulty negotiating the small streets of The City.

As the pin-striped suits moved in to the Square Mile they frequently complained about the fishy smells and foul-mouthed fishwives so close to their place of business, and in January 1982 a decision was taken to move the market to West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs.

The old brick premises with its cast-iron pillars was then converted into commercial properties.

Where did the name ‘Billingsgate’ come from?

Billingsgate is said to derive from an old king of the Britons called ‘Beling’. When he died his remains were placed inside an urn outside Beling’s Gate – a popular entry to the docks.


If you enjoy this then try: Borough Market (you can walk it in 7 mins); Smithfield Market (walk it in 22 mins or catch a train from Monument to Barbican) and Spitalfields Market (walk it in 18 mins or catch a train from Monument to Liverpool Street).

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