Tales from the City- To Market I go- Spitalfields Market

typewritermarketshsSpitalfields Market is in Shoreditch, which at the turn of the century was the manufacturing district of London. It was once occupied by silk weavers, some from the French Protestant Huguenots, who took refuge in England after the reversal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685- tolerance for the Protestants, a thing of the past. So to London they came and now the furniture maker, boot makers, and the bird fanciers have long gone. The area has changed in flavour as London is a living city. Now you can find coffee shops, and the fabulous Spitalfields market which on Thursdays is antique day! That’s the kind of day for me!

There you can find the typewriter to the buttons you have been searching for!  Go hungry, the area is brimming with restaurants of every sort imaginable, curries, pork pies, very naughty cupcakes, and wonderful vegetarian fare. It’s a fabulous blend of old and modern in one fabulous market!


The church just outside the market is well having a look at.  Christ Church Spitalfields is one of London’s most notable churches. It was founded under the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711, using money raised from a tax on coal. There’s alway a tax somewhere! Christ Church was intended to serve the prosperous community of Huguenot silk weavers who had settled in this area.

But exploring Christchurch Spitalfields,  I would save for another day. What fun to walk around the stalls and just marvel at all the bits and bobs. Thankfully some of the items were too heavy for me to carry back home on the tube. Believe me,  as I was sorely tempted. As I walked around from the hats to the trunks to the man selling old cameras,

Susan Sheldon Nolen's Hats

I couldn’t help but notice the comradeship the sellers held for each other. One shouted across to another stall– Is Bob not here? Haven’t seen him all week.

I walked on never finding out if Bob had taken the week off, or was ill.  I stopped at one table and a little Wire Fox Terrier brass caught my eye.  The woman looked at the little bronze statue rather morosely.

It’s a bit dear. She said.

I felt the weight of the little brass in my hand, thinking rather ruefully to myself, all fox terriers cost, thinking of the three pairs of eye glasses my Ted destroyed as a puppy. Never mind eh….

I have one that costs me bundles. His name is Ted.

Oh, she said rather thoughtfully as she wrapped up my new treasure in brown paper.

I don’t know… She went on… I can’t get attached to dogs anymore. I had a fox terrier as a child. He went after the chickens. My father put the fence up higher and higher but he kept jumping it. In the end he had to give the dog away. Funny how we never forgive those things. But I ask you, why then did he give my dog to the man just two doors down?

I had no answers, but the sorrow was etched into her face. The puzzlement of a childhood disaster with no possible answers to satisfy.  It was time to get a pint, some fish and chips, and end my day at Spitalfields. It’s so hard to forgive those childhood transgressions and even harder when a beloved Wire Fox Terrier is at the heart of a child’s story.

My little brass trinket…
Here’s a link to Spitalfields if you want more information…

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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4 Responses to Tales from the City- To Market I go- Spitalfields Market

  1. prior says:

    such a beautiful post – front he pics of the jewelry and old hats to the the social sharing and warm little story (worded so well) at the end – and ending with a dark brew – with your trinket – that ending photo it all – ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. You’ve been full of great info lately for our upcoming trip. I’d read alot about Spitalfields and already had it on the “must do” list. Nice to see some real life photos so we’ll know what to expect!

  3. Thanks! Small House Big Garden…lol..I am the other way around. Big house and postage stamp garden! 🙂 I hope you have a marvellous time on your trip. The thing is…there is so much for everyone in London, it’s always hard to pick. I am notorious for just heading out the door in a general direction…saying..let’s go this way. Sometimes I do get into a muddle though! 🙂

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