The History Behind Angel Islington
11 April 2021
Most Londoners know Angel Islington. It is even internationally recognised by having its own place on the Monopoly board. Some of Angel’s key features are; the lively Chapel Market, the cosy cafes in Camden Passage, and the abundance of independent shops. Myrooms know this area is attractive to live in. Which is why we rent flat-shares in Angel. For readers who are unfamiliar with Angel, here are some fun facts surrounding its history.
Beginnings of Modern London
Charles Dickens described Islington Borough as the place where “London started in earnest”. This was an important part of London during its Industrial Era. For example, Islington was the main place for London’s dairy production. With dairy farms and cattle passages and resting grounds. In fact, some of the squares located in Angel’s residential areas were resting grounds for cattle! The pubs around Angel have been established for many years now. Acting similarly to airports with people from London constantly passing through.
The most ‘important’ pub was The Angel. Established in 1614, and connecting to Islington’s most famous hotel The Angel Inn. Its name changed to Angel Hotel in 1903, and is now a landmark building used for local business. Angel underground station actually borrows its name from this hotel. This station has the longest escalator out of all stations in London. Which gives you some indication of it being one of the earliest stations developed due to how below ground it is.
You see a lot of old English architecture in Angel. Islington High Street comprises over fifty pubs around the area. You can spot buildings that are, or were, pubs during the fifteenth and sixteenth century through white or red lion imagery on its buildings. ‘The Red Lion’ (one of the most common pub names in London) is due to King James I’s red lion crest. Similarly white lions are attributed to King Edward IV’s crest. Additionally lots of Victorian buildings, in which local businesses operate in, remain. For example, the London Design Hall was the old Agricultural Hall erected in the 1860s. The first ever Crufts Dog Show took place there in 1891!
Theatres and Cinemas
There are also many theatres and cinemas in Angel. Locals consider Angel as a great alternative to the West End. Some of these theatres and cinemas have been around for a long time and are still operating. For example, The Screen on the Green, one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in the UK, opened in 1913 as the Empress Electic Theatre. You can also find the children’s Little Angel Theatre, opened in 1961.
Angel is a cultural hotspot in London. So it comes as no surprise that independent vendors and traders settle in this area of the city. A popular destination with Londoners and international tourists, it’s a thriving borough. If you’re looking for a well-furnished flat-share in this busy area of London, contact Myrooms and speak with a London flat-share specialist today!
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