One of the oldest and largest food markets in London, the Borough Market is located on a site near the Southwark Cathedral that dates back to the 11th century. Many of its current buildings were constructed in the mid-19th century and it’s fronted by an Art Deco-style entrance, creating an atmospheric destination to sample and purchase specialty foods and gourmet produce.
The exact starting date of the Borough Market is difficult to determine but 1014 AD is the year that was used for the Market’s millennium celebration. After the Anglo-Saxon king, Ethelred the Unready, was chased out of London by the Danish warrior Sweyn Forkbeard, he returned with his own band of Vikings, including Olaf Haraldsson, to reclaim the throne. It’s in this violent and politically uncertain time that the Borough Market is believed to have been born and its location at one end of the London Bridge (which was for a long time the only route across the River Thames into the city) was considered a strategic position for trade.
The wholesale market takes place in the early morning hours throughout the working week, while the retail Borough Market operates from Wednesdays through to Saturdays. The majority of goods sold are specialty foods such as cheese, meat, game, baked bread and pastries, however fruits and vegetables are also sold to the public and supplied to greengrocers’ shops throughout the city. Stallholders come from across the United Kingdom to sell their produce and there’s also a good selection of traditional European products available.