The original Covent Garden development dates back to the 16th Century when many grand houses were built on what was then fields and pasture. The fine square that later housed the neo classical building of the old market was also built around this time. The area is famed not only for the market but also the opera house which dates from the 18th century although has been rebuilt and modified many times since. The market buildings themselves were built in 1830 to house the fruit and vegetable market but in 1974, after nearly 150 years of operation, this closed when it moved to new premises in Battersea. The area is now full of restaurants, bars and fashionable boutiques and the surrounding streets are a popular venue for street entertainers.
Over the years the original cobblestone paving around the market buildings had deteriorated and had become a hazard to pedestrians. In 2010 VGC was engaged by Westminster Transerv to lift the historic 19th century cobbles, remove and replace the failed base material and relay the cobbled surfacing. All work was required to match the original finishes which included pointing the joints with specialist mortar to match the material from the 19th century.
All works undertaken were carried out to exacting standards in a busy tourist environment requiring stringent control of the works to ensure that minimum disruption was caused and that the public were not exposed to any danger.
VGC has carried out similar work in many of London’s famous districts and is pleased to be playing a part in maintaining London’s rich heritage.