Progress on converting Smithfield’s old Victorian meat market into the new London Museum has taken a step forward with the unveiling of the building’s Foundation Stone.
Principal construction works are now underway on the project, following work to restore the historic façades and roof, including excavating the site’s former Vaults and Salt Stores, and cleaning the basement’s Victorian brickwork.
On Saturday, a 3-metre wide glass oculus was craned onto the roof of the General Market. It will rest above a newly laid copper-tiled roof, whose gleaming surface will give the museum a temporary metallic shine before it eventually turns green.
With scaffolding coming down inside the General Market, work is underway to start framing the internal spaces that will hold the museum’s permanent galleries. This autumn will also see work begin on the adjacent Poultry Market, which will house the museum’s temporary exhibition and learning spaces.
Both the General Market building, which dates back to the Victorian era, and the 1960s Poultry Market building are being restored to ensure that their history and character are celebrated as part of the new museum.
The new building will reuse and repair over 70% of the existing fabric, and the Victorian building should open in 2026, with the 1960s building opening later.
Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London, said: “The start of the principle construction works is an exciting moment in the creation of this new museum, and we are working closely with thousands of Londoners to create an inspiring space that truly reflects what it is to be a Londoner today as well as exploring our history. I would like to thank the GLA, City of London and our funders and supporters who are helping us to create this world-leading museum that will be shaped by and celebrate Londoners of all ages.”