7KGS = the whole loaf and that is a mighty loaf!
The wholesale market operates on all weekday mornings from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., but the retail market operates only on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market, which has focused historically on fruits and vegetables, has in recent years added stalls dealing with the fine food retail market, including some of the market’s most famous traders Artisan Bakers DeGustibus, Furness Fish & Game Supplies, Peter Gott and Sillfield Farm, and the Spanish company Brindisa.
The present market, located on Southwark Street and Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, is a successor to one that originally adjoined the end of London Bridge (and made a considerable nuisance of itself in the process). It was first mentioned in 1276, although the market itself claims to have existed since 1014 "and probably much earlier" and was subsequently moved south of St Margaret’s church on the High Street.The City of London received a royal charter from Edward VI in 1550 to control all markets in Southwark (see Guildable Manor), which was confirmed by Charles II in 1671. However, the market caused such traffic congestion that in 1754 it was abolished by an Act of Parliament.
The Act allowed for the local parishioners to set up another market on a new site, and in 1756 it began again on a 4.5 acre (18,000 m²) site in Rochester Yard. During the 19th century it became one of London’s most important food markets due to its strategic position near the riverside wharves of the Pool of London.
The present buildings were designed in 1851, with additions in the 1860s and an entrance designed in the Art Deco style added on Southwark Street in 1932. A refurbishment began in 2001. Work to date includes the re-erection in 2004 of the South Portico from the Floral Hall, previously at Covent Garden which was dismantled when the Royal Opera House was reconstructed in the 1990s.
Stallholders come to trade at the market from different parts of the UK and traditional European products are also shipped over and sold. Amongst the produce on sale are fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. There is also a wide variety of cooked and snack food on sale for the many tourists who flock to the market.
The market is administered by 16 trustees, who have to live in the area.
Borough Market has become a fashionable place to buy food. It has been promoted by British television chefs and has been used as a film set. Notable films with scenes filmed in the streets around the market include: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). It also appeared in the Savage Garden music video for Hold Me. In 1998 the artist Anna Best stage an event in Borough Market entitled ‘The Wedding Project’, commissioned by Tate Modern.