While London’s oldest food market has been located around this triangular site since the 13th century at least (some say 1014, some even earlier), the present Borough Market building is a more recent addition to the land beneath the railway arches just west of London Bridge station and adjacent to Southwark Cathedral. It was designed in 1851 by Henry Rose, with further work in the 1860s by Edward Habershon. Both architects were mainly associated with ecclesiastical structures, which explains the tall, narrow, ‘Neo-Gothic’ proportions of the market buildings and its elaborate wrought ironwork. An Art Deco-style entrance was added on Southwark Street in 1932.
The post-war years saw the market fall into decline, which continued until the late 20th century when a rapid renaissance took place, in parallel with redevelopments of the nearby riverside (known as Bankside, and including Clink Street, Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Modern). A major refurbishment of Borough Market’s buildings began in 2001, including the erection of the Grade II-listed South Portico from the Floral Hall, which was previously at Covent Garden, dismantled when the Royal Opera House was reconstructed in the 1990s. Borough Market is now one of the most popular markets in London, with over 100 stalls selling gourmet food from near and far, to native Londoners and visiting tourists alike.