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Bishops Square and Market Street - Spitalfields

Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EG

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Access Guide

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Introduction

  • 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.

Parking

  • 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.