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Smithfield street party: Museum of London celebrates 150 years of Smithfield markets

24 November 2017

Over the August Bank Holiday in 2018, the Museum of London will join forces with the Smithfield Market Traders Association (SMTA) and others to put on a large-scale weekend street party of free, public festivities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the iconic markets at Smithfield. The weekend will be reminiscent of the old St Bartholomew’s Fair and feature food, music, historic re-enactments and much more.

On this day 149 years ago (24 November 1868), the newly redesigned Smithfield meat market, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, was officially opened after years of redevelopment. Designed by acclaimed architect Sir Horace Jones, the new market was the talk of London, and restored the market’s position in the heart of the bustling City.

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “There has been a market on site at Smithfield in some form for hundreds of years. It was the epicentre of market trading in London with people coming from miles around to buy and sell their produce or join in with the historic St Bartholomew’s Fair – one of the biggest festivals of its day. Next year we will, together with the SMTA, recreate this momentous celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of these astonishing markets. All of London is invited to come and be part of this special occasion.”

Gregory Lawrence, Chairman of the SMTA that represents the meat traders, said: “The 150th Anniversary is a major milestone in the history of the Market and we look forward to celebrating it with our friends and neighbours.”

As more information is announced over the coming months about the celebrations, the museum will be linking with other partners to make the event as connected and impactful as possible.


Notes for editors

The Museum of London is on the move. We want to tell the extraordinary story of London and Londoners in a new museum in West Smithfield, which itself is a deeply fascinating and historic area. We want to engage Londoners with their city and its history and display many more objects from our rich collection. Further information about the move and plans so far:

For more press information, interviews or images please contact Laura Bates, New Museum Communications Manager at the Museum of London on 07966 990816 or [email protected].