Most visitors to Leadenhall Market, in the middle of London's City (the official name for the financial area of London and the oldest part of the town), are struck by its gigantic, cast-iron-framed glass skylights— the ornate Victorian design of its two-story shopping arcades. But the history of these market halls is really impressive, with origins going back to Roman Britain and maybe even earlier.
The present structures of Grade II are late Victorian, dating back to 1881. They were intended by Sir Horace Jones, who also built Smithfield Market, London's main meat market, and Lower Thames Street's initial Billingsgate Market. Today they house a range of autonomous distributors, service suppliers, cafes and bars, serving urban employees.
Their main attraction for tourists is not merely shopping and dining, but the 2,000-year history of the market and its colorful arcades of maroon, cream, and green that are very Instagrammable.
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