Covent Garden, London WC2


United-Kingdom-UK.com

Custom Search

 
   
Google Translate:

Advertisement

wwp®

wwp us wwp uk wwp eu

UK

Covent Garden

London WC2

Covent Garden with its pedestrianised piazza, open-air cafés, stylish shops, markets and street entertainers is a huge attraction for visitors. 

The name Covent Garden is a corruption of the 'convent garden' of the Abbey of St Paul which supplied Westminster Abbey with produce. 

In the 1630s the 4th Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones, the King's Surveyor of Works, to create London's first planned residential square on the site.  Jones, who was influenced by the Italian neo-Classicism of Palladio, modelled the piazza on Livorno in Italy

The fine Tuscan-style church of St Paul, with its vast portico, once looked out on to tall terraces over an arcaded, three-sided square.  The square was fashionable, but as the fruit and vegetable market grew and newer, more exclusive, developments were built to the west, Covent Garden's popularity waned. Coffee houses, taverns, Turkish baths and brothels soon began to thrive in the area.  Inigo Jones' fine terraces have long since vanished. 

In Victorian times, Covent Garden was known for its 'gin palaces' and the area around the Seven Dials and St Giles was considered a particularly wicked and notorious place.

Nevertheless, Covent Garden remained a fashionable place for theatre and opera throughout the years.  Charles II's mistress, Nell Gwyn, performed at the Theatre Royal, Dury Lane, which opened in 1663, and is the West End's oldest theatre.

The first Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden in 1732.  The present Royal Opera House was designed by E M Barry in 1858.   It reopened in 1999 after £214 million redevelopment and expansion programme.  The magnificent new building, which features the cast-iron and glass facade of the Floral Hall, links the Covent Garden piazza with Bow Street.  It is now the home of the Royal Ballet as well as the Royal Opera.                      

Covent Garden's covered central market for the fruit and vegetable wholesalers was designed by Charles Fowler and completed in 1830.  When the market moved out to Battersea in 1974, the building, with its glass and iron roof, provided a shell for a range of small shops and stalls selling arts, crafts, decorative items, antiques, designer clothes and books. 

Stalls have also spread south into the Jubilee Hall, built in 1903.  The Victorian Flower Market, in the south-west corner of the piazza, now houses the fascinating London Transport Museum

Covent Garden, one of London's few extensive pedestrianised public spaces, is noted for its many street entertainers, continuing a long tradition - Samuel Pepys described a Punch and Judy show he'd seen under the portico of St Paul's church in 1662.

Stroll around the many interesting streets leading off the piazza.  Floral Street is noted for its designer fashion, while Long Acre has more mainstream chains. 

Pedestrianised Neal Street to the north is a street of former 19th century warehouses, converted into small art galleries, restaurants and shops selling everything from oriental goods to kites.

Neal's Yard, off Shorts Gardens, is an oasis with health food shops and cafés, and Denmark Street, near St Giles-in-the-Fields, is famous for its musical instrument shops. 

Seven Dials is the junction of seven streets.  The pillar at the centre, installed in 1989, is a copy of a 17th century monument which was removed in the 19th century because the landmark had become a notorious meeting place for criminals.  The pillar incorporates six sundials, with the central spike acting as the seventh.     

To the east of Covent Garden is Bow Street.  Henry Fielding, the novelist and barrister, presided over the Magistrates Courts in Bow Street in the 1750s and 1760s.  Horrified by the lawlessness of Georgian London, Fielding and his blind half-brother Sir John Fielding, established the Bow Street Runners.  These volunteer 'thief taker's were the forerunners of today's Metropolitan Police which was founded in 1829.

UK Time Zone = GMT / BST
UK Currency = Pound Sterling
 

UK clocks
on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

UK

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland

London

London W1
London SW1
London EC1
London WC1
London WC2


London Theatres

London Airports
Heathrow Airport
Gatwick Airport
Stansted Airport
City Airport
Luton Airport

Greater London
Wimbledon
Kingston-upon-Thames

UK Websites

Franchises
Google UK
Newspapers
Universities
 

Special Days

Valentines Day
Mothers Day
 

Back ] London WC2 ] Next ]

Australia Embassy ] India Embassy ] Nigeria Embassy ] South Africa Embassy ] Uganda Embassy ] Zimbabwe Embassy ] Aldwych London WC2 ] Catherine St., London WC2 ] Chancery Lane - London WC2 ] Clements Inn, London WC2 ] [ Covent Garden, London WC2 ] Drury Lane, London WC2 ] Earlham St, London WC2 ] Gt Newport St., London WC2 ] Leicester Square, WC2 ] Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2 ] Northumberland Avenue - London WC2 ] Parker Street, London WC2 ] Portugal  St., London WC2 ] Russell Street, London WC2 ] St Martins Lane - WC2 ] Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 ] The Strand London WC2 ] Trafalgar Square WC2 ] Wellington St., London WC2 ] West Street, London WC2 ] Twitter: London WC2 ] London WC2 - Site Map ]

MORE ] Apple Store-Covent Garden ] Royal Opera House ]

London Time | London Local Search

Kingston-upon-Thames 

European Union

Euro Currency Converter: The Euro

EU Time Zones

Central European Time | Eastern European Time | Western European Time | Greenwich Mean Time | British Summer Time

EU Cities

Amsterdam, Holland | Athens, Greece | Barcelona, Spain | Berlin, Germany | Bratislava, Slovakia | Brussels, Belgium | Copenhagen, Denmark | Dusseldorf, Germany | Florence, Italy | Frankfurt, Germany | The Hague, Holland | Hamburg, Germany | Helsinki, Finland | Lisbon, Portugal | London, England | Madrid, Spain | Marseilles, France | Milan, Italy | Munich, Germany | Naples, Italy | Nice, France | Paris, France | Prague, Czech Republic | Rome, Italy | Stockholm, Sweden | Venice, Italy | Vilnius, Lithuania

EU Countries

Austria  | Belgium  | Bulgaria  | Cyprus  | Czech Republic  | Denmark  | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands / Holland  | Poland  | Portugal  | Romania  | Slovakia  | Slovenia  | Spain  | Sweden  | United Kingdom

Can't find what you're looking for - Then Search Google





Google UK Search

 

Delivered by wwp UK server (5)

Global

Why not?

  • Give us your feedback and comments using the Visitors Book
  • Bookmark this page NOW!
  • Make a link to us from your website?
  • Advertise? Please contact us via the Feedback Form

Thank you for visiting the wwp® global network of websites!

Please read the legal page and data policy page. Awards and media coverage - credits page. ICRA Family Rated Site
Copyright © 1995 - 2014 Greenwich2000.ltd.uk - Greenwich2000®  Get®  World Wide Portals™  wwp® Developing Virtual Real Estate™ #1
All trade-marks acknowledged - Global Site map

Last revised: May 14, 2013 07:30 -0000 GMT Site Map

Covent Garden, London WC2