PIN Camden Lock Market

Very popular market in North London

The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets in Camden Town near the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent`s Canal (popularly referred to as Camden Lock), often collectively named Camden Market or Camden Lock. Among products sold on the stalls are crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. It is the fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London, attracting approximately 100,000 people each weekend.

Camden Lock Market is situated by the Regent`s Canal on a site formerly occupied by warehouses and other premises associated with the canal. By the early 1970s, the canal trade had ceased and a northern urban motorway was planned that would have cut through the site making any major permanent redevelopment impossible. In 1974 a temporary market was established and by 1976 when plans for the motorway were abandoned, the market had become a well known feature of Camden Town.

Originally, the Lock was a market for crafts, occupying some outdoor areas by the canal and various existing buildings. It attracted large numbers of visitors partly due to stalls being open on Sundays, when previous to the Sunday Trading Act 1994, shops were not permitted to operate on Sundays. While the range of goods has since increased with stalls selling books, new and second-hand clothing, and jewellery, the Lock retains its focus as the principle Camden market for crafts. There is also a large selection of fast food stalls. In 1991 a three-storey indoor market hall designed by architect John Dickinson was opened on the site of the first outdoor market. In the style of the traditional 19th century industrial architecture and housing in the area, it is built of brick and cast iron.


Starting around 1791, Earl Camden and others began to develop land on both sides of the southern part of what is now Camden High Street, which was then an old coaching route to Hampstead and the North. Before this time, there were only a couple of inns (including the Mother Red Cap where the World's End pub now stands) and a few other isolated buildings in this area of open countryside outside London.

Certainly the area around Camden Lock was agricultural land right up until the time the Regent's Canal was built to link the Grand Junction Canal at Paddington with the River Thames at Limehouse. This enabled goods to be moved by barge more easily from the industrial midlands to the london docks (the canal was first suggested by Thomas Homer in 1802; the necessary Act of Parliament was passed in 1812, and the canal was opened in 1820.)

When the canal was being built, an experimental 'hydro-pneumatic lock' was proposed in order to save water, which was not readily available to top up the canal. The new invention failed to work and so conventional double locks were installed, which are still functioning today.


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Lucy is a TripTide stalwart and has been with the company since inception. She is a font of knowledge of all things in our metropolis but she has a special penchant for London's historical past. She says:"London is a multi-layered confection of hi...


Camden Lock Market , 56 Camden Lock Pl, , London , NW1 8AF (View on Google Maps)
A very well known market

Recent Reviews

"great day out in North London"

An eclectic market in posh north london - I loved it

Reviewed by Peter 7 years ago