Covent Garden’s Colourful History

Covent Garden Life - PortersCharing Cross Library hosted a talk and film last week about the history of Covent Garden, presented by Peter Daniel and Camilla Bergman from Westminster City Archives.

We all knew that the talk would be popular but didn’t really expect that more than 60 people would come out on a very cold evening to learn about local history – we couldn’t have been more wrong, and the library was heaving!

Peter and Camilla took us through the development of the area from its beginning as the garden for the convent of Westminster Abbey; then a market in 1654; its demise and the rise of brothels, theatres and taverns during the 18th century; its heyday from 1830s-1960s; the planned development nightmare of the 1970s to the present day thriving commercial area. The film shown was a BBC documentary from 1957 and our customers thought it very nostalgic.

'Covent Garden's Colourful History' - a talk at Charing Cross Library, March 2013

A lot of the material and images are on the Archives and Covent Garden Memories websites. If you get a chance to hear the talk then we’d recommend it! Our customers said:

“Most informative and interesting”
“A superb evening”
“Excellent, more please”
“Brilliant, loved it – more please!”

We hope the Archives people will be coming back to Charing Cross Library with another history talk in the near future.



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