Covent Garden

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dissolution of the monasteries

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(London). Anxious to restore his dilapidated estate (land belonging to the convent of Westminster prior to the dissolution of the monasteries), the 4th earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones as architect. Influenced by study in Italy, Jones created a piazza surrounded by St Paul's church and three terraces of tall houses. The houses became highly sought after, but the expansion of the fruit, flower, and vegetable market (established 1670) made them less fashionable. Shops and coffee‐houses proliferated, and its first theatre (now the Royal Opera House) opened in 1732.

Subjects: Literature — British History.

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