A popular excursion destination for Londoners during the 17th century, Islington’s early beginnings were founded on entertaining the capitals wealthy.
By 1716, there were 56 ale houses on Islington’s arterial road - Upper Street, also offering pleasure and tea gardens. By the early 19th century music halls, theatres and bookshops were established around Islington Green.
Islington’s housing development accelerated dramatically from the 1850’s. Population growth, in tandem with the introduction of London’s nascent transport network, intensified the need for urban planning.
A celebration of 18th and early 19th century architecture, Islington’s grand Victorian houses, handsome Georgian terraces and townhouses lined fashionable squares, attracting London’s affluent.
The demographics of the borough shifted with the advent of rail, as labourers were moved in and around Islington to build depots and goods yards to accommodate the area’s growing infrastructure.
Extensive bombing during World War II caused substantial damage to Islington's housing stock and vacant land regeneration focussed on the building of social housing to accommodate the displaced, reaching a peak in 1970’s.
1980’s and beyond
From the 1980’s, the handsome Victorian family homes and Georgian terraces were rediscovered by professionals, creative types, celebrities and politicians. Many of these town houses continue to be redeveloped as part of Islington’s on-going renaissance.
In most recent years Islington has attracted buyers from central London postcodes as the area has undergone significant re-invention with now excellent local shops, boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.
21st Century property development
A vast number of Islington’s period Victorian and Georgian buildings fall in conservation areas or are listed and can therefore not be altered, helping to maintain the area’s character. New luxury development Islington Square, off vibrant Upper Street, will offer penthouses and warehouse style apartments, developed from existing Georgian buildings.