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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): CLA/073

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1696-1962

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 2.5 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Corporation of London had exercised the right to charge duties on coal entering the City since medieval times. Coal duties were charged to raise money for particular projects, such as the rebuilding of the City after the Great Fire in 1666. A new Coal Exchange and Market was constructed on Lower Thames Street, close to Billingsgate Market. The building was opened by Prince Albert in 1849. A Roman hypocaust was found during construction and preserved in the basement of the building. The market was designed by James Bunning, City Architect, in the form of a rotunda, with interior galleries and an iron framework. The decoration of the market was well-known, including murals showing some of the flowers and fossils found in coal formations.

The building included offices for coal factors and others connected with the trade including the Corporation of London officers, who entered all ships bringing coal into the port of London, and collected the City dues on all coal brought within certain limits. The money collected by this tax was usually employed for metropolitan improvements. The Exchange was the property of the Corporation of London, and an open market was held there three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Coal Exchange and Market, 1696-1962, including papers of the Clerk of the market, Mayor's Court verdicts regarding the market, rentals and tenancy agreements, financial accounts of the Coal Market and Coal Market Fund, photographs, pamphlets and histories of the market.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For Corporation of London records relating to Markets see: CLA/009: Markets, CLA/010: Billingsgate Market, CLA/011: Leadenhall Market, CLA/012: Foreign Cattle Market, Deptford, CLA/013: Spitalfields market, CLA/014: Newgate Market, CLA/015: Metropolitan Cattle Market, CLA/016: Smithfield Market, CLA/017: London Central Markets, Smithfield, CLA/073: Coal Exchange and Market, COL/CC/BLM: Court of Common Council Billingsgate and Leadenhall Markets Committee, COL/CC/CEM: Court of Common Council Central Markets Committee, COL/CC/CTM: Court of Common Council Cattle Markets Committee, COL/CC/MKC: Court of Common Council Markets Committee, COL/CC/MRI: Court of Common Council Markets Improvement Committee, COL/CC/MRJ: Court of Common Council Joint Markets Advisory Committee, COL/CC/MRK: Markets Committee, COL/CC/MRS: Select Markets Committee (Smithfield Fruit and Vegetable Market), COL/CC/SMC: Special Markets Committee, COL/CC/SPM: Spitalfields Market Committee, COL/CCS: Comptroller and City Solicitor, COL/CCS/CO: Comptroller, COL/CH: Charters, COL/CHD/RN: Chamberlain's Department: Rents and Rentals, COL/PL: Plans, COL/PLD/PL: Planning Department Plans, COL/SVD/PL: Surveyor's Department Plans, COL/TSD/PL: Technical Services Department Plans.

Publication note:

Many of James Bunning's designs for the Coal Exchange can be found in Marble Halls: Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973.



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Coal industry | Industry
Covered markets | Retail Trade | Trade (practice)
Markets | Trade
Retail trade | Trade (practice)
Commercial premises
Extractive industry

Personal names

Corporate names
The Coal Exchange and Market | Corporation of London

City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe