There has been a market on this site since the 1600s. The name comes from a medieval hospital that was here during the 12th cent known as 'The priory of St Mary of the Spittle' which gave rise to the first part of the name of Spitalfields.
In 1886 Robert Horner, a former market porter bought the lease for the market and rebuilt it. It is now one of the best surviving Victorian Market hall in London.
In 1991 the original fruit and veg market moved from these premises to Leyton in east London. Today the market is thriving with its array of stalls, restaurants and bars.
This view shows the length of the market on the left and Christ's Church at the end built by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Across the road from the market is the old fruit and wool exchange where the distributors would go and purchase large amounts of goods arriving from abroad. It opened in 1929 but once the market moved, so did the wholesalers and the building eventually ceased auctions of goods. After much debate, the developers have got their way and the building will be redeveloped although the frontage will still remain. Interestingly the local council has twice refused planning permission to turn the building into yet more office space but the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has stepped in and approved the planning permission!
Ahead of the decision broadcaster John Nicolson, who lives nearby, said: "Tower Hamlets have ruled twice that the building should be retained, across party lines which is most unusual.
"But Boris Johnson has this extraordinary power, he can step in and decide that he is going to act as the planning officer for any building in London.
"It's a developer's fantasy, not least because Boris Johnson has voted for the developers in 100% of cases where he's chosen to intervene."