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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 15 February 2016

Smithfield Market



 There has been a livestock market on this site in the City of London for almost 1000 years. By the end of the 18th cent the number of animals being brought to London's Smithfield Livestock Market was causing havoc in the local streets and so by 1852 it was decided by Act of Parliament that the livestock market be relocated  to the North of London. Immediately plans were put into operation to develop a new market on this site specialising in cut meat.
It took a year to complete the new market which opened in 1868. Made from cast iron, stone, Welsh slate and glass it is a huge cathedral like structure with two main buildings under one large roof and separated by the Grand Avenue.




Smithfield reached its heydey during the pre war period as the centre for the meat trade of the British Empire. The market and its related businesses were huge employers preparing, smoking, butchering and selling. In the 1990s the market was modernised and upgraded but that did not detract from the beauty of the original ornate cast iron structure.

The market is open from 2am so by mid morning all the selling has ceased and it looks deserted.


24 comments:

  1. I love that old ironwork in buildings.

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  2. Do they still use it as a meat market, it looks empty in the photo's

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  3. To think that a thousand years of livestock passed through that market. Wow! :-)

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  4. A good example of how a functional building can be very beautiful.

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  5. You always have the most informative and fascinating posts ~ Great photos!

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

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  6. That's a nice-looking market. One thousand years of history there, that's incredible!

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  7. Very impressive interior shots.

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  8. An interesting piece of history and some terrific shots.

    Diana

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  9. That is a fantastic building for the market.

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  10. That's an impressive structure!

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  11. I love how much attention was paid to even the smallest details. Lovely pictures.

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  12. Hello, what a lovely building. It seem too impressive to be a livestock market. Great post, thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

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  13. I can't imagine why they opened so early? It is a beautiful ornate building.

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  14. Wow---what a gorgeous building.. Glad --when they renovated it--that they kept the original beauty.... GORGEOUS.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  15. Such lovely and unusual colors in the ironworks. It's wonderful that it is still in use and kept up so well.

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  16. I love the look of that cast iron. Do you ever get there early enough to shop or is it wholesale only?

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  17. I love the cast iron; would never imagine it to be a livestock market.

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  18. Such an interesting post!
    Thank You~

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  19. I love all that intricate iron work - some suburbs here have verandas with similar iron work on them - and its real selling point.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  20. That looks a bit like the the old cattle market building in Brussels also in iron cast, which today is used as a general market. No lifestock anymore !

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  21. Such a beautiful building - all the ironwork and the lovely paint colours. A modern building for butchery would be just a refrigerated box. I've never been to Smithfield Market, but I recognise those iron 'brackets' at the ceiling level from an exercise in one of my embroidery books!

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