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A new free display with a focus on Billingsgate Market, from 27 January to 20 June 2024.

Billingsgate Market is one of the oldest markets owned by the City of London Corporation.

A Survey of London by John Stow, 1603, described Billingsgate as follows: ‘… which … is at this present a large Watergate, Port or Harbrough for shippes and boats, commonly arriuing there with fish, both fresh and salt, shell fishes, salt, Orenges, Onions, and other fruits and rootes, wheate, Rie, and garine of diuers sorts …’.

The items on display in the Heritage Gallery will include:

  • Liber Horn, a compilation of charters, statutes and customs made by Andrew Horn (Chamberlain of the City 1320-1328) in 1311, illustrated by small images of fish showing their importance to Londoners.
  • A late seventeenth century petition by the fishermen protesting at being '... hindered and oppressed by great vessels loaded with salt and oranges...' and requesting clearance of the dock so they can have access.
  • The flourishing market is shown by nineteenth century volumes recording the collection of tolls and detailing the licensing of porters and by a print of the market building designed by Sir Horace Jones.
  • Twentieth century photographs of a busy market and of porters plying their trade

The City Heritage Gallery is located within Guildhall Art Gallery. We recommend that you book a free general admission ticket to gain entry to the Heritage Gallery.

Please note that the display has been extended to 20 June. The original closing date was 16 May 2024.

Raised view looking down on fishmongers, porters and fish stalls in Billingsgate fish market.
Billingsgate Market. London Metropolitan Archives