Islington is a vibrant, bustling community-based part of London, rich with as much history as it is culture; it certainly is a prominent part of the capital able to offer something for everyone. We’ve put together 10 of its most interesting and fun facts.
1. A New Day Brings a New Restaurant
Islington is home to more restaurants than there are days in a year, if you were to eat in a different restaurant each day you wouldn’t quite have tried them all by the end of the year. Offering everything from tasty Mediterranean to traditional Ecuadorian, Islington has everything to satisfy any craving.
2. Islington in Literature
The famous Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix feature its headquarters at 12 Grimmauld Place, a fictitious street in Islington. Douglas Adams set The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy in Islington, with characters inspired by people from the area.
3. High-Rise for Angel Tube Station
Angel Tube Station is home to the third-largest escalator in Europe, at 60 metres high and with an incline of 27.5 metres, causing quite the workout should the escalators stop working.
4. Dating Back to Shakespeare
The King’s Head Theatre and Pub is the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK and is the first pub theatre since the days of Shakespeare, as it opened in 1970. The theatre offers plays from comedy’s to musical numbers while the front of the building is home to the Victorian pub offering classic British food, wines and ales.
5. A Game to Play
‘The Angel, Islington’ found on the Monopoly board was included when the licensees of the board game met up for tea at the Lyon’s Corner House in Islington, which was formally called the Angel Inn.
6. A First for Fresh Water
Islington was one of the first London Boroughs to receive fresh water which came via a 40 mile canal from Hertfordshire until 1990 when it was replaced with deep mains.
7. The Brown-Blair Deal
Granita was a former restaurant on Upper Street and is now known as the location for the 1994 ‘Blair-Brown Deal’ between Tony Blair, who at the time was Shadow Home Secretary, and former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.
8. The Islington Man
Islington was once home to former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair which led the press to refer to him as the ‘Islington Man’.
9. A Multi-Ethnic Community
Islington has been home to two major ethnic groups, in the 1850s part of the area became home to a large amount of Italian immigrants, although not as many may live there now, a strong presence can still be felt with the famous St. Peter’s Italian Church located here. There are also many Irish immigrants here, boasting the second highest Irish population after the Borough of Brent.
10. A Football Home
Arsenal FC has been situated in Islington for over 100 years. Initially taking up residence in Arsenal Football Stadium in Highbury, the team is still in Islington but now at the Emirates Stadium in Holloway.