Partner Programme

20   —    24 Sep 2021

The Royal Exchange


City of London



The Makers’ Market at The Royal Exchange will host design-led British brands and makers who will exhibit and sell unique, handcrafted products in a pop-up space on the mezzanine inside the grand courtyard of the landmark building. All products will be available to purchase from The Royal Exchange during LDF.

In celebration of The Royal Exchange's milestone 450th anniversary, The Makers’ Market at The Royal Exchange will take inspiration from its history as one of the first specialist commercial centres in the world. Displaying new, unique work from a wide range of creative disciplines, all the products will be handmade and handcrafted in the UK, using craftsmanship techniques and classical materials including textiles, leather, ceramic and wood, many of which will be used in new and innovative ways. The Royal Exchange has seen many different uses since it was founded in 1566 by merchant Sir Thomas Gresham and officially opened on 23 January 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I, who awarded the building its royal title and a licence to sell alcohol and valuable goods. The Royal Exchange became a fashionable destination for its apothecaries, booksellers, printers, grocers, barber/surgeons, leather-sellers, goldsmiths, vintners, glass-sellers and milliners. Two milliners had the equivalent of a Royal Warrant to supply the Queen, adding to the allure of this proto-shopping mall. Soon there were more than 180 units on the the upper storeys, mostly just 1.5m wide by 2.3m deep, bringing in a healthy income.