Borough market

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Borough_market_c1860.jpg
Borough Market circa 1860

Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in The Borough in Southwark, South London.

The wholesale market operates on all weekday mornings, but the retail market only operates on Fridays and Saturdays.

The present market, located on Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, is a successor to one that originally adjoined the end of London Bridge (and made a considerable nuisance of itself in the process). It was first mentioned in 1276 and was subsequently moved south of St Margaret's church on the High Street. It received a royal charter from Edward VI in the mid-16th century, which was confirmed by Charles II in 1671. However, the market caused such traffic congestion that in 1754 it was abolished by an Act of Parliament.

The Act allowed for the local parishioners to set up another market on a new site, and in 1756 it began again on a 4.5 acre (18,000 m²) site in Rochester Yard. During the 19th century it became one of London's most important food markets due to its strategic position near the riverside wharves of the Pool of London.

Borough Market, Borough High Street entrance
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Borough Market, Borough High Street entrance

The present buildings were designed in 1851, with additions in the 1860s and an entrance designed in the Art Deco style added on Borough High Street in 1932. A refurbishment began in 2001. Work to date includes the re-erection in 2004 of the South Portico from the Floral Hall, previously at Covent Garden which was dismantled when the Royal Opera House was reconstructed in the 1990s.

The market is administered by 21 trustees who have to live in the area.

Borough Market has become a fashionable place to buy food. It has been promoted by British television chefs and has been used as a film set; notable films with scenes at the market include Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

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