Fleet Market, from Holborn Bridge c1827
Drawn by Tho. H. Shepherd. Engraved by S. Lacey.
"The Fleet River runs down from springs on Hamstead Heath to join the Thames at Blackfriars. As London grew, the river became increasingly a sewer. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, Christopher Wren proposed widening the river; however, this was rejected. Rather, the Fleet was converted into the New Canal, completed in 1680. Newcastle Close and Old Seacoal Lane (now just short alleyways off Farringdon Street) recall the wharves that used to line this canal, especially used by the coastal coal trade from the North East of England. Unpopular and unused, the upper canal was culverted over from 1737, between Holborn to Ludgate Circus, to form the 'Fleet Market'. The lower part, the section from Ludgate Circus to the Thames covered by 1769 for the opening of the new Blackfriars Bridge and was therefore named 'New Bridge Street'. The development of the Regent's Canal and urban growth covered the river in King's Cross and Camden from 1812. " 1
"Farringdon Street, which runs from Bridge Street northward to the line of Holborn, is constructed over the celebrated Fleet Ditch. In this street stood Fleet Market." "The Mansion House ... was erected on the site of the old Stocks Market. When that happened, about 1737, and Fleet Ditch was arched over, the business of the Stocks Market was transferred to the ground above the ditch, now called, as we have mentioned, Farringdon Street. Such was the origin of Fleet Market. It was opened for the sale of meat, fish, and vegetables on the 30th of September, 1737; but it did not complete a century of existence here.
In 1829 it was found necessary to widen the thoroughfare from Holborn to Blackfriars Bridge; so Fleet Market was removed from Farringdon Street, and Farringdon Market, in the immediate vicinity, but off the line of the street, was opened in its stead. " 2
Three generations of Daniel Butler were undertakers in Fleet Market, subsequently at 17 Farringdon Street, from at least 1774 to 1853. This area developed as the centre of newspaper and general publishing.
John Rocque map published 1746 - survey commenced 1737. The full map of London can be viewed on-line at http://www.motco.com/MAP/81002 (not the source of the above scanned extract).
Businesses in Fleet Market listed in the 1808 Post Office Annual Directory:-
|Fleet-market||Richard Pierce||Wool, Woollen-cloth, Blanket and Flannel ware-house|
|4||Newcastle Street, Fleet-market||John Woods||Nail Tinner, and Manufacturer of Chain, Hooks and Eyes, and Pins etc|
|17||Fleet-market||Daniel Butler & Son||Undertaker|
|46||Fleet-market||T&D Brown||Glass-manufact. & Potter|
|51||Fleet-market||Ladyman & Doolan||Horse-hair-manufact|
|59||Fleet-market||Henry Trimmer||Orange Merchant|
|62||Fleet-market||Charles Chesterman||Working Silversmith|
|66||Fleet-market||Thomas Wilson||Oil and Colourman|
|67||Fleet-market||J. Shears & Son||Coppersmiths and Braziers|
|83||Fleet-market||Gwillam & Barnard||Auctioneers|
|86||Fleet-market||Robert Riddell||Grocer and Tea-Dealer|
|89||Fleet-market||M Ducroq||Wax and Tallow Chandler|
|92||Fleet-market||Ephrain Burford||Bookseller & Stationer|
|95||Fleet-market||Barclay & Son||Medecine-warehouse|
|97||Fleet-market||Martin & Henry Cutler||Corn Dealers|
1 Extract from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Fleet
2 'Farringdon Street, Holborn Viaduct and St. Andrew's church', Old and New London: Volume 2 (1878), pp. 496-513. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45118 Date accessed: 15 January 2009.
3 "The notoriously dilapidated market had consisted of two rows of one-storey shops connected by a covered walkway"