Victorian London - Districts - areas of London - Islington

Islington - This village, once described as a pleasant country town, is now only separated from London by name: the situation is very healthy and the salubrity of the air, with its vicinity to the metropolis, have long rendered it a favourite retirement of the citizens. The Regent's Canal passes through this parish, and is conducted under the village by means of a tunnel above half a mile in length.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

THEY'RE about to inclose me; 
    No more shall be seen
The turf that now owes me 
    Its harshly-used green!
No more upon Broad-way
    My sweets I'll bestow,
On Rosamund's Road-way,
    And high Hedges Row.
When, with paling and wicket, 
    They're shut me in tight,
What becomes of my cricket, 
    My trap-ball and kite?
True, those who have won keys 
    By dwelling around
May, p'rhaps come - but the donkeys 
    No more will be found!
I was kind to each neighbour, 
    And always could spare,
To throats parched with labour,
    A mouthful of air;
Now, dress-makers and bakers 
    Will sigh as they pass,
Who learnt from my acres
    The colour of grass.
Though scant was my clover, 
    And scrubby my gorse,
Thoughts of country would hover 
    About them perforce;
Toil's pale sons and daughters, 
    From squalor set free,
Saw the woods and the waters 
    Of their childhood in me.
They say Pitch-and-toss sinful
    Resorts to my ground;
That here sots, with a skinful,
    Reclining are found.
If rogues seek me to fleece men, 
    Or topers to sleep
All I want's two policemen, 
    My confines to keep.
Though a small lung of London, 
    I still am a lung;
So, before I am undone,
    My plaint I have sung.
There are friends who must know, sure, 
    How useful I've been;
Let them save from inclosure 
    Their Islington Green!

Punch, Jul.-Dec. 1847

ISLINGTON is situated in the north of London, beyond the Angel and City-road. It contains St. Mary's, a brick parish spire church, repaired many years back by means of a scaffolding of basket work; the London Fever Hospital, Canonbury Tower, Agricultural Hall, Philharmonic Hall, &c. Sadler's Wells Theatre - which you must not fail to visit - is in St. John's-street-road.  .... In 1861-2 there was erected on Islington Green a Statue and Drinking Fountain to the memory of Sir Hugh Myddelton.

Routledge's Popular Guide to London, [c.1873]

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Islingtona large district on the extreme north side of London. Soil, London clay. Houses here are very cheap, and in the northernmost portion of the district including the new streets and crescents about Barnsbury and Canonbury Parks, are often roomily and comfortably-built, and of a fair size. About Holloway and the northern portion they are commonly of a rather old-fashioned type, and often small. As it was in Tom Pinch’s time, Islington is still a quiet neighbourhood as to its back settlements. But High-street and Upper-street have grown to be amongst the noisiest and least agreeable thoroughfares in London. NEAREST Railway Stat., King’s-cross; for northern part, Barnsbury and Highbury; Omnibus Routes, Pentonville-road, Caledonian-road, Liverpool-road, City-road, Upper-street, and Essex-rd.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Angel, Islington

Angel Islington - photograph


Trains and omnibuses give an invaluable gratuitous advertisement to the inns at certain points on their routes and one of the hostelries best known in all London - by name at least - from this cause is the "Angel." For here trains start and stop, and innumerable omnibuses converge and diverge. The Angel occupies a commanding position at the corner of High Street, Islington - to the right of our picture, and of Pentonville Road, leading down to King's Cross, to the left; while it faces the ends of City Road, Goswell Road, and St. John's Street Road. It is no wonder, therefore, that the pavement in front of it should be always thronged. Some little distance along High Street is the Royal Agricultural Hall.

see also  A.R.Bennett in London and Londoners - click here