Beginning in 1639, Covent Garden was laid out by Inigo Jones, the first great British student of Andrea Palladio, as an arcaded piazza modelled on the Italian Renaissance style at the behest of Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford. Inigo Jones's neo-classical church, St Paul's, Covent Garden, was designed to provide a dramatic focus at the centre of the western side of the piazza. The elegant houses, five stories in height, seem even today quite recent, an indication of just how influential the neo-classical style promoted by Jones was to become. Unfortunately, the open market which had originally stood on this site – the “Convent Garden” – operated under titles which Bedford could not foreclose, so the piazza failed to …
Editors. "Covent Garden". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2008; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=233, accessed 25 April 2015.]