Skip to main content

Bishops Square and Market Street - Spitalfields

Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EG

View Accessibility Symbols

Accessibility Symbols

For more information about what these symbols mean, view our Accessibility Symbols Guide.

Close this popup window.

Access Guide

Show Easy Read


  • Comments View
    • This guide, and its linked guides, describes the vibrant shopping and leisure area of Spitalfields in the East End of London.
    • The area centres on the Old Spitalfields Market and the newer market and shopping area attached to it.
    • Bishop Square is a pedestrian open space to the west side of the markets.
    • It connects Brushfield Street to the south with Spital Square and Lamb Street to the north.
    • It is approximately 125m long and takes less than 5 minutes to walk.
    • It is generally level or with very slight slopes.
    • From this area is the covered arcade known as Market Street which connects to Spitalfields Market.
    • The area can be busy at peak times such as weekday lunchtimes and weekends.
    • Potential hazards include: A-board signs and café tables on the pavement and cyclists using the paved areas.

Getting Here

  • By Car:
  • Bishops Square is located in east London, parallel with the A10 Bishopsgate.
  • The nearest access for cars to this pedestrianised area is from Spital Square, off Bishopsgate, or Brushfield Street from Commercial Street.
  • Bishopsgate and Brushfield Street are within the Central London Congestion Charge Zone (charges apply Monday - Friday 07.00 - 18.00) and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (charges apply at all times for non-compliant vehicles).
  • Commercial Street is outside the charging zones.
  • Most of the main roads in the area are Red Routes where stopping is not permitted except for limited times in marked bays.
  • Please see signs for restrictions.
  • There are bollards on Brushfield Street near to Bishops Square preventing through traffic.
  • Parking:
  • There are on-street Blue Badge parking bays on Brushfield Street and further bays on Commercial Street.
  • There are standard on-street parking bays in Spital Square.
  • By Train:
  • Liverpool Street Station, on Bishopsgate, is approximately 350m from Bishops Square.
  • It is served by TFL, Greater Anglia, C2C and London Overground rail services.
  • Shoreditch High Street Overground Station is approximately 350m from the Spital Square end of Bishops Square.
  • There is step-free access from street to platform at both of these stations and staff assistance with boarding ramps.
  • Accessible toilets are also available.
  • By Underground:
  • The nearest underground stations are Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines) and Aldgate East (District and Hammersmith & City lines).
  • There is partial step-free access at these stations.
  • For a map of step-free tube details please click here
  • By Bus:
  • The nearest bus stops are on Bishopsgate and Commercial Street.
  • To plan all public transport routes please click here.


  • There is a strip of on-street Blue Badge parking with space for 2 vehicles at the Bishopsgate end of Brushfield Street, near Pizza Express.
  • The bays are limited to 4 hours parking Monday to Friday but are unlimited at the weekend.
  • There is a dropped kerb between the pavement and the road at the end of the bay (photograph 3).
  • There are additional Blue Badge parking strips on both sides of Commercial Street, limited to 3 hours between 10.00 - 16.00 every day (photograph 4).
  • There are standard on-street pay-by-phone parking bays on Spital Square, close to the access point to Bishops Square (photographs 5 and 6).
  • Parking is limited to 4 hours.

Access Point - Brushfield Street to Bishops Square

  • The pavement on the north side of Brushfield Street broadens out to become the pedestrianised area of Bishops Square.
  • A statue of a goat on a tall plinth and a sculpture of some fruit at pavement level are landmarks in this area.
  • There is a low bench seat between them (photographs 1-4).
  • There are some slight slopes in this area which create a change of level between the square and the pavement alongside the road.
  • There is a tapering single step which becomes two medium, marked steps.
  • These are marked by tactile paving and by single handrails spaced out.
  • There is an information board in this area with details of local history, although the mirror finish makes it hard to read (photographs 9 and 10).

Bishops Square

  • Bishops Square is a large, open pedestrian area surrounded by shops and office buildings.
  • Some of the cafés in the area have external seating.
  • The area is comprised of stone slabs and is generally level or with very slight slopes.
  • There are textured paving blocks immediately around the trees, some of which have been raised up and made uneven by tree roots.
  • There are low bench seats without armrests (photographs 1 - 4).
  • At the Brushfield Street end of the square, there is some sheltered and shaded seating beneath a large tent structure (photographs 5 - 8).
  • Litter bins have been positioned to prevent pedestrians accidentally walking into some, but not all of the tent structure.
  • Throughout the area there are further bench seats without armrests and also low walls around planting which can be used for informal seating (photographs 9 and 10).
  • There is also a fishpond contained by a low wall (11).
  • There may A-board signs throughout the area (photograph 12).
  • Outside No1 Bishops Square, there is a large area of glass panels set into the paving (photographs 13 and 14).
  • These provide a view of the remains of the historic Charnel House below.
  • The glass panels are designed to be walked on.

Level Change (Access to Charnel House Viewing Area)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located near to No1 Bishops Square.
  • There is/are 8 steps, then a landing, then a further 8 step(s) to the area/service.
  • There is tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
  • There is a lift to access this area/service.
  • The lift does bypass the step(s).

Lift (Access to Charnel House Viewing Area)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the opposite end of the viewing area from the steps.
  • The lift is a platform lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are street level down to the viewing area.
  • Wall mounted information boards are not provided at lift landings.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • Comments View
    • This lift gives level access down to the Charnel House viewing area.
    • It was out or order on the day of our visit (April 2019).
    • We were advised that this was a temporary problem and the lift is generally in use.
    • The information sign on the lift is worn and hard to read.
    • The contact number for the estate security responsible for the lift is 020 7377 6686.

Charnel House Viewing Area

  • This viewing area is designed to give a close-up view of the remains of the Spitalfields Charnel House.
  • The building was constructed in the 1320s and now lies beneath the modern developments.
  • There is access to the viewing area by steps or lift.
  • Large glass windows give views of the building remains (photographs 1 and 2).
  • The viewing area is paved with level stone blocks, with some textured paving around the tree planter.
  • There is a long stone bench seat in the centre of the area (photographs 3-5).
  • There is historical information about the site on the glass windows and on the coloured information panels opposite them, but it is very hard to read.

Links to Bishopsgate

  • From the central area of Bishops Square there are two paved pedestrian walkways which connect the square with Bishopsgate.
  • The stone paving is level or with very slight slopes.
  • There are market stall structures in the centre of one of the walkways, although these were not in use on the day of our visit.

Market Street

  • Market Street is the pedestrian shopping arcade which connects Bishops Square with Spitalfields Market.
  • It is covered by a glass roof.
  • It runs parallel to Brushfield Street and some of the shops have entrances onto both streets.
  • The entrances from Brushfield Street are more likely to be level or have a shallow step than those in Market Street where some have deep steps.
  • Please see the individual access guides for more details.
  • Market Street is approximately 50m long and is level or with very slight slopes.
  • The flooring is of smooth stone slabs, although there are some small areas of textured blocks in random locations (photograph 4).
  • There are large circular columns on the north side of the walkway (photographs 6 and 7).
  • There are likely to be A-board signs and café tables in the walkway.
  • Some stores may also display their goods on the walkway (photographs 8 and 9).
  • At the entrance to Spitalfields Market, there are large gates which are held open when the market is open.

Access Point - Spital Square and Lamb Street to Bishops Square

  • The northern end of Bishops Square meets the junction of Spital Square and Lamb Street.
  • There are large bollards at the boundary of the square, with gaps between of approximately 100cm.
  • The gaps may be narrowed by A-board signs in some locations (photograph 3).
  • In front of the bollards, there is a slight slope in the block paving down to a flush kerb at the roadway (photograph 4).

Access Guides Available For (Bishops Square and Market Street - Spitalfields)

Accessible Toilet

  • The nearest public accessible toilets are within the Old Spitalfields Market.
  • Some of the restaurants and bars in the area also have accessible toilets for customer use - please see the related access guides for details.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • The nearest public toilets are within the Old Spitalfields Market.
  • Some of the restaurants and bars in the area also have toilets for customer use - please see the related access guides for details.