Covent Garden Piazza

sights / Squares & plazas

Covent Garden Piazza information

Location
London , England
Getting there
Tube: Covent Garden
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London’s first planned square is now mostly the preserve of visitors, who flock here to shop among the quaint old arcades, browse through eclectic market stalls and shops, cast coins at street performers pretending to be statues and traipse through the fun London Transport Museum .

On the square's west side rises handsome St Paul’s Church , built in 1633. When the Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones to design the piazza, he asked for a simple church 'not much better than a barn'; the architect responded by producing ‘the handsomest barn in England’. It has long been regarded as the actors’ church for its associations with all the nearby theatres, and contains memorials to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Noël Coward, Peter O'Toole and Vivien Leigh. The first Punch and Judy show took place in front of St Paul's in 1662, while Gwen Stefani married Gavin Rossdale inside the church in 2002.