Thomas Britton, the Musical Coalman

Born in Northamptonshire in 1654 and came to London as a boy to be apprenticed for seven years to a ‘vendor of small coals – charcoal’. He set up his own business in Jerusalem Passage. Passionate about music, a musician and book collector, Britton starts London’s first Music Society. Accessible only by a rather rickety … Read More

Finsbury Park Station

Finsbury Park station is at the meeting point of three London boroughs – Islington, Hackney and Haringey.  Now a busy intersection between several railway lines and two lines on the London Underground it was originally just a small, almost unnoticed, pause for the mainline trains of the Great Northern Railway as they cut across the … Read More

Plaque at Moorgate

Bethlem Hospital

Introduction The area of Finsbury has a strong connection with Medicine, and to start off, here is a post that looks at the Bethlehem Hospital – in the City of London, but just outside the Moorgate. The hospital led to many Doctors and Physicians living in the area around Finsbury Circus, and this led to … Read More

French Hospital Plaque

The plague, the Pest House and La Providence

This discreet wall plate on a school in Bath Street, Finsbury commemorates the ‘French Hospital’, founded in 1718.  Then this Islington Borough green historic plaque marked the adjacent site of the rather more sinister-sounding City Pest House, established in 1593; sadly, it appears to have been mislaid during some recent building work.   Bath Street … Read More

St George's Tufnell Park Road Holloway

The Rock Tower

Squeezed tightly into the corner where Carleton Road meets Tufnell Park Road is the unusual building shown above. Known as The Rock Tower, it has a large circular central section, with attached structures of various shapes and sizes, and a separate bell tower – now linked to the building by a modern extension.  The Rock … Read More

Barnsbury Wood

Barnsbury Wood

If you happen to find yourself in Barnsbury on a Tuesday afternoon, then I can recommend a visit to London’s smallest nature reserve. This is Barnsbury Wood and it has equally small opening hours; just 2-4pm on Tuesday afternoons (although slightly longer in the month of August).  The wood is the creation of George Thornhill … Read More

houses in Canonbury Square

The Artistic Life of Canonbury Square

Sit in the gardens of Canonbury Square – east or west – and, despite the din of the lorries heading down the Canonbury Road that divides it, something of the peace and quiet of a London square still remains. The attractive gardens, maintained by a dedicated band of local volunteers, with some unusual and exotic … Read More

Archway Bridge Islington

Archway

Why visit? Archway, at the northern fringes of Islington, has a rich history that encompasses developments in public health, transport and welfare. Archway has also long been synonymous with Islington’s Irish community who’ve added their labour and culture to this part of London.  History  Archway takes its name from the original bridge that takes Hornsey … Read More

Islington History & new Blog

The guides at Islington Guided Walks have been working over the last few weeks to build a new Visit Islington set of pages – we’ve divided the borough into ten areas, and for each area a page that looks at why you should visit the area, more on the area history and lists some of … Read More

Bridge with Finsbury Park lettering

Finsbury Park

Why Visit? Whether you’re after fitness, festivals, food or fashion – you’ll find Finsbury Park well worth a visit!  The neighbourhood has a long-standing reputation for entertainment.  You can visit the site of the iconic Rainbow Theatre and/or try some bowling or Karaoke at Rowan’s Tenpin Bowl. The impressive shopping and dining options reflect the … Read More