Leadenhall Market.-On the south side of Leadenhall Street between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street, at No. 88 Gracechurch Street (P.O. Directory).
Partly in Lime Street Ward, partly in Bishopsgate Ward Within.
After the acquisition of the Leadenhall estate by the City in 1411, and the erection of the Granary in 1446, the Hall seems to have increased rapidly in importance. Besides being used for the weighing and sale of cloth and wool, it was ordained in 1488 that the assay of leather should be held there only (Cal. L. Bk. L. p. 251), and the petition of the citizens set out in Stow (p. 160) against the leasing of the Hall by the City shows the value they attached to its use for public purposes in the 16th century.
From this petition it appears that the Leadenhall was used at that time for storing munitions of war and timber for repairing the buildings of the Corporation, for the preparation of Pageants and triumphs and for market people bringing victuals to the City to have a standing place under cover (S. 160 and 161).
In 1534 an attempt was made to remove "the Burse" here from Lombard Street (S. 161).
In addition to the above-mentioned uses we find : In 1622 it was enacted that all cutlery was to be sold at Leadenhall and nowhere else in the City (Remembrancia, p. 260), while it appears that shops and warehouses of freestone had been built there for the purpose (ib. 262).
The butchers had stalls there in 1595 (ib. 202) and a regular Meat Market was held there (p.289).
The whole place was destroyed in the Great Fire in 1666, and after its rebuilding it is described by Strype in 1720 as a very large building of Freestone, wholly converted into a Market, with three Courts, the Beef Market at the north-east corner of Gracechurch Street properly Leadenhall, the Green Yard, with shops in the middle and on the south and west sides, and the Herb Market also with stalls (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 89).
The Market House was at the east end, inhabited by Fishmongers, etc., and the passages into the Markets by Poulterers, Fishmongers, etc. (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 89).
Under the Act for the Improvement of Leadenhall Market, 1879-80, the old buildings, etc. were demolished and the first stone of the New Market was laid in 1881, with an area of about 26,900 ft., the principal entrance being out of Gracechurch Street.
The Green Market is shown in Rocque, 1746, on the eastern side of the market, east of the Hide Market, between that market and the East India House.
Places for "Hides" and "Horns" to be sold, shown in O.S. 1880.
The remains of a Roman building were discovered on the site in 1880, the walls extending east and west having been unearthed near Half Moon Passage in 1848, now covered by the avenue of the market along to Gracechurch Street. The principal wall was 12 ft. 7 in. in thickness, running 150 ft. in length, due east and west. It has been suggested that the building was a Roman forum or a basilica.