The former monastery property of the Westminster Abbey was given away for residential development during the rule of King Henry III. In 17th century the artistic elite, writers, painters and actors began to settle here, and theatres began to open. In the next three centuries a large fruit and vegetable market thrived here, existing up until the 1974. Today, Covent Garden is the centre of arts of London. The world-famous Royal Opera and the Drury Lane Theatre are found here.