Notable Places in Islington

Islington is a district in Greater London. It is mainly residential area. The name of Islington was Gieseldone and later Gislandune in Saxon times. The meaning of both is ‘Gisla’s hill’. The name was changed to Isledon and was used until 17th century when the today’s form arose.

Islington was once a small manor. Little physical evidence show but it is supposed that Essex Road has Roman origin. There is evidence though that in the 14th century the Great North Road come into use and it connected Highgate Hill. Today’s Liverpool Road, once called the Back Road, was a drovers’ road.

One of the greatest landmarks of Islington is St Mary’s Church. It was built in the 12th century and replaced in the 15th century. Another notable place of Islington is The Royal Agricultural Hall built in 1862 for the annual Smithfield Show in December. It was popular for hosting various events like recitals and the Royal Tournament. Until 20th century it was the largest building of its kind. During the Second World War it was used by the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre and after that it never re-opened.
In the 17th and 18th centuries people in Islington grew vegetables and the area was a popular excursion destination. A great number of public houses, tea gardens, ale-houses and billiards were built during that time. Theatres and music halls were established by the 19th century and they are favorite places for local Islington carpet cleaning workers.

The Islington Literary and Scientific Society was established in 1833 and the building of the Literary and Scientific Institution was designed in stuccoed Grecian style by Roumieu and Gough in 1837. There was a library, reading room, museum, laboratory, and lecture theatre in the building. Later on, in 1874, the building was sold to the Wellington Club. In 1890 when the Salvation Army bought it, it was renamed to Wellington Castle. Today the building is called Almeida Theatre.
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