Past London Icons: The History of Kensington Market Now Closed

The Kensington Market (now closed) was once an iconic landmark in London. Here is a brief history.

Location of the once famous market

The market was a three-storey building, which opened in 1967. It defined the hippies and bohemian culture of that period, with famous names such as Lynne Franks and Boy George being notable customers. Popular fashion icons such as Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and Zandra Rhodes owned stalls at the market. It also housed a clock repair shop owned by Mr Michael, whose clients included Margaret Thatcher, the Queen, Princess Diana and Richard Branson. Some of the items on sale were patched coats, colourful floral tops, loon pants and studded belts that caught the attention of tourists and celebrities.

Why it was closed

Its closure was due to the expiration of its lease after 30 years on January 29, 2000. Before its closure, the west London market was attracting visitors from all over the world. It was the source of clothing for the hippies in the 1960’s, the punks of the 1970s, the goths of the 1980s, and was still a massive name during the 1990s for tourists and young fans before its closure. Before its closure, it hosted almost 120 traders. While they were notified of its closure, they were required to sign a petition to keep their stall open for a few months. However, not all traders agreed and were hesitant to leave and even petitioned to stop the market from closing, though unsuccessfully.


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