Smithfield is a locality in the north part of the ward of Farringdon Without situated at the City of London’s northwest in central London, England. The principal street of the area is West Smithfield. It is home to some very fine restaurants.
A number of valued City institutions are located in the area, such as St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Charterhouse, and Livery Halls notably those of the Butchers‘ and Haberdashers‘ Companies, but Smithfield is best known for its ancient meat market, dating from the 10th century, which is now London’s only remaining wholesale market in continuous operation since medieval times. The area also contains London’s oldest surviving church, St Bartholomew-the-Great, founded in 1123 AD.
Smithfield has borne witness to many bloody executions of heretics and political rebels over the centuries, including major historical figures such as Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace and Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants’ Revolt, among many other religious reformers and dissenters
Smithfield Market, a Grade II listed-covered market building, was designed by Victorian architect Sir Horace Jones in the second half of the 19th century, and is the dominant architectural feature of the area. 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 traded, and in another quarter are placed vendibles of the peasant, swine with their deep flanks, and cows and oxen of immense bulk.’
Some of its original market premises fell in to disuse in the late 20th century and faced the prospect of demolition.
The Corporation of London’s public enquiry in 2012 drew widespread support for an urban regeneration plan intent upon preserving Smithfield’s historical identity. In the March of 2015, the Museum of London revealed plans to vacate its Barbican site and move into the General Market Building. The cost of the move is estimated to be in the region of £70 million and, if funding can be achieved, would be complete by 2021.
A number of Gregory’s common councilman in the Ward are butchers working in Smithfield Market.