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Season 1, Episode 4 16:49 running time

Colonnades and Cabbages

In this episode, we look at the history of the Covent Garden piazza.

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Hosted by

Robbie Stamp

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Sound Editing

Will Jacob

Listen now:
  • Piazza, Covent Garden, London

This Beautiful Fruitful Rectangle

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Written by

Robbie Stamp

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Performed by

Stephen Fry

About this story

In 1631 master-builder and architect Inigo Jones designs Covent Garden Piazza for the 4th Earl of Bedford in the new Palladian style.

  • Piazza, Covent Garden, London

A Much Tidier View for the Duke

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Written by

Joanna Clarke

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Performed by

Jasmine Elcock

About this story

In 1830 architect Charles Fowler creates a new central building in Covent Garden Piazza to try to contain the fruit and vegetable market that developed in the square over two centuries previously - and just keeps on growing!

  • Piazza, Covent Garden, London

Concrete Garden Anyone?

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Written by

Joanna Clarke

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Performed by

Dame Joanna Lumley

About this story

In the 1970s the council has plans to demolish the Covent Garden area and construct a concrete complex in the Brutalist architectural style. Locals and market people join forces to prevent them.

Delve Deeper

Learn more about this story’s themes with these links:


See the plaque remembering the people of Covent Garden Market.