The origins of Covent Garden date back to medieval times when it was the Benedictine convent garden and pasture land of the Convent of St Peter at Westminster. The whole of Covent Garden is built around the Piazza, an open square with a covered arcade designed in the 1630's by Inigo Jones. The Piazza gradually fell into disrepair and in 1670, Covent Garden market was established. For more than 300 years it remained the principal fruit, flower and vegetable market in London until it moved to its present site in Nine Elms in 1974.
Today, Covent Garden is a bustling precinct of shops, theatres, cafés, craft stalls and restaurants clustering in and around the Victorian cast-iron market.