Dedicated to recording and preserving Covent Garden's life stories.


Celebrating our history and heritige. Go to festival page to find out more...

© John Swannell

'It's vitally important to remember what Covent Garden looked like in its previous life, and I welcome any moves to support the social history archive'

Michael Palin, 3rd June 2014

This site is all about achieving what the quote above is supporting. You can help by sending us personal stories from Covent Garden – be it The Old Market, Opera/Ballet, Theatre, and/or those who have lived and maybe still live in Covent Garden.

When you support our Festival Events, or buy a print from our Collections, you will be helping us move towards achieving our goal of making films to help preserve these stories, so that future generations will have a first hand view of Covent Garden's recent History.

No other area of London has a more colourful history than Covent Garden. In Saxon times, it was a riverside trading settlement. In the Middle Ages, it contained a garden owned by Westminster Abbey and so was known as ‘Convent Garden.’ In the 17th Century, the then Earl of Bedford saw the potential for a market between the City and Westminster and secured the rights by Letters Patent from Charles II.

One hundred years ago, during World War 1, the Bedford family remained the leading owners. Over forty years ago, the Fruit and Vegetable Market moved out, lock, stock and barrows – leaving the area at risk of ruin through brutal ‘modernisation’.

That this did not happen provides the inspiration for this new website, which celebrates Covent Garden as it was, as it is, and as it will be.

Covent Garden was saved as we know it today by a small group of individuals who formed The Covent Garden Community Association in 1971 – for more information click onto the links below:

The Covent Garden Community Association

The Covent Garden Area Trust