at No.1 The Piazza, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8 United Kingdom
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between Charing Cross Road and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as "Covent Garden". The district is divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre, north of which is given over to independent shops centred on Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, while the south contains the central square with its street performers and most of the elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Transport Museum.Though mainly fields until the 16th century, the area was briefly settled when it became the heart of the Anglo-Saxon trading town of Lundenwic. After the town was abandoned, part of the area was walled off by 1200 for use as arable land and orchards by Westminster Abbey, and was referred to as "the garden of the Abbey and Convent". The land, now called "the Covent Garden", was seized by Henry VIII, and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552. The 4th Earl commissioned Inigo Jones to build some fine houses to attract wealthy tenants. Jones designed the Italianate arcaded square along with the church of St Paul's. The design of the square was new to London, and had a significant influence on modern town planning, acting as the prototype for the laying-out of new estates as London grew. A small open-air fruit and vegetable market had developed on the south side of the fashionable square by 1654.
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