First recorded sometime around 1145 as Smethefelda it derives from the Old English words smēthe and feld literally a smooth or level field, which unlike the marshy ground to the North was suitable for fairs and tournaments. By 1197 it was written as Smethefeld and was being used as a market for horses and other livestock just outside the City walls. The 12thCentury monk and chronicler of medieval London life, William FitzStephen, wrote: “Campus planus re et nomine” (Smooth field in fact and name). The meat market was opened in 1868.
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