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Covent Garden
Covent Garden
(/ˈkɒvənt/ or /ˈkʌvənt/) is a district of Westminster, in Greater London, on the eastern fringes of the West End, between Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road
and Drury Lane.[1] It is associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and with the Royal Opera House, which is also known as "Covent Garden". The district is divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre, north of which is given over to independent shops centred on Neal's Yard
Neal's Yard
and Seven Dials, while the south contains the central square with its street performers and most of the historical buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities, including the London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum
and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The area was briefly settled in the 7th century when it became the heart of the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
trading town of Lundenwic, abandoned at the end of the 9th century.[2] By 1200, part of it had been walled off by Westminster
Westminster
Abbey for use as arable land and orchards. Referred to as "the garden of the Abbey and Convent", and later "the Covent Garden", it was seized by Henry VIII and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552. The 4th Earl commissioned Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
to build some fine houses to attract wealthy tenants. Jones designed the Italianate
Italianate
arcaded square along with the church of St Paul's. The design of the square was new to London and had a significant influence on modern town planning, acting as the prototype for new estates as London grew.[3] By 1654 a small open-air fruit-and-vegetable market had developed on the south side of the fashionable square. Gradually, both the market and the surrounding area fell into disrepute, as taverns, theatres, coffee-houses and brothels opened up.[4] By the 18th century it had become a well-known red-light district. An Act of Parliament was drawn up to control the area, and Charles Fowler's neo-classical building was erected in 1830 to cover and help organise the market. The market grew and further buildings were added: the Floral Hall, Charter Market, and in 1904 the Jubilee Market. By the end of the 1960s traffic congestion was causing problems, and in 1974 the market relocated to the New Covent Garden Market
New Covent Garden Market
about three miles (5 km) south-west at Nine Elms. The central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980 and is now a tourist location containing cafes, pubs, small shops, and a craft market called the Apple Market, along with another market held in the Jubilee Hall. Covent Garden
Covent Garden
falls within the London boroughs of Westminster
Westminster
and Camden and the parliamentary constituencies of Cities of London and Westminster
Westminster
and Holborn
Holborn
and St Pancras. The area has been served by the Piccadilly line
Piccadilly line
at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Underground station since 1907; the journey from Leicester Square, at 300 yards, is the shortest in London.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Bedford Estate
Bedford Estate
(1552–1918) 1.3 Modern changes

2 Geography 3 Governance 4 Economy 5 Landmarks

5.1 Royal Opera House 5.2 Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Piazza 5.3 Covent Garden
Covent Garden
market 5.4 Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 5.5 London Transport Museum 5.6 St Paul's Church 5.7 Freemasons' Hall

6 Culture

6.1 Street performance 6.2 Pubs and bars 6.3 Restaurants 6.4 Cultural connections

7 Transport 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

History[edit] Early history[edit]

Covent Garden
Covent Garden
on the "Woodcut" map of the 1560s, with surrounding wall marked in green

What would become the Strand on the southern boundary of the future Covent Garden
Covent Garden
was used during the Roman period as part of a route to Silchester, known as Iter VII on the Antonine Itinerary.[5][6] Excavations in 2006 at St Martin-in-the-Fields
St Martin-in-the-Fields
revealed a late Roman grave, suggesting the locale had been a sacred site.[7] The area to the north of the Strand was long thought to have remained as unsettled fields until the 16th century, but theories by Alan Vince and Martin Biddle that there had been an Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
settlement to the west of the old Roman town of Londinium
Londinium
were borne out by excavations in 1985 and 2005. These revealed Covent Garden
Covent Garden
as the centre of a trading town called Lundenwic, developed around 600 AD,[8] which stretched from Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
to Aldwych.[2] Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
gradually shifted the settlement into the old Roman town of Londinium
Londinium
from around 886 AD onwards, leaving no mark of the old town, and the site returned to fields.[9] A document from 1200 AD mentions a walled garden owned by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Peter, Westminster. A later document, dated between 1250 and 1283, refers to "the garden of the Abbot and Convent of Westminster".[10] By the 13th century this had become a 40-acre (16 ha) quadrangle of mixed orchard, meadow, pasture and arable land, lying between modern-day St Martin's Lane
St Martin's Lane
and Drury Lane, and Floral Street and Maiden Lane.[11] The use of the name "Covent"—an Anglo-French term for a religious community, equivalent to "monastery" or "convent"[12]—appears in a document in 1515, when the Abbey, which had been letting out parcels of land along the north side of the Strand for inns and market gardens, granted a lease of the walled garden, referring to it as "a garden called Covent Garden". This is how it was recorded from then on.[10] Bedford Estate
Bedford Estate
(1552–1918)[edit] See also: Bedford Estate

The Earl of Bedford
Earl of Bedford
was given Covent Garden
Covent Garden
in 1552.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
in 1540, Henry VIII took the land belonging to Westminster
Westminster
Abbey for himself; this included the convent garden and seven acres to the north called Long Acre. His son, Edward VI, granted it to the John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, in 1552.[10] The Russell family, who in 1694 were advanced in their peerage from Earl to Duke of Bedford, held the land until 1918.[13] Russell built Bedford House and garden on part of the land, with an entrance on the Strand, the large garden stretching back along the south side of the old walled-off convent garden.[14][15] In 1630, 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell commissioned Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
to design and build a church and three terraces of fine houses around a large square or piazza.[16] This had been prompted by Charles I taking offence at the condition of the road and houses along Long Acre, which were the responsibility of Russell and Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth. Russell and Carey complained that under the 1625 Proclamation concerning Buildings, which restricted building in and around London, they could not build new houses. For a fee of £2,000, the King then granted Russell a licence to build as many new houses on his land as he "shall thinke fitt and convenient".[17]

Plan of Covent Garden
Covent Garden
in 1690

The houses initially attracted the wealthy, though they moved out when a market developed on the south side of the square around 1654, and coffee houses, taverns, and prostitutes moved in.[4] The Bedford Estate was expanded in 1669 to include Bloomsbury, when Lord Russell married Lady Rachel Vaughan, one of the daughters of the 4th Earl of Southampton.[18] By the 18th century, Covent Garden
Covent Garden
had become a well-known red-light district, attracting notable prostitutes such as Betty Careless
Betty Careless
and Jane Douglas.[19] Descriptions of the prostitutes and where to find them were provided by Harris's List of Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Ladies, the "essential guide and accessory for any serious gentleman of pleasure".[20] In 1830 a market hall was built to provide a more permanent trading centre. In 1913, Herbrand Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford, agreed to sell the Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Estate for £2 million to the MP and land speculator Harry Mallaby-Deeley, who sold his option in 1918 to the Beecham family for £250,000.[21]

Modern changes[edit]

Charles Fowler's 1830 neo-classical building restored as a retail market

The Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Estate was part of Beecham Estates and Pills Limited from 1924 to 1928, after which it was managed by a successor company called Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Properties Company Limited, owned by the Beechams and other private investors. This new company sold some properties at Covent Garden, while becoming active in property investment in other parts of London. In 1962 the bulk of the remaining properties in the Covent Garden
Covent Garden
area, including the market, were sold to the newly established government-owned Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Authority for £3,925,000.[21] By the end of the 1960s, traffic congestion had reached such a level that the use of the square as a modern wholesale distribution market was becoming untenable, and significant redevelopment was planned. Following a public outcry, buildings around the square were protected in 1973, preventing redevelopment. The following year the market moved to a new site in south-west London. The square languished until its central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980. After consulting with residents and local businesses, Westminster Council drew up an action plan to improve the area while retaining its historic character in 2004.[22] The market buildings, along with several other properties in Covent Garden, were bought by a property company in 2006.[23] Geography[edit]

OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap
of the area

Historically, the Bedford Estate
Bedford Estate
defined the boundary of Covent Garden, with Drury Lane
Drury Lane
to the east, the Strand to the south, St Martin's Lane to the west, and Long Acre to the north.[1] However, over time the area regarded as part of Covent Garden
Covent Garden
has expanded northwards past Long Acre to High Holborn.[24] Since 1971, with the creation of the Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Conservation Area which incorporated part of the area between St Martin's Lane
St Martin's Lane
and Charing Cross Road,[25] Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road
has sometimes been taken as its western boundary.[26] Long Acre is the main thoroughfare, running north-east from St Martin's Lane
St Martin's Lane
to Drury Lane.[27] Shelton Street, running parallel to the north of Long Acre, marks the London borough boundary between Camden and Westminster.[28] The area to the south of Long Acre contains the Royal Opera House, the market and central square, and most of the elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Transport Museum; while the area to the north of Long Acre is largely given over to independent retail units centred on Neal Street, Neal's Yard
Neal's Yard
and Seven Dials; though this area also contains residential buildings such as Odhams
Odhams
Walk, built in 1981 on the site of the Odhams
Odhams
print works,[29] and is home to 7,000 residents.[30] For a list of street name etymologies in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
see: Street names of Covent Garden.

Neighbouring areas of London

St Giles Bloomsbury Holborn

Leicester Square

Covent Garden

Lincoln's Inn Fields

Trafalgar Square Strand Temple

Governance[edit] The Covent Garden
Covent Garden
estate was originally under the control of Westminster
Westminster
Abbey and lay in the parish of St Margaret.[31] During a reorganisation in 1542 it was transferred to St Martin in the Fields, and then in 1645 a new parish was created, splitting governance of the estate between the parishes of St Paul Covent Garden
St Paul Covent Garden
and St Martin,[32] both still within the Liberty of Westminster.[33] St Paul Covent Garden
Covent Garden
was completely surrounded by the parish of St Martin in the Fields.[34] It was grouped into the Strand District in 1855 when it came within the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works.[35] In 1889 the parish became part of the County of London
County of London
and in 1900 it became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster. It was abolished as a civil parish in 1922. Since 1965 Covent Garden
Covent Garden
falls within the London boroughs of Westminster
Westminster
and Camden, and is in the Parliamentary constituencies of Cities of London and Westminster
Westminster
and Holborn
Holborn
and St Pancras.[36] For local council elections it falls within the St James's
St James's
ward for Westminster,[37] and the Holborn
Holborn
and Covent Garden
Covent Garden
ward for Camden.[38] Economy[edit]

Cheese shop off Neal's Yard

Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Market reopened as a retail centre in 1979, and the largest Apple Store
Apple Store
in the world opened in The Piazza
Piazza
in 2010.[39] The central hall has shops, cafes and bars alongside the Apple Market stalls selling antiques, jewellery, clothing and gifts; there are additional casual stalls in the Jubilee Hall Market on the south side of the square.[40] Long Acre has clothes shops and boutiques, and Neal Street is noted for its numerous shoe shops. London Transport Museum and the side entrance to the Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
box office and other facilities are also located on the square. During the late 1970s and 1980s the Rock Garden music venue was popular with up and coming punk rock and new wave artists.[41] The market halls and several other buildings in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
were bought by CapCo in partnership with GE Real Estate
GE Real Estate
in August 2006 for £421 million, on a 150-year head lease.[42] The buildings are let to the Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Area Trust, who pay an annual peppercorn rent of one red apple and a posy of flowers for each head lease, and the Trust protects the property from being redeveloped.[43] In March 2007 CapCo also acquired the shops located under the Royal Opera House.[44] The complete Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Estate owned by CapCo consists of 550,000 sq ft (51,000 m2), and has a market value of £650 million.[42] Landmarks[edit] Royal Opera House[edit] Main article: Royal Opera House

Edward Barry's 1858 façade of the Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House, often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", was constructed as the "Theatre Royal" in 1732 to a design by Edward Shepherd.[45] During the first hundred years or so of its history, the theatre was primarily a playhouse, with the Letters Patent
Letters Patent
granted by Charles II giving Covent Garden
Covent Garden
and Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, exclusive rights to present spoken drama in London. In 1734, the first ballet was presented; a year later Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden
Covent Garden
and had their premières here.[46] It has been the home of The Royal Opera since 1945, and the Royal Ballet since 1946.[47] The current building is the third theatre on the site following destructive fires in 1808 and 1857. The façade, foyer and auditorium were designed by Edward Barry, and date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive £178 million reconstruction in the 1990s.[48] The main auditorium is a Grade 1 listed building. The inclusion of the adjacent old Floral Hall, previously a part of the old Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Market, created a large new public gathering place.[48] In 1779 the pavement outside the playhouse was the scene of the murder of Martha Ray, mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, by her admirer the Rev. James Hackman.[49][50] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Piazza[edit]

Balthazar Nebot's 1737 painting of the square before the 1830 market hall was constructed[51]

The central square in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
is simply called "Covent Garden", often marketed as " Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Piazza" to distinguish it from the eponymous surrounding area. Designed and laid out in 1630, it was the first modern square in London—originally a flat, open space or piazza with low railings.[52] A casual market started on the south side, and by 1830 the present market hall had been built. The space is popular with street performers, who audition with the site's owners for an allocated slot.[53] The square was originally laid out when the 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell, commissioned Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
to design and build a church and three terraces of fine houses around the site of a former walled garden belonging to Westminster
Westminster
Abbey.[52] Jones's design was informed by his knowledge of modern town planning in Europe, particularly Piazza
Piazza
d'Arme, in Leghorn, Tuscany, Piazza
Piazza
San Marco in Venice, Piazza
Piazza
Santissima Annunziata in Florence, and the Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges
in Paris.[54] The centrepiece of the project was the large square, the concept of which was new to London, and this had a significant influence on modern town planning as the metropolis grew,[52] acting as the prototype for the design of new estates, such as the Ladbroke Estate
Ladbroke Estate
and the Grosvenor Estate.[3] Isaac de Caus, the French Huguenot
French Huguenot
architect, designed the individual houses under Jones's overall design.[55] The church of St Paul's was the first building, and was begun in July 1631 on the western side of the square. The last house was completed in 1637.[56] Seventeen of the houses had arcaded portico walks organised in groups of four and six either side of James Street on the north side, and three and four either side of Russell Street. These arcades, rather than the square itself, took the name Piazza;[1] the group from James Street to Russell Street became known as the "Great Piazza" and that to the south of Russell Street as the "Little Piazza".[56] None of Inigo Jones's houses remain, though part of the north group was reconstructed in 1877–79 as Bedford Chambers by William Cubitt to a design by Henry Clutton.[57] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
market[edit]

George Johann Scharf's illustration of the market before Fowler's hall was built in 1830

The first record of a "new market in Covent Garden" is in 1654 when market traders set up stalls against the garden wall of Bedford House.[58] The Earl of Bedford
Earl of Bedford
acquired a private charter from Charles II in 1670 for a fruit and vegetable market, permitting him and his heirs to hold a market every day except Sundays and Christmas Day.[59][60] The original market, consisting of wooden stalls and sheds, became disorganised and disorderly, and John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, requested an Act of Parliament in 1813 to regulate it, then commissioned Charles Fowler
Charles Fowler
in 1830 to design the neo-classical market building that is the heart of Covent Garden
Covent Garden
today.[4] The contractor was William Cubitt and Company.[58] Further buildings were added—the Floral hall, Charter Market, and in 1904 the Jubilee Market for foreign flowers was built by Cubitt and Howard.[61] By the end of the 1960s, traffic congestion was causing problems for the market, which required increasingly large lorries for deliveries and distribution. Redevelopment was considered, but protests from the Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Community Association in 1973 prompted the Home Secretary, Robert Carr, to give dozens of buildings around the square listed-building status, preventing redevelopment.[62] The following year the market relocated to its new site, New Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Market, about three miles (5 km) south-west at Nine Elms. The central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980, with cafes, pubs, small shops and a craft market called the Apple Market.[63] Among the first shops to relocate here was Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop.[64] Another market, the Jubilee Market, is held in the Jubilee Hall on the south side of the square.[65] The market halls and several other buildings in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
have been owned by the property company Capital & Counties Properties (CapCo) since 2006.[42] Theatre Royal, Drury Lane[edit] Main article: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Interior of the Drury Lane
Drury Lane
Theatre by Pugin and Rowlandson, 1808

The current Theatre Royal on Drury Lane
Drury Lane
is the most recent of four incarnations, the first of which opened in 1663, making it the oldest continuously used theatre in London.[66] For much of its first two centuries, it was, along with the Royal Opera House, a patent theatre granted rights in London for the production of drama, and had a claim to be one of London's leading theatres.[67] The first theatre, known as "Theatre Royal, Bridges Street", saw performances by Nell Gwyn
Nell Gwyn
and Charles Hart. After it was destroyed by fire in 1672, English dramatist and theatre manager Thomas Killigrew
Thomas Killigrew
constructed a larger theatre on the same spot, which opened in 1674.[68][69][70] Killigrew's theatre lasted nearly 120 years, under leadership including Colley Cibber, David Garrick, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In 1791, under Sheridan's management, the building was demolished to make way for a larger theatre which opened in 1794. However that survived only 15 years, burning down in 1809. The building that stands today opened in 1812.[71] It has been home to actors as diverse as Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, child actress Clara Fisher, comedian Dan Leno, the comedy troupe Monty Python
Monty Python
(who recorded a concert album there), and musical composer and performer Ivor Novello. Since November 2008 the theatre has been owned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and generally stages popular musical theatre.[72] It is a Grade I listed building.[73] London Transport Museum[edit] Main article: London Transport Museum The London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum
is in a Victorian iron and glass building on the east side of the market square. It was designed as a dedicated flower market by William Rogers of William Cubitt and Company in 1871,[58] and was first occupied by the museum in 1980. Previously the transport collection had been held at Syon Park
Syon Park
and Clapham. The first parts of the collection were brought together at the beginning of the 20th century by the London General Omnibus Company
London General Omnibus Company
(LGOC) when it began to preserve buses being retired from service. After the LGOC was taken over by the London Electric Railway
London Electric Railway
(LER), the collection was expanded to include rail vehicles. It continued to expand after the LER became part of the London Passenger Transport Board
London Passenger Transport Board
in the 1930s and as the organisation passed through various successor bodies up to TfL, London's transport authority since 2000.[74] The Covent Garden building has on display many examples of buses, trams, trolleybuses and rail vehicles from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as artefacts and exhibits related to the operation and marketing of passenger services and the impact that the developing transport network has had on the city and its population.[75] St Paul's Church[edit] Main article: St Paul's, Covent Garden St Paul's, commonly known as the Actors' Church,[76] was built in 1633, at a cost of £4,000, though was not consecrated until 1638. In 1645 Covent Garden
Covent Garden
was made a separate parish and the church was dedicated to St Paul.[77] How much of Jones's original building is left is unclear, as the church was damaged by fire in 1795 during restoration work by Thomas Hardwick; the columns are thought to be original but the rest is mostly Georgian or Victorian reconstruction.[78] Freemasons' Hall[edit] Main article: Freemasons' Hall, London Freemasons' Hall is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England
England
and the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England, as well as a meeting place for many Masonic Lodges in the London area. It is in Great Queen Street
Great Queen Street
between Holborn
Holborn
and Covent Garden
Covent Garden
and has been a Masonic meeting place since 1775.[79] Parts of the building are open to the public daily, and its preserved classic Art Deco
Art Deco
style, together with its regular use as a film and television location, have made it a tourist destination. Culture[edit]

A street performer on the performance space by St Paul's Church

The Covent Garden
Covent Garden
area has long been associated with entertainment and shopping.[80] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
has 13 theatres,[81] and over 60 pubs and bars, with most south of Long Acre, around the main shopping area of the old market.[82] The Seven Dials area in the north of Covent Garden was home to the punk rock club The Roxy in 1977,[83] and the area remains focused on young people with its trendy mid-market retail outlets.[84] Street performance[edit] Street entertainment at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
was noted in Samuel Pepys's diary in May 1662, when he recorded the first mention of a Punch and Judy show in Britain.[85] Impromptu performances of song and swimming were given by local celebrity William Cussans in the eighteenth century.[86] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
is licensed for street entertainment, and performers audition for timetabled slots in a number of venues around the market, including the North Hall, West Piazza, and South Hall Courtyard. The courtyard space is dedicated to classical music only. There are street performances at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Market every day of the year, except Christmas Day. Shows run throughout the day and are about 30 minutes in length. In March 2008, the market owner, CapCo, proposed to reduce street performances to one 30-minute show each hour.[87]

Pubs and bars[edit]

Freemasons Arms in Long Acre

The Covent Garden
Covent Garden
area has over 60 pubs and bars; several of them are listed buildings, with some also on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors;[88] some, such as The Harp
The Harp
in Chandos Place, have received consumer awards. The Harp's awards include London Pub of the Year in 2008 by the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood, and National Pub of the Year by CAMRA in 2011.[89][90] It was at one time owned by the Charrington Brewery, when it was known as The Welsh Harp;[91] in 1995 the name was abbreviated to just The Harp,[92] before Charrington sold it to Punch Taverns in 1997. It has been owned by the landlady since 2010.[90] The Lamb and Flag in Rose Street is possibly the oldest pub in the area.[93] The first mention of a pub on the site is 1772 (when it was called the Cooper's Arms – the name changing to Lamb & Flag in 1833); the 1958 brick exterior conceals what may be an early 18th-century frame of a house replacing the original one built in 1638.[94] The pub acquired a reputation for staging bare-knuckle prize fights during the early 19th century when it earned the nickname "Bucket of Blood".[95] The alleyway beside the pub was the scene of an attack on John Dryden
John Dryden
in 1679 by thugs hired by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester,[96] with whom he had a long-standing conflict.[97] The Salisbury in St Martin's Lane
St Martin's Lane
was built as part of a six-storey block around 1899 on the site of an earlier pub that had been known under several names, including the Coach & Horses and Ben Caunt's Head; it is both Grade II listed, and on CAMRA's National Inventory, due to the quality of the etched and polished glass and the carved woodwork, summed up as "good fin de siècle ensemble".[88][98] The Freemasons Arms on Long Acre is linked with the founding of the Football Association in 1896;[99][100] however, the meetings took place at The Freemason's Tavern
Freemason's Tavern
on Great Queen Street, which was replaced in 1909 by the Connaught Rooms.[101][102] Other Grade II listed pubs include three 19th century rebuilds of 17th century/18th century houses, the Nell Gwynne Tavern
Nell Gwynne Tavern
in Bull Inn Court,[103] the Nag's Head on James Street,[104] and the White Swan on New Row;[105] a Victorian pub built by lessees of the Marquis of Exeter, the Old Bell on the corner of Exeter Street and Wellington Street;[106][107] and a late 18th or early 19th century pub the Angel and Crown on St Martin's Lane.[108] Restaurants[edit] There is a wide range of restaurants, mainly in Covent Garden's central area around the piazza, and in the St Martin's Lane
St Martin's Lane
area bordering the West End; some of these with international reputations.[109] Among the restaurants are the historic theatrical eating places, the oldest of which is Rules, which was founded in 1798, making it the oldest restaurant in London,[110] followed by J. Sheekey, an oyster bar and fish restaurant founded in 1893 by market-stall holder Josef Sheekey in Lord Salisbury's St Martin's Court,[111][112] and The Ivy, which was founded as an unlicensed Italian cafe by Abel Giandellini in 1917.[113][114] Other restaurants include Belgo
Belgo
Centraal on Earlham Street, part of the Belgo
Belgo
chain of Belgian themed restaurants; one of Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurants, which opened in 2007;[115] Gaby's Deli, a Jewish cafe and restaurant serving falafels and salt beef sandwiches since 1965,[116] and Mon Plaisir, founded in 1943, one of the oldest French restaurants in London.[117][118] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
was home to some of London's earliest coffee shops, such as Old Slaughter's Coffee House, which ran from 1692 until 1843,[119] and a Beefsteak Club, the Sublime Society of Beef Steaks, which was co-founded in 1736 by William Hogarth
William Hogarth
at the Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House).[120] Cultural connections[edit] Covent Garden, and especially the market, have appeared in a number of works. In 1867, Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II
from Austria composed "Erinnerung an Covent Garden" (Memory of Covent Garden, op. 329). Eliza Doolittle, the central character in George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion, and the musical adaptation by Alan Jay Lerner, My Fair Lady, is a Covent Garden flower seller.[121] Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy
Frenzy
about a Covent Garden
Covent Garden
fruit vendor who becomes a serial sex killer,[122] was set in the market where his father had been a wholesale greengrocer.[123] The daily activity of the market was the topic of a 1957 Free Cinema
Free Cinema
documentary by Lindsay Anderson, Every Day Except Christmas, which won the Grand Prix at the Venice Festival of Shorts and Documentaries.[124] Transport[edit] Covent Garden
Covent Garden
is served by the Piccadilly line
Piccadilly line
at Covent Garden Underground station on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. The station was designed by Leslie Green
Leslie Green
and opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly
Piccadilly
and Brompton Railway on 11 April 1907, four months after services on the rest of the line began operating on 15 December 1906.[125][126] The station is one of the few stations in Central London for which platform access is only by lift or stairs.[127] Until improvements in 2007, due to high passenger numbers (16 million annually), entry to the station was sometimes restricted on busy days to reduce congestion on the platforms.[128] The distance from Covent Garden to Leicester Square
Leicester Square
at less than 300 yards is London's shortest tube journey.[129] Stations just outside the area include the Charing Cross Underground station and Charing Cross railway station, Embankment Underground station, Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Underground station, and Holborn
Holborn
Underground station. While there is only one bus route in Covent Garden
Covent Garden
itself—the RV1,[130] which uses Catherine Street as a terminus, just to the east of Covent Garden
Covent Garden
square—there are over 30 routes which pass close by, mostly on the Strand or Kingsway.[131] References[edit]

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Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
Market: Its History and Restoration. Architectural Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-85139-098-6.  ^ Conservation Area Audits Team (2007). " Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
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Covent Garden
and the story of Punch and Judy". Covent Garden
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Nell Gwynne Tavern
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(2008). Covent Garden: The Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Markets. Frances Lincoln Publishers. p. 142. ISBN 0-7112-2860-4.  ^ Chuck Arrington (19 February 2001). "The Alfred Hitchcock Collection: Frenzy". DVD Talk. Retrieved 27 July 2010.  ^ Christophe Dupin. " Every Day Except Christmas
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London : Getting to Covent Garden
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by underground". Covent Garden
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London. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.  ^ Time Out editors (17 April 2007). "London's shortest tube journey". Time Out London. Retrieved 20 May 2011. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ "Riverside bus". Cross River Partnership. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2010.  ^ "Getting to Covent Garden
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by bus". Covent Garden
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London. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 

Bibliography

Anderson, Christy (2007). Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
and the Classical Tradition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82027-8. Banham, Martin (1995). The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43437-8. Boursnell, Clive; Ackroyd, Peter (2008). Covent Garden: The Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Markets. Frances Lincoln Publishers. ISBN 0-7112-2860-4. Burford, E. J. (1986). Wits, Wenchers and Wantons – London's Low Life: Covent Garden
Covent Garden
in the Eighteenth Century. Robert Hale Ltd. ISBN 0-7090-2629-3. Kilburn, Mike; Arzoz, Alberto (2002). London's Theatres. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1-84330-069-9. Porter, Roy (1998). London: A Social History. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-53839-0. Sheppard, F. H. W. (1970). Survey of London: volume 36: Covent Garden. Institute of Historical Research. Summerson, John (1983). Inigo Jones. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-020839-9. Thorne, Robert (1980). Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Market: its History and Restoration. Architectural Press. ISBN 0-85139-098-6. Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher (2008). The London Encyclopaedia. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 1-4050-4924-3.

Further reading[edit]

Charles Knight, ed. (1843). "Covent Garden". London. 5. London: C. Knight & Co.  John Timbs
John Timbs
(1867). "Covent Garden". Curiosities of London (2nd ed.). London: J.C. Hotten. OCLC 12878129.  Vic Gatrell
Vic Gatrell
(2013). "Covent Garden". The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden Age. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-0-7181-9582-3. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Covent Garden.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for London/Covent Garden.

Covent Garden
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Parks

Royal Parks

Bushy Park Green Park Greenwich Park Hampton Court Park Hyde Park Kensington Gardens Regent's Park Richmond Park St. James's Park

Other

Battersea Park Burgess Park Clapham
Clapham
Common College Green Epping Forest Finsbury Park Gunnersbury Park Hampstead
Hampstead
Heath Holland Park Mitcham Common Osterley Park Trent Park Victoria Park Wandsworth Common Wimbledon Common

Squares and public spaces

Covent Garden Horse Guards Parade Leicester Square Oxford Circus Parliament Square Piccadilly
Piccadilly
Circus Sloane Square Trafalgar Square

Streets

Aldwych Baker Street Bishopsgate Bond Street Carnaby Street Chancery Lane Charing Cross Road Cheapside Cornhill Denmark Street Fenchurch Street Fleet Street Haymarket Jermyn Street Kensington High Street King's Road Lombard Street The Mall Oxford Street Park Lane Piccadilly Portobello Road Regent Street Shaftesbury Avenue Sloane Street Strand Tottenham Court Road Victoria Em

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