Where We Began
Lower Marsh Market is one of the oldest markets in London.
The first references of Lower Marsh date from 1332 when the name of the road was first given as Lambeth Marsh. In 1889, the road changed its name to Upper and Lower Marsh when the new Borough of Lambeth was introduced. At that time, the Market ran from Blackfriars to Vauxhall.
During its heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Market encompassed Lower Marsh, Carlisle Lane, and extended all the way to Black Prince Road. At this time, the Market was one of London’s largest and most established.
The Market street was described as parasitical in its nature with shops and pubs feeding off the Market and the stalls feeding off the pubs and the shops. At some point, there was a break in the market and the Carlisle Lane part disappeared – probably due to extending the railway bridges across Westminster Bridge Road and Carlisle Lane – which left The New Cut and Lower Marsh together but the section down to Black Prince Road as a separate market.
Both street markets continued throughout the Second World War only to be nearly destroyed in the 60s and 70s due to urban planning and the introduction of supermarkets.
Jumping forward to the 1950s, the Market shrank to just The Cut and Lower Marsh.
How We Grew
In the early 2000s, Business Improvement Districts were introduced into London and WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District was formed in 2006 to offer neighbourhood marketing and economic development to the Waterloo neighbourhood in London. Lower Marsh Market was located within the heart of the WeAreWaterloo BID district and around 2012, WeAreWaterloo worked with Lambeth Council to acquire the license to run the Lower Marsh Market from the Council.
WeAreWaterloo, a business-led organisation, worked with the businesses within Lower Marsh to see the Lower Marsh Market as a placemaking tool, designed to activate the street in a manner to drive footfall to the area. In order to cater to the needs of the growing office worker community in Waterloo, WeAreWaterloo fostered hot food as a main commodity for Lower Marsh Market by bringing on a variety of this trader type.
Today’s Lower Marsh Market
Under the management of WeAreWaterloo BID over the past years, the market has grown to include a regular rotation of nearly 50 traders, most of which are hot food. The market includes a global concentration of flavours from around the world including India, Senegal, Japan, Nigeria and Ethiopia - to name a few!
Lower Marsh Market differentiates itself from other lunchtime markets by offering a variety of options for under £5. Lower Marsh Market is affordable and inviting; acting as a community cornerstone and local gathering place for residents, workers, and shop owners alike.
The Market has grown in popularity and regularly receives a high volume of trader applicants. The market is open six days a week, with the Saturday market enjoying a distinctly different identity than the weekday markets by focusing on handcrafts made by local artisans.
The market continues to grow and has ambitions to expand above and beyond its current footprint within Waterloo.
If you’re interested in partnering with or trading at Lower Marsh Market, please don’t be a stranger and Contact Us now.