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History Time

Stables Market: 15 Things to Know

Mon 20 May

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It's time to geek out over Stables Market trivia

You probably already know that Camden’s Stables Market gets its name from its previous incarnation as a horse stables and hospital, but that’s just the beginning. Read on for an at-a-glance-guide to the history of this world famous market. Every day’s a school day…

  • A network of stable blocks, horse tunnels, tack rooms, saddler’s workshops and a horse hospital were once on the site now known as Camden’s Stables Market.
  • Formerly a separate entity from Camden Lock Market, the two markets came together in 2014 to form Camden Market as a whole.
  • The total stabling in Stables Yard in 1925 was for about 400 horses, and at its peak an estimated 700 to 800 horses worked at the Camden Goods Depot (built in 1939).
  • Why so many horses? Camden Goods Depot brought employment and industry to NW1 on an unprecedented scale and the operation of the railways required the use of horses for pulling trains, train parts and barges along the canal. The trusty steeds were also used for transporting goods and passenger luggage.
  • Cyberdog is another landmark that announces you’ve made it to the Stables Market. The metal robotic 8ft(ish) tall statues have stood tall outside the infamous futuristic and rave clothing store.
  • Any horses injured pulling barges down the canals would come for treatment at the on-site horse hospital (now known as FEST Camden)
  • The very last shunting horse was withdrawn from duty in 1967 and the depot was closed in 1980.
Instagram: @Mdiasgo
  • Home to the beginnings of many famous musical artists, you can find the infamous Clash steps from their debut album next door to Cuban themed restaurant and bar, Gabeto.
  • The winding row of shops between Stables Yard and Horse Tunnel Market are filled with a broad range of independent small businesses. You’ll spot one of the oldest Camden Market traders Fleming Antiques as well as community driven clothing shop, Clime-it Brothers.
  • The 200-year-old grade II listed horse hospital is now the home to FEST Camden, a club, art space and burlesque venue that attracts a switched-on crowd of urbanites hungry for alternative entertainment (think cutting-edge music, comedy shows and cabaret).
  • The Stables Market is the largest of Camden’s market spaces and features a variety of food, fashion and craft stalls that spill from the network of horse tunnels in to the yard.
  • In the late 70s (circa 76-79), The Clash used what is now Cyberdog as a rehearsal and living space during their heyday.
  • The mini areas that make up the entirety of the Stables are Italian Alley, Cuban Yard, The Basement, the Amphitheatre, North Yard, Saddle Row, Gibley’s Row and Paddock Lane - a lot of places, we know!
  • Since 2014 a life-size bronze statue of Amy Winehouse (made by British sculptor Scott Eaton) has stood in the Stables Market.
  • Countless traders have grown up in the Stables Market, moving from a stall into a flagship store. One of our favourites are Collectif, their home base is right in Stables Yard.

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