1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Covent Garden

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COVENT GARDEN, formerly an open space north of the Strand, London, England, now occupied by the principal flower, fruit and vegetable market in the metropolis. This was originally the so-called “convent garden” belonging to the abbey of St Peter, Westminster. In the first half of the 17th century the site of the garden was laid out as a square by Inigo Jones, with a piazza on two sides; and as early as 1656 it was becoming a market place for the same commodities as are now sold in it. Covent Garden Theatre (1858) is the chief seat of grand opera in London. The site has carried a theatre since 1733, but earlier buildings were burnt in 1809 and 1856.