Lairs Close, N7

Place name

One of a cluster of streets named in commemoration of the Metropolitan Cattle Market, later called the Caledonian cattle market that once stood here. This had originally been a stopping off point for livestock before heading to the City’s main meat market at Smithfield. In the 1820s, two local farmers Richard Laycock and Samuel Rhodes, who held land and farmstock in Islington, built an extensive network of covered cattle lairs (pens) to hold several thousand bullocks and sheep. These proved more advantageous than lairage in the open pens used elsewhere along Liverpool Road. In June 1855, the Metropolitan Cattle Market was built by the City of London Corporation supplementary to the meat market at Smithfield. This is part of the Shearing Estate built in 1979. Nearby are Ewe Close, Shearling Way, Drovers Way, Fleece Walk and Yoke Close.

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