Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane Market is a London market centred on Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets in east London. It is located at the northern end of Brick Lane and along Cheshire Street, in the heart of East London's Bangladeshi community. It operates every Sunday from around 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Almost anything can be found on Brick Lane, from antique books to eight-track cartridge decks (for many years it hosted a stall selling nothing but rusty cog wheels). There is a possibility of such strange discoveries and it has always been popular with and much photographed by art students. Bargain hunters from across London also value it greatly.
The Truman Markets originally developed in the 17th century as a lone farmers' market that was held on Sundays due to religious observances by the area's then-prolific Jewish community. During the 20th century, the Brick Lane area experienced an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants who transformed the marketplace. Even today, Brick Lane is very famous for its curry houses.
Since 2000, several specific markets have opened within the premises of the Old Truman Brewery. Once one of London’s largest breweries, the Old Truman Brewery is now home to roughly 250 businesses, shops, and eateries.
Brick Lane Market has been notorious as a place where stolen bicycles were traded. However, following a crackdown by London's Metropolitan Police Service in September 2010, the problem of stealing and selling bikes decreased significantly. The Metropolitan Police Service developed a Cycle Task Force in June 2010 and by February 2011, they had administered protective security marks to over 10,000 bikes and made over 100 bike-theft-related arrests.
The Truman Markets comprise five different markets, all opened at different times in the past decade: the Boiler House Food Hall, the Tea Rooms, the Backyard Market, the Sunday UpMarket, and the Vintage Market.
The Sunday UpMarket, opened in 2004, has over 200 stalls. The Backyard Market, formerly an 8,000 square feet warehouse, was added in 2006. The Tea Rooms was founded in 2009, and the Boiler House food hall opened in 2010.
The Sunday UpMarket, the Vintage Market, the Backyard Market, the Tea Rooms and the Boiler House Food Hall are all located within the confines of the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.
The Sunday UpMarket is housed in the Old Truman Brewery's Ely's Yard (just off Hanbury Street), an old service yard and one of East London's busiest roadways. Ely's Yard also hosts many events and holds other shops, bars, restaurants, and artwork by the prominent street artists Banksy and D*Face. The Backyard Market, operating by the same hours as the Tea Rooms, is located in the Brewery's U Block, on the east side of the Brewery's estate, between Dray Walk and Buxton/Quaker Street.
The Backyard Market was established in 2006 and is one of the Truman Markets’ youngest vendors. Housing over eighty stalls, The Backyard Market is unique in that it allows young artists and designers to be part of a creative community in which they have the opportunity to showcase their work. The Backyard Market was the first of its kind in the area to open on Saturdays.
The Backyard Market offers an eclectic mix of independent businesses and retail outlets, such as cafes, boutiques, and hair salons that cater to a diverse clientele, with an emphasis on arts and crafts.
Dating as far back as the 1830s, the Old Truman Brewery’s Boiler House serves as both a historical landmark and the site of Brick Lane’s food hall, with 7,700 square feet of space. The Boiler House Food Hall was founded in 2010 and is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors are allowed to dine outside in the beer garden, or be seated inside around the great chimney at the lounge bar.
The Boiler House is home to over thirty stalls of international cuisine; the variety of dishes includes Italian, Polish, Lithuanian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Peruvian, Japanese and Caribbean-Asian fusion.
The Sunday UpMarket, open every Sunday 10 a.m. from to 5 p.m., first opened in September 2004. It has over two hundred stalls and sell a variety of products including vintage and handmade clothing, handmade accessories, music, arts and crafts, and organic food. Many of the items that are sold at UpMarket are one-of-a-kind items that are produced by the stallholders themselves. Stallholders frequently sell their products directly to the customers, as UpMarket is a self-reported “platform for emerging designers and organic cuisine”.
- Rosie Wonders – No longer located at the Sunday UpMarket, the Rosie Wonders stall was known for their handmade greetings cards, jewellery, and prints.
- Charme Accessories – A stall that specializes in handmade silver and semi precious jewelry.
- SPDR – A stall that sells Urban clothing.
- Suda Jones/2T – A stall that produces products made entirely out of rubber.
- Art of Revolution – A stall that sells authentic Soviet and Cuban revolutionary era art.
- East End Prints – A stall that sells graphic art prints featuring artwork from thirty designers, artists, and illustrators.
- Vault Vinyl – A stall that sells rare and hard to find vinyls ranging from Jazz to Hip Hop music.
The Tea Rooms, founded in 2009, is a market named for its large selection of teas and coffees and traditional baked goods as well as antiques, silk cushions, furniture, collectibles and handmade goods. It is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Its main shop, The Vintage Emporium, is located downstairs, underneath the main cafe. It is a vintage clothing and accessories store that specializes in antiques and homeware, with all stock dating back between the Victoria Era and the 1950s. The venue is also available to hire for parties.
The Vintage Market is composed of stalls owned by British and European vintage specialists and offering old clothes ranging from the early 1920s to the 1990s. Also offered are accessories, vintage records, and a random collection of unique old trinkets.
The Vintage Market is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Nearby attractions
- Christ Church, Spitalfields: nearby church, built 1729, now includes an art gallery and concert hall
- Columbia Road market: internationally known Flower Market
- Old Spitalfields Market, an ancient covered market site
- Old Truman Brewery: frequent subject for urban architecture photography, and host to photographic exhibitions
- Whitechapel Gallery: one of the first publicly funded galleries in London, renowned for its community involvement
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