The History of Islington in London

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Islington History

Historic Islington

Islington History
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World War II destroyed many areas of Islington, with over 3,200 properties destroyed, however there are a number of historic buildings that remain including St Paul’s Church, a grade II listed building that Sir Charles Barry designed, it dates back to 1826.

A grade II listed building is also The Egyptianate on Essex Road, which was previously a cinema. There are some lovely Georgian townhouses in the area and Islington Town Hall and a number of buildings on Essex Road are also listed.

The Islington Metal Works was built in the late 19th C originally its purpose was a stable to house the horses that pulled the trams for London Transport. Situated behind the Angel Station, in 1925 it became a metal works, it is now restored and used as a venue for everything from weddings to fashion shows.

History of Islington

Named by the Saxons ‘giseldone’, its name developed and after the 17th C its current name became used. Islington in medieval times was a small manor, the town itself stands on a hill, it originally supplied the City of London with water, due to this is was considered a good place to grow produce in the 17th and 18th C.

Islington was originally a rural area and many people who lived in central London enjoyed day trips here, a number of public houses therefore arose and by 1716 there were 50 plus public houses in Upper Street alone. It was known for its tea parties and sporting such as archery, bowling, billiards and dancing. Come the 19th C it was home to theatres and music halls.

Modern Day Islington

There are a number of diverse qualities to the area, it is a leafy residential area but also boasts good shopping, restaurants and bars these days, both chains and independents. Grand and elegant, it is now home to a sophisticated population, many of the residents have high-powered jobs. It is very family orientated and one of London’s more desirable areas.