Collapse of Smithfield redevelopment deal leaves coast clear for Museum of London

Museum of London eyes historic Smithfield Market site

For residents of medieval London, Smithfield Market was one of the most exhilarating places to visit. It wasn’t just because of the cuts of meat. The market was one of the main locations where public executions were carried out.

Bloody beheadings and the burning of heretics were routinely carried out on the site, and the market remains the only wholesale market in continuous operation since the medieval period.

Many things have changed, but Smithfield Market still greets commuters passing by in the morning with the smell of deceased flesh.

Despite the continuing activity there, some parts of the market fell into disuse and faced demolition.

In 2010 the site was bought by TH Real Estate, and the developers planned to transform the abandoned portion of the market into shops, restaurants, bars and offices.

However, yesterday the company sold the site back to the City of London for £35m. The move came after the government blocked the £160m plans, which included the removal of the Victorian roof.

The sale means that the coast is clear for the Museum of London to move to the site.

Where better to have a museum than on London’s best loved former executions complex?

The museum has been on the hunt for new premises as its current home is to be transformed into a classical music venue.

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