Royal Agricultural Hall

Hall in/near Islington, existed between 1862 and 1943

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Hall · Islington · N1 ·
JUNE
1
2021

Royal Agricultural Hall - originally the ’Agricultural Hall’ - was opened in 1862 for holding agricultural shows.

Royal Agricultural Hall - now a Grade II listed building - was the home of the Royal Smithfield Club’s Smithfield Show from 1862 to 1938. It hosted the Royal Tournament from its inauguration in 1880 until the event became too large for the venue and moved to Olympia in the early years of the 20th century. It hosted the first Crufts dog show in 1891.

The Royal Agricultural Hall had its origins when in 1798 the Duke of Bedford, Sir Joseph Banks and other nobles and gentlemen decided to form the Smithfield Club, which would hold annual exhibitions of livestock, agricultural produce and agricultural implements.

Following some 40 years of exhibiting, first in Smithfield, then at a site in the Barbican, then Baker Street, it was proposed that the club erect a hall large enough to accommodate their annual display and also to be available for other shows. The foundation stone was laid in 1861 and the Agricultural Hall held its first exhibition in 1862.

When built it was one of the largest exhibition halls in the world.

During the Second World War the hall was commandeered by the Government, and from 1943, following the destruction of Mount Pleasant sorting office in an air raid, the Parcels Depot was moved to the hall.


Main source: Wikipedia
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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


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Lena    
Added: 18 Mar 2021 13:08 GMT   

White Conduit Street, N1
My mum, Rosina Wade of the Wade and Hannam family in the area of Chapel Street and Parkfield Street, bought her first “costume” at S Cohen’s in White Conduit Street. Would have probably been about 1936 or thereabouts. She said that he was a small man but an expert tailor. I hope that Islington Council preserve the shop front as it’s a piece of history of the area. Mum used to get her high heel shoes from an Italian shoe shop in Chapel Street. She had size 2 feet and they would let her know when a new consignment of size 2 shoes were in. I think she was a very good customer. She worked at Killingbacks artificial flower maker in Northampton Square and later at the Halifax bombers factory north of Edgware where she was a riveter.

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Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

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Comment
Jeff Owen   
Added: 20 Mar 2021 16:18 GMT   

Owen’s School
Owen Street is the site of Owen’s Boys’ School. The last school was built in 1881 and was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the development which stand there today. It was a “Direct Grant” grammar school and was founded in 1613 by Dame Alice Owen. What is now “Owen’s Fields” was the playground between the old school and the new girls’ school (known then as “Dames Alice Owen’s School” or simply “DAOS”). The boys’ school had the top two floors of that building for their science labs. The school moved to Potters Bar in Hertfordshire in 1971 and is now one of the top State comprehensive schools in the country. The old building remained in use as an accountancy college and taxi-drivers’ “knowledge” school until it was demolished. The new building is now part of City and Islington College. Owen’s was a fine school. I should know because I attended there from 1961 to 1968.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
roger morris   
Added: 16 Oct 2021 08:50 GMT   

Atherton Road, IG5 (1958 - 1980)
I moved to Atherton road in 1958 until 1980 from Finsbury Park. My father purchased the house from his brother Sydney Morris. My father continued to live there until his death in 1997, my mother having died in 1988.
I attended The Glade Primary School in Atherton Road from sept 1958 until 1964 when I went to Beal School. Have fond memories of the area and friends who lived at no2 (Michael Clark)and no11 (Brian Skelly)

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Lived here
margaret clark   
Added: 15 Oct 2021 22:23 GMT   

Margaret’s address when she married in 1938
^, Josepine House, Stepney is the address of my mother on her marriage certificate 1938. Her name was Margaret Irene Clark. Her father Basil Clark was a warehouse grocer.

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Martin Eaton    
Added: 14 Oct 2021 03:56 GMT   

Boundary Estate
Sunbury, Taplow House.

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Comment
Simon Chalton   
Added: 10 Oct 2021 21:52 GMT   

Duppas Hill Terrace 1963- 74
I’m 62 yrs old now but between the years 1963 and 1975 I lived at number 23 Duppas Hill Terrace. I had an absolutely idyllic childhood there and it broke my heart when the council ordered us out of our home to build the Ellis Davd flats there.The very large house overlooked the fire station and we used to watch them practice putting out fires in the blue tower which I believe is still there.
I’m asking for your help because I cannot find anything on the internet or anywhere else (pictures, history of the house, who lived there) and I have been searching for many, many years now.
Have you any idea where I might find any specific details or photos of Duppas Hill Terrace, number 23 and down the hill to where the subway was built. To this day it saddens me to know they knocked down this house, my extended family lived at the next house down which I think was number 25 and my best school friend John Childs the next and last house down at number 27.
I miss those years so terribly and to coin a quote it seems they just disappeared like "tears in rain".
Please, if you know of anywhere that might be able to help me in any way possible, would you be kind enough to get back to me. I would be eternally grateful.
With the greatest of hope and thanks,
Simon Harlow-Chalton.


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Comment
Linda Webb   
Added: 27 Sep 2021 05:51 GMT   

Hungerford Stairs
In 1794 my ancestor, George Webb, Clay Pipe Maker, lived in Hungerford Stairs, Strand. Source: Wakefields Merchant & Tradesmens General Directory London Westminster 1794

Source: Hungerford Stairs

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Born here
jack stevens   
Added: 26 Sep 2021 13:38 GMT   

Mothers birth place
Number 5 Whites Row which was built in around 1736 and still standing was the premises my now 93 year old mother was born in, her name at birth was Hilda Evelyne Shaw,

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Born here
Ron Shepherd   
Added: 18 Sep 2021 17:28 GMT   

More Wisdom
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, West London.

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Comment
Jonathan Penner   
Added: 11 Sep 2021 16:03 GMT   

Pennard Road, W12
My wife and I, young Canadians, lodged at 65 (?) Pennard Road with a fellow named Clive and his girlfriend, Melanie, for about 6 months in 1985. We loved the area and found it extremely convenient.

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Collins’ Music Hall Collins’ Music Hall was a notable Islington venue.
Islington Islington grew as a sprawling Middlesex village along the line of the Great North Road, and has provided the name of the modern borough.
Philharmonic Hall The Philharmonic Hall was a major music hall throughout the 1860s and early 1870s.
White Conduit Fields White Conduit Fields in Islington was an early venue for cricket and several major matches are known to have been played there in the 18th century.

NEARBY STREETS
Albion Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Allingham Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Almeida Street, N1 Almeida Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Anderson Square, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Angel Arcade, N1 Angel Arcade is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Angel House, N1 Angel House is a block on Pentonville Road.
Angel Mews, N1 Angel Mews is an ancient side street in Islington.
Angel Square, EC1V Angel Square is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Aztec Row, N1 Aztec Row is part of Berners Street, Islington.
Barford Street, N1 Barford Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Barnsbury Road, N1 Barnsbury Road is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Baron Street, N1 Baron Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Batchelor Street, N1 Batchelor Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
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Boxworth Grove, N1 Boxworth Grove is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
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Bridel Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
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Burgh Street, N1 This is a street in the N1 postcode area
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Camden Street, N1 Camden Street once laid at the northern end of Camden Passage.
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Collins Yard, N1 Collins Yard is so-named as it ran alongside the Collins’ Music Hall giving access to the rear of the hall.
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Duncan Terrace, N1 Duncan Terrace is named after Admiral Duncan the commander of the Naval Fleet at the Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch in 1797.
Eckford Street, N1 Eckford Street is a road in the N1 postcode area
Elder Walk, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Elia Mews, EC1V Elia Mews is a road in the N1 postcode area
Elia Street, N1 Elia Street was named for local poet, Charles Lamb.
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Henley Heights 351e, N1 Henley Heights 351e is a location in London.
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Hill House Apartments, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Horse Yard, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Islington Green, N1 Islington Green is both a small green and a series of roads which surround it.
Islington High Street, N1 Islington High Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Islington House, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
John’s Place, N1 John’s Place lead through an archway to Charles Street.
Lambs Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Liverpool Road, N1 Liverpool Road is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Malvern Terrace, N1 Malvern Terrace is a road in the N1 postcode area
Maygood Street, N1 Maygood Street is a road in the N1 postcode area
Milner Place, N1 Milner Place is a road in the N1 postcode area
Moon Street, N1 Moon Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Noble Yard, N1 Noble Yard is a yard lying off Charlton Place.
Noel Road, N1 Noel Road is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
North West Road, N1 North West Road is a road in the E9 postcode area
Old Royal Free Place, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Old Royal Free Square, N1 Old Royal Free Square is a road in the N1 postcode area
Packington Street, N1 Packington Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Parkfield Street, N1 Parkfield Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Peldon Walk, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Penton Grove, N1 Penton Grove is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Penton Street, N1 Penton Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Pentonville Road London, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Peter’s Street Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Pied Bull Yd, N1 This is a street in the N1 postcode area
Pierrepoint Arcade, N1 Pierrepoint Arcade is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Pierrepoint Row, N1 Pierrepoint Row is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Pierrepont Arcade, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Pierrepont Row, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Pride Court, N1 Pride Court is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Providence Court, N1 Providence Court is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Providence Place, N1P Providence Place lies beside the Screen On The Green.
Pultney Street, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Queens Head Street, N1 Queens Head Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Quick Street Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Quick Street, N1 Quick Street is named for the favourite comedian of King George III, John Quick.
Raleigh Mews, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Raleigh Street, N1 Raleigh Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Rheidol Mews, N1 Rheidol Mews is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Rheidol Terrace, N1 Rheidol Terrace is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Richmond Avenue, N1 Richmond Avenue is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Richmond Avenue, N1 Richmond Avenue is a road in the NW2 postcode area
Richmond Crescent, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Risinghill Street, N1 Risinghill Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Ritchie Street, N1 Ritchie Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Rocliffe Street, N1 Rocliffe Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Roding House, N1 Residential block
Saint Peter’s Street, N1 This is a street in the N1 postcode area
Seabrook Place, N1 Seabrook Place once connected Angel Mews and White Lion Street.
Shalford Court, N1 Shalford Court is a road in the N1 postcode area
Sheen Grove, N1 Sheen Grove is a road in the N1 postcode area
Shelley Place, N1 Shelley Place is a location in London.
Shillingford Street, N1 Shillingford Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Southwood Smith Street, N1 Southwood Smith Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
St Albans Place, N1 St Albans Place was home to a famous Islington strong man.
St. Mary’s Path, N1 St. Mary’s Path is a road in the N1 postcode area
Stonefield Street, N1 Stonefield Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Studd Street, N1 This is a street in the N1 postcode area
Sudeley Street, N1 Sudeley Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
The Mall, N1 The Mall is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Theberton Street, N1 Theberton Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Tolpuddle Street, N1 Tolpuddle Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Torrens Street, EC1V Torrens Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Torrens Street, EC1V Torrens Street is a road in the N1 postcode area
Vincent Terrace, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Walters House Road, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Water Tower Place, N1 Water Tower Place is a road in the N1 postcode area
White Conduit Street, N1 White Conduit Street was laid out and built up with houses and tenements from the mid-1790s.
White Horse Yard, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
White Lion Street, N1 White Lion Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Wicks Place, N1 Wicks Place is a location in London.
Willow Walk, N1 Willow Walk is a small Islington side street.
Windsor Street, N1 Windsor Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.

NEARBY PUBS
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Bar Prague This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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Central Station This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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Charles Lamb The Charles Lamb is a pub on Elia Street.
Cote Cote is a licenced premise on Islington Green.
DogEatDog This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Duke Of Cambridge Organic Pub This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Earl Of Essex This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Fox on the Green The Fox on the Green is one of Islington’s oldest pubs.
John Salt This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Kings Head This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Lucky Voice This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
New Rose This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Pig & Butcher This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Radicals & Victuallers This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Star Space This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Steam Passage This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Albion This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Angel This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Angelic This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Bull This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Castle This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Craft Beer Co. Islington This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Crown This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Joker of Penton Street pub only This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Lexington This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The London Cocktail Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Nag’s Head This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Three Johns This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Wenlock & Essex This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
York This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Islington

Islington grew as a sprawling Middlesex village along the line of the Great North Road, and has provided the name of the modern borough.

Some roads on the edge of the area, including Essex Road, were known as streets by the medieval period, possibly indicating a Roman origin, but little physical evidence remains. What is known is that the Great North Road from Aldersgate came into use in the 14th century, connecting with a new turnpike up Highgate Hill. This was along the line of modern Upper Street, with a toll gate at The Angel defining the extent of the village. The Back Road - modern Liverpool Road - was primarily a drovers’ road where cattle would be rested before the final leg of their journey to Smithfield. Pens and sheds were erected along this road to accommodate the animals.

The first recorded church, St Mary’s, was erected in the twelfth century and was replaced in the fifteenth century. Islington lay on the estates of the Bishop of London and the Dean and Chapter of St Pauls. There were substantial medieval moated manor houses in the area, principally at Canonbury and Highbury. In 1548, there were 440 communicants listed and the rural atmosphere, with access to the City and Westminster, made it a popular residence for the rich and eminent. The local inns, however, harboured many fugitives and recusants.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the availability of water made Islington a good place for growing vegetables to feed London. The manor became a popular excursion destination for Londoners, attracted to the area by its rural feel. Many public houses were therefore built to serve the needs of both the excursionists and travellers on the turnpike. By 1716, there were 56 ale-house keepers in Upper Street, also offering pleasure and tea gardens, and activities such as archery, skittle alleys and bowling. By the 18th century, music and dancing were offered, together with billiards, firework displays and balloon ascents. The King’s Head Tavern, now a Victorian building with a theatre, has remained on the same site, opposite the parish church, since 1543. The founder of the theatre, Dan Crawford, who died in 2005, disagreed with the introduction of decimal coinage. For twenty-plus years after decimalisation (on 15 February 1971), the bar continued to show prices and charge for drinks in ’old money’.

By the 19th century many music halls and theatres were established around Islington Green. One such was Collins’ Music Hall, the remains of which are now partly incorporated into a bookshop. The remainder of the Hall has been redeveloped into a new theatre, with its entrance at the bottom of Essex Road. It stood on the site of the Landsdowne Tavern, where the landlord had built an entertainment room for customers who wanted to sing (and later for professional entertainers). It was founded in 1862 by Samuel Thomas Collins Vagg and by 1897 had become a 1800-seat theatre with 10 bars. The theatre suffered damage in a fire in 1958 and has not reopened.

The Islington Literary and Scientific Society was established in 1833 and first met in Mr Edgeworth’s Academy on Upper Street. Its goal was to spread knowledge through lectures, discussions, and experiments - politics and theology being forbidden. A building, the Literary and Scientific Institution, was erected in 1837 in Wellington (later Almeida) Street, designed by Roumieu and Gough in a stuccoed Grecian style. It included a library (containing 3,300 volumes in 1839), reading room, museum, laboratory, and lecture theatre seating 500.

The Royal Agricultural Hall was built in 1862 on the Liverpool Road site of William Dixon’s Cattle Layers. It was built for the annual Smithfield Show in December of that year but was popular for other purposes, including recitals and the Royal Tournament. It was the primary exhibition site for London until the 20th century and the largest building of its kind, holding up to 50,000 people. It was requisitioned for use by the Mount Pleasant sorting office during World War II and never re-opened. The main hall has now been incorporated into the Business Design Centre.

The aerial bombing of World War II caused much damage to Islington’s housing stock, with 3,200 dwellings destroyed. Before the war a number of 1930s council housing blocks had been added to the stock. After the war, partly as a result of bomb site redevelopment, the council housing boom got into its stride, reaching its peak in the 1960s: several extensive estates were constructed, by both the Metropolitan Borough of Islington and the London County Council. Clearance of the worst terraced housing was undertaken, but Islington continued to be very densely populated, with a high level of overcrowding. The district has many council blocks, and the local authority has begun to replace some of them.

From the 1960s, the remaining Georgian terraces were rediscovered by middle-class families. Many of the houses were rehabilitated, and the area became newly fashionable. This displacement of the poor by the aspirational has become known as gentrification. Among the new residents were a number of figures who became central in the New Labour movement, including Tony Blair before his victory in the 1997 general election. According to The Guardian in 2006, "Islington is widely regarded as the spiritual home of Britain’s left-wing intelligentsia." The Granita Pact between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair is said to have been made at a now defunct restaurant on Upper Street.

The completion of the Victoria line and redevelopment of Angel tube station created the conditions for developers to renovate many of the early Victorian and Georgian townhouses. They also built new developments. Islington remains a district with diverse inhabitants, with its private houses and apartments not far from social housing in immediately neighbouring wards such as Finsbury and Clerkenwell to the south, Bloomsbury and King’s Cross to the west, and Highbury to the north west, and also the Hackney districts of De Beauvoir and Old Street to the north east.


LOCAL PHOTOS
The Angel, Islington (c.1890)
TUM image id: 1557162442
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Percy Circus from above
Credit: Unknown
TUM image id: 1554673327
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Risinghill Street, N1
TUM image id: 1467032267
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In the neighbourhood...

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The exterior of the Agricultural Hall in Islington (1861).
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The third Grand Theatre, Islington (1903). This was built on the site of the former Philharmonic Hall and two previous Grand Theatres
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Islington Horse and Cattle market at the turn of the twentieth century.
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A line of children hold hands as they walk along the middle of White Conduit Street towards the junction with Chapel Market in Islington.
Credit: John Gay/Historic England
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The Grand Theatre, Islington High Street (1903)
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The Angel, Islington (c.1890)
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White Conduit House, and the conduit head from which it was named, 1827
Credit: Robert Chambers (1832)
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The Camden Head, Islington This is a glorious old gin palace-style pub behind Upper Street, in existence since the 18th century.
Credit: Flickr/Ewan Munro
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Collins Theatre of Varieties (Collins’ Music Hall) existed in Islington between 1861 and 1958. Old-time ’greats’ who performed there were numerous: Charles Chaplin, Fred Karno, Kate Carney, Gus Elen, Sir George Robey, Marie Lloyd, Albert Chevalier, Nellie Wallace, Sir Harry Lauder, ’Wee’ Georgie Wood and more.
Credit: Wiki Commons
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Islington Green (1905). That is Upper Street, leading to Highbury Corner. To the right of the green but just out of the picture would be Essex Road (formerly Lower Road)
Old London postcard
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