1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Covent Garden
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.