The Museum of London has uncovered wonderful images of the opening of Smithfield Market ahead of the institution's 150th anniversary. The pictures are from Illustrated London News, in 1868.
It might be the 150th anniversary of this particular market, which was designed by Horace Jones, but there's been a market on the site for much longer — over 800 years. This market shut in 1855, and there are both drawings and reports from this momentous event.
One punter writing in the newspaper is particularly distressed by the old market closing.
I've buried three wives, but that's nothink — I mean nothink at all in comparasin
Next year, to mark the 150th anniversary, the Museum of London plans to recreate the market's debauched St Bartholomew's Fair, over August bank holiday weekend. This all precedes the museum's planned move to the new site in Smithfield, aiming to be complete by 2022 or 2023.