Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): CLA/016

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1633-1997

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1.6 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Smithfield Market was well established by 1174, when a Friday market for horses, pigs and cattle was held. The City of London gained rights over the market in 1327, under a charter granted by Edward III. In 1852 the live cattle market was relocated to a new site in Islington to ease pressures of space.

In 1860 the market was reorganised and renamed following the passing of the Metropolitan Meat and Poultry Market Act. Work began in 1866 on rebuilding the two main sections of the market, the East and West Buildings. The buildings, designed by architect Sir Horace Jones (who also designed Billingsgate and Leadenhall Markets), were completed in November 1868. These buildings were built above railway lines, enabling meat to be delivered directly to the market.

The principal meat market buildings were opened as the Metropolitan Meat and Poultry Market on 1 December 1868. An additional building was opened as the Poultry and Provisions Market on 30 November 1875. A few months earlier the market complex had been renamed the London Central Markets.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Smithfield Market, City of London, 1633-1997, including proposals for enlargements and removals; rules, orders and regulations; petitions; reports; correspondence; publications on the history of the market; account books and records of dues and tolls collected.


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:



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

Administrative history | Administration | Organisation and management
Cattle markets | Livestock markets | Commercial premises
Covered markets | Retail Trade | Trade (practice)
Fruit trade | Food trade | Trade (practice)
Markets | Trade
Pig industry | Meat trade | Food industry | Manufacturing industry | Industry
Poultry industry | Food industry | Manufacturing industry | Industry
Poultry markets | Commercial premises
Street trading | Retail trade | Trade (practice)
Vegetable products | Agricultural products

Personal names
Jones | Sir | Horace | 1819-1887 | Knight | architect

Corporate names
Smithfield Market | Markets Committee | Corporation of London x Metropolitan Meat and Poultry Market x London Central Markets

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