Sixty soil samples were collected from the redeveloped site of the former Metropolitan (Caledonian) Cattle Market, Islington, London. Of these, 15 (25%) contained Clostridium botulinum and no less than four types (B, C, D and E) were demonstrated. Early British soil surveys suggested that only 4--8% of samples contained Cl. botulinum (type A or B). Although there can be no absolute proof, it seems likely that the striking prevalence at the Market site was the result of faecal contamination by a small proportion of the many millions of farm animals brought there from elsewhere. The distribution of Clostridium tetani was uneven, but of 18 soil samples taken from one area of the Market site, 16 (89%) were positive.