One of the oldest surviving markets in Britain, records show that second hand clothes and bric-a-brac were being sold and exchanged around Petticoat Lane as far back as 1608.
The Petticoat has been removed
Confusingly, Petticoat Lane itself no longer exists, with the street name becoming Middlesex Street in 1846 as a result of Victorian prudishness.
Up until the 1930s, the market was so dodgy that it was not unusual to see police cars and fire engines being driven along its length, alarm bells ringing, in an attempt to disrupt traders.
The rights of the market were formally acknowledged by an Act of Parliament in 1936.
The modern market
Stacked up high with High Street names, designer goods and cheap no-brand clothing along with bric-a-brac and household goods, the modern Petticoat Lane Market is held in and around Middlesex Street on Sundays from 9am to 2pm.
There’s also an adjacent smaller market open on Wentworth Street from Monday to Friday.
The market still thrives and you can expect to find over 1,000 stalls lining the streets on any given Sunday.
It’s also the place where businessman Alan Sugar got his start as a stall holder.
Open: Mon – Fri: 10:00am – 2:30pm, Sun: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Address: Middlesex Street, London, E1
Location Map: Click Here
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street / Aldgate / Aldgate East
5 Comments on “A walk down Petticoat Lane Market, London E1”
I am looking for written evidence (published or unpunblished) that at one time there was a custom at auctions in Petticoat Lane and nearby streets whereby a bidder especially keen on securing an article could immediately bid eighteen pence (these were auctions of relatively inexpensive articles) and the auctioneer would automatically award the article to that person. The custom is reported in Notes and Queries of 1924 by Herbert Loewe, but I would like confirmation from at least one other written source.
This is England?
Yes it is. What are you confused by?
It’s been many years since I visited Petticoat Lane. Your current images are vaguely reminiscent of a visit I paid to a marketplace in Marrakech some years back. And thank you for your interest.
I don’t think Tesco (photo 4) have quite reached Marrakech yet (give em time!)