Covent Garden started its early life as an Anglo Saxon settlement known as Lundenwic, which was abandoned in the 9th century when the Romans arrived and made their presence felt.
During the Middle Ages, the abandoned farming area was walled off by Westminster Abbey for use as a private garden and orchard. The Abbey named it the Garden of the Abbey and Convent, which was later shortened to Convent Garden and then presumably some local printer ran out of the letter ’n’, which perhaps led to the area being referred to as Covent Garden thereafter.
A piazza was built in the 1600s by Inigo Jones in the image of Piazza d’Arme in Tuscany and became a market selling flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs. Over time, taverns, theatres and brothels opened up around the market and eventually because extremely unpopular with locals and authorities due to the noise, crime and poor hygiene.
In the 1830s they began cleaned up the area and constructed a new building to house everything, which is the same, impressive neo-classical building that exists today, housing world renowned brands such as Lulu Guinness, Tom Ford and Dior. If you’re experiencing technical hitches, be sure to seek out the genius floor at the Apple store.