Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market in Spitalfields, just outside the City of London. It is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The closest tube station is Liverpool Street.
East London has never been short of historical heritage. From the drastically catastrophic Great Fire of London, to times of citywide hardship and beyond, Spitalfields saw it all and still stands proud as one of London’s most historical landmarks. Contrary to the bustling atmosphere of today, Old Spitalfields began life as a Roman cemetery in 300 AD. Having picked up its namesake from the local St Mary’s Spittel hospital and priory, the homeless masses who felt the wrath of the Great Fire of London descended on Spitalfields as a camping ground in 1666. That’s how it stayed until the late 1600s, when Old Spitalfields got its first taste of life as a market as granted by King Charles II. With flocks of French and Flemish protestants fleeing to Spitalfields to escape religious persecution, bringing new trade skills to the area, including silk-making expertise and the invention of Oxtail soup. Towards the end of the 1800s the Horner Buildings were constructed under the watchful eye of Robert Horner, and Charles Robert Ashbee opened his Guild and School of Handicraft on Commercial Street, marking Spitalfields as an established craft scene.
East London peaked as a cultural melting pot in 1900 and established the communities still thriving there today, seeing in a new wave of Maltese, Irish, Scottish, West Indian, Somalian and Bangladesi settlers to the area. The food trade in particular blossomed, and Bangladeshi cuisine found its London home on the famous Brick Lane, just across the way from the market. Come wartime, the locals remained close knit and patriotic, with fruit and veg vendors even clubbing together to contribute a Spitfire plane as an aid to the war effort. Naturally, they named it ‘Fruitation’. Having survived two wars, Old Spitalfields market simply continued to flourish and capture the heart of Londoners and tourist alike. The monumental Horner Buildings have just been preserved to last at least another generation and though shrouded in modern glitz the market still encapsulates its colourful past. The market has seen many changes but one thing remains for sure and that is Old Spitalfields market is the perfect source of entertainment for everyone that visits. Not only will the antiques market impress you, but also everything about old Spitalfields will leave you in awe. A premier attraction in London, you will be sure to find something you like.
In 2004 Sherman and Waterman Associates were approached by Morris Nixon of Urban Space Management to pilot a weekly Antiques Market, an agreement that was sealed by a handshake. The arrangement continued for a 5 year period until the end of Morris’s Tenure. In 2010 Town & Country Markets /Wellington Markets plc acquired the under lease from Ballymore, with Sherman & Waterman retaining the stewardship of the Antique market they had piloted 6 years earlier.
The Antiques market was very much a work in progress in the earlier years, subsequent years have seen it grow into maturity establishing itself as one of the premier weekly antiques market not only in London but also throughout the country. The Antiques market is always well attended as the company’s ethos is one of achieving a full market with affordable rents, these affordable rents has also helped provide younger dealers with a platform to enter a world traditionally occupied by more mature traders. The younger traders bring with them a different energy with their retro, ephemera, furniture, fashion and Art of the 60s70s & 80s.
Every Thursday, Old Spitalfields market is transformed into a cave of hidden treasures waiting to be found by avid antique goers looking for a bargain or two. Dealers from across the country travel to the antiques market bearing goods which they want to sell. What makes Old Spitalfields antiques fairs amazing is the fact that whether you are a serious collector, or someone that dabbles in antiques as a hobby, the antiques market has something for everyone. The doors open bright and early and as soon as they do the dealers flood in like sardines let out of a can. Whatever you are looking to collect, buy or sell you will find most dealers at the antiques market in Old Spitalfields offering it.
A wide range of items are available and you will find some of the best porcelain, furniture, vintage clothing, collectable toys, antiquarian books, militaria, fishing memorabilia jewellery and vintage accessories here. What’s more, the antiques market is FREE for anyone to go and browse all the wonderful items on offer. Shopping habits have changed over the years and one form of shopping making a comeback is shopping at antique fairs. Old Spitalfields antiques market is a hustle and bustle of people looking to buy that beautiful antique piece. Thousands of people attend the market on Thursday either to browse the lovely antiques on offer or with the purpose of making a purchase.
The atmosphere around the market is fantastic, with all the market staff and traders making it a pleasure for anyone who visits. The energy and buzz you feel as you walk down each of the aisles, visiting the unique stalls, defiantly makes you want to keep coming back. The Old Spitalfields Antique Market is open from 8.00am to 6.00pm every Thursday and anyone who is interested in trading there or finding out further information can contact the operator, Michael Collins on 07903919029 or mactobby55@ gmail.com (web page www.shermanandwaterman.co.uk). Alternatively if you would like to find out anything about the other markets run on alternative days at Old Spitalfields you can call 0207 247 8556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Collins partner in Sherman & Waterman, told MTN,
“Since its inception in 2004 the Thursday Antiques Market has established itself as one of the premier Antiques market in the country, housed in the most incredible Victorian building and sitting between Brick Lane and Bishopsgate, it is, without doubt the most vibrant area of London. It is one of the most exciting spaces to manage, with the dealers proffering a wide range of antiques from Roman and Egyptian artefacts predating 500 BC, Byzantine Antiquities right through to post punk Vivienne Westwood designs”.
“A visit to the Thursday Antiques markets is a tangible link with History, the traders are passionate about what they are selling and are willing to impart their knowledge to those keen to hear. This is what sets the market apart from others, and this enthusiasm certainly resonates to the people visiting. The age demographics of the dealers is quite broad from 19 to 90 year old, coming from all walks of life, some are professional dealers, whilst others are actors, writers, musicians, teachers and the like, all of whom want to be part of the vibrant space that is Spitalfields and who embrace Sherman & Waterman’s style of management”.
“Our Company’s portfolio includes three of the top five antiques market in London enabling S & Wto network and be creative, ensuring the markets always remain fresh and are constantly re-inventing themselves with the support of an incredible band of talented and genial traders.”
Telephone 07903 919029