Named after the Leaden Hall, a large manor house owned by Sir Hugh Neville in the 14thCentury, that most likely had a lead roof. The building must have been enough of a feature for it to be recorded as La Ledenehalle in 1296 and again as le Ledenhalle in 1322. The street name itself came in 1605, written as Leaden Hall Street. The mansion was acquired by the City Corporation in 1411 and a market was created here, originally just for poultry sold by “foreigners” that is anyone from outside London. Other goods were added, including cheese and butter. By 1488 it became the centre of the leather trade and in 1622 it had a monopoly on cutlery. Although destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, it returned. Strype described it as: “A very large Building if Free Stone, containing within it three large Courts or Yards, all encompassed with Buildings; wherein is kept a Market, one of the greatest, the best, and most general for all Provisions in the City of London, nay of the Kingdom; and if I should say of all Europe, I should not give too great a Praise.” The present building dates from 1881 when it sold “live game and tame fowl, from swans, herons, snipe and pheasants, down to Dorking fowls and the latest novelty in the poultry yard.” The new building was designed by Horace James who was also the architect behind Smithfield and the Old Billingsgate markets.
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