Having been an area of trade, noise, conflict and pleasure Covent Garden has always been one of the very vibrant territories of London, and therefore, of course, a hit with us at Davis Brown estate agents! In the 1630s, the Earl of Bedford redeveloped some land that had formerly been a Convent Garden for Westminster Abbey (needless to say this is where the name is derived), Inigo Jones the Architect was employed and England’s first public piazza was created.
The Earl of Bedford realised the potential of holding a market sited between the City and Westminster, so he obtained the right to do so and gradually market traders became an established feature of the square. Although the area actually dates back to the 6th century when in Saxon times it was also used as a place of trade and barter – and it still is today!
In the 18th century Covent Garden became a more Bohemian area for artists, journalists, painters and the like – including John Zoffany and Richard Wilson, who took up residence in the Piazza and Tavistock Row. Bow Street was home to the famous Will’s Coffee House – frequented by the likes of Samuel Pepys, John Dryden, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift who were among some of the most prominent writers and poets of the 17th and 18th centuries. Take a stroll up Wellington Street to the corner of Tavistock Street and look out for number 26 (which is now the Charles Dickens Coffee House), this was where Charles Dickens had his office for his weekly magazine, “All The Year Round” and he lived and worked here for long periods of time.
So many fantastic historical building in the area such as the Royal Opera House and Lyceum Theatre to name but two; so whether you’re a tourist or a local whose keen to know more about this area you will be enthralled at what you’re likely to discover in this wildly exciting area of London!