Following on from our Markets of London theme, Billingsgate market is one of a kind. You will never have experienced anything quite like it (unless you work on a trading floor in the City – then you might feel quite at home here.). By the time we mere mortals arrive at work the fun and games at Billingsgate will all be over, it’s an early start here at 4am and is done and dusted by 9.30am – but the earlier you get there the better.
It’s the UK’s largest fish market, based in Poplar E14 and set within 13 acres; it covers 2 floors, with 98 stands and 30 shops including cafes, an ice making plant and freezers and other culinary paraphernalia. It’s policed by market Constables appointed by the Superintendent – this market means business! It’s not just open to traders, restaurateurs and the like, the public are welcome too if you don’t mind the early start and its open Tuesdays to Saturdays.
25,000 tonnes of fish are sold here each year and surprisingly 40% of the fish is imported from abroad. You can buy fresh or frozen fish, and many live crustaceans too – not for the faint hearted. Billingsgate offers a seafood training course so for those of you who feel inspired by your visit can learn how to prepare and cook delicious, nutritious meals.
Being Estate Agents in this magnificent city we are always interested in anywhere that has an historical background – and Billingsgate isn’t short of that! Before it moved to its current home in 1982, Byllynsgate (as it was originally known) was situated in the City of London and was a general market for corn, coal, iron, wine, salt and fish and it wasn’t until the 16th century that it sold fish exclusively. The original site is now known as Old Billingsgate Market and remains a major London landmark and a notable Grade II listed building. If I’ve piqued your interest and you fancy making the trip to Poplar, make sure you have £2 in change for the car park and be sure to don your wellies!