Smithfield 1989 4015-3.jpg
Smithfield Meat Market, City of London 1989. This ancient market still operates with standards current in the days of Henry the Eighth. There are no washing or toilet facilities for workers or customers. Open carcasses and joints of meat are carried on old wooden trolleys and laid on the bare floors. Workers are known by their trades, bummarees, pitchers, pullers back etc...Meat has been traded at Smithfield Market for more than 800 years, making it one of the oldest markets in London. A livestock market occupied the site as early as the 10th century. In 1174 the site was described by William Fitzstephen as "a smooth field where every Friday there is a celebrated rendezvous of fine horses to be sold, and in another quarter are placed vendibles of the peasant, swine with their deep flanks, and cows and oxen of immense bulk." In the second half of the 19th century the covered market designed by Victorian architect Sir Horace Jones that we see today was built.