A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8, Islington and Stoke Newington Parishes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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HOLLOWAY and TOLLINGTON.
Tollington was a settlement c. 1000, when it was to provide two men for a ship. (fn. 58) The manor or estate there in 1086 had nine tenants, (fn. 59) whose farmsteads were probably near the junction of Heame Lane and Tollington Lane (later that of Seven Sisters and Hornsey roads), since a moated farmhouse lay on the south side of the junction. (fn. 60) Another settlement grew up nearby at Stroud Green, mentioned in 1407. (fn. 61) In 1540 twelve tenants at Tollington and Stroud were part of the manor of Highbury, (fn. 62) and from the early 15th century some of the tenants were Londoners. (fn. 63) One tenement was Barton's farm in Tollington Lane in 1557. (fn. 64) Al- though Tollington remained in use as a place name to the end of the 17th century, (fn. 65) it was superseded by Holloway and the hamlet had ceased to have a separate identity by the 18th century.
The stretch of the Great North Road through North Islington was known as the Holloway by 1307, (fn. 66) giving its name to the district and attracting settlement. By the mid 15th century it was the residence of copyholders and craftsmen and had several inns. A medieval moated farmhouse stood about half-way along the road near the junction with the later Tufnell Park Road, (fn. 67) and tenants of St. John's and St. Mary's, Clerkenwell, gave Holloway as their residence. (fn. 68) By the 17th century and probably earlier, settlement was concentrated at three junctions of the high road with local roads: (fn. 69) Upper Holloway at the upper end of the original Maiden Lane (also called Hagbush Lane), near the later Junction Road and Archway tavern, Lower Holloway at Roffe's Lane, and Ring Cross at Tollington Lane. From the 1820s the name Ring Cross was dropped and the area became Lower Holloway, while Upper Holloway was used for the whole area down to Camden Road. (fn. 70) The leper hospital of St. Anthony was built in fields half-way up the west side of Highgate Hill in 1473, marked with a wayside cross which later became the site of the Whittington stone. (fn. 71) By the 1550s settlement in Holloway included three licensed alehouses. (fn. 72) The account of later growth is divided between Lower Holloway, the area bounded by Camden Road, the parish boundary on the west, and the N.L.R., including building on the north-east side of Holloway Road at Ring Cross, and Upper Holloway, the northern end of the parish from Camden Road on the west and the G.N.R. on the east.
Lower Holloway. The junction of Hornsey and Holloway roads was known as Ring Cross by 1494, (fn. 73) and had early settlement. Lower or Nether Holloway was recorded in 1553. (fn. 74) The only medieval dwelling known to have existed away from the high road was called Cutlers in 1373 and was probably the site of Copenhagen House, so named by 1695. (fn. 75) A house in 'Maid Lane' inhabited by Stephen Rolfe in 1467 (fn. 76) may also have been in that part of the parish rather than farther north in Upper Holloway. In 1766-7 Joseph Pocock and Daniel Harrison built Paradise Row, a terrace of 31 houses, near the north end of the Back Road; far from other building at Pentonville and built long before Barnsbury was begun, it remained isolated until c. 1800. (fn. 77) Individual villas and small terraces appeared in Holloway Road towards the end of the 18th century: by 1805 Ring Cross was linked with Lower Holloway by building along the north-east side of Holloway Road, and with Upper Street by buildings on both sides, (fn. 78) with continual additions and infilling. On the south-west side of Ring Cross, George Pocock built several small streets on land belonging to Lord Northampton including George's Place and Cornwall Place c. 1800 and Independent Place, adjoining the latter, c. 1806. (fn. 79) A water-proofing factory was at the bottom of Hornsey Road by 1801; (fn. 80) the nonconformist Holloway chapel was built in 1804, (fn. 81) with Holloway Place next to it. After land on the north-east side of the high road near Highbury Crescent was enfranchised in 1806, several houses were built, such as no. 72 Holloway Road in 1812, and houses to the south built by the mason and sculptor John Atkinson. (fn. 82) By 1811 growth was such that the chapel of ease, completed 1814, was sited there between Holloway and the back roads, (fn. 83) and the new parochial schools were built in the Back Road opposite the chapel grounds in 1815. (fn. 84)
Another small settlement grew up on the western boundary of the parish, at Belle Isle, Maiden Lane. Buildings existed there in 1793 (fn. 85) and by 1829 several industries, mainly noxious, had been established, such as horse-slaughtering and the making of cart grease, varnish, and chimney pots. (fn. 86) Just to the north Copenhagen House had become a resort for Londoners, amid fields which were used by Sunday strollers and for political meetings in the 1790s. (fn. 87)
Growth in the western part of the parish was stimulated by the building in 1826 of a road from Holloway Road at Camden Road to King's Cross, but little of it was residential until the 1840s. The road was later named Caledonian Road after the Royal Caledonian asylum, built in 1827-8 on a 2-a. site in Copenhagen fields east of the road, to replace premises in Hatton Garden. The asylum had been incorporated in 1815 as a charity to support and educate the children of Scottish servicemen killed or wounded in action and of poor Scots living in London. The building was designed by George Tappen in Greek revival style, with a central portico based on that of Philip of Macedon's temple at Delos, and was enlarged in 1844. It opened with 40 boys in 1828, increased to 56 by 1835, and from 1845 girls also were admitted. The school was recognized under the Elementary School Act in 1871, when 63 boys and 40 girls lived there under the auspices of the Established Church of Scotland. The children's Highland dress in Royal Stewart tartan attracted much attention in the neighbourhood, where the asylum remained until 1903. (fn. 88)
In 1826 Thomas Cubitt bought 24 a. of Copenhagen fields, all except 1 a. on the east side of the new road, stretching from the asylum to Offord Road. The land was probably bought for brickmaking, to supply Cubitt's building work in Bloomsbury, and the area had brickfields belonging to other large London contractors. He sold 6-9 a. to the government in 1839 as the site for Pentonville prison. (fn. 89) A model prison, designed by Sir Charles Barry in accordance with plans made by Lieut.-Col. J. Jebb for a reformed system of separate confinement, was built 1840-2 in the form of five radiating blocks, with 520 cells, and gatehouses covering 6 3/4 a. south of the Caledonian asylum. Originally intended for short-term prisoners, by 1848 the prison was receiving the insane for long stays and more exercise facilities had to be introduced. (fn. 90) In 1851 it housed 533 adult male prisoners and 44 staff. (fn. 91) Cubitt used the rest of his land for bricks until 1851, selling a strip at the south end for the N.L.R. line in 1848 and more land to the railway in 1857. (fn. 92)
Meanwhile building was starting to spread westward from Holloway Road. By 1829 Palmer Place and Street and Madras Place had been built between Holloway Road and Paradise Row; Paradise House stood on the north side of the schools in the Back Road, by now renamed Liverpool Road, with the beginning of Bride Street on the south side. North from Park Street South (the middle section of Offord Road), houses had been built in York Place (later St. Clement Street) and Barnsbury Grove. Farther along Holloway Road, Cornwall Place and George's Place (later George's Road) had been continued westward, as Eden Grove and the Grove, with terraced and detached houses to join Caledonian Road. (fn. 93) St. James's church was built in Victoria (later Chillingworth) Road in 1837-8 and the district schools in George's Road in 1838. (fn. 94) By 1841 the area between Palmer Place and Victoria Road had been partially built up, more infilling had taken place north of Victoria Road, and the stretch of Holloway Road from Holloway chapel to Camden Road had been filled by a long terrace, set back from the road, called Loraine Place. More building had gone up south of the schools and chapel of ease, where Albion and Union (later Furlong and Orleston) roads had been laid out and a few semi-detached villas built. West of Liverpool Road the area south of the schools and Sheringham Road was covered with detached houses westward to Westbourne Road, and Bride Street was also extended almost to Roman Way, although building was still slight. (fn. 95)
West of Caledonian Road, Belle Isle had grown to have a population of 185 c. 1842. Between it and the road, three or four streets formed Experimental Gardens or Frenchman's colony or Island. The settlement had been established shortly before 1842 by Peter Henry Joseph Baume, who had intended it as a community formed on the principles of Robert Owen. (fn. 96) Baume let small plots on which poor people could build and himself built cottages for sale or letting. Missionaries opened a school in a cottage there in 1839 with Sunday services, to counteract the influence of the 'infidel Frenchman'; the services soon failed but the school had c. 70 children in 1846. On Sunday the colony had swings and roundabouts in use, which attracted passers by. (fn. 97) In 1851 it was inhabited by 48 families of craftsmen and labourers, (fn. 98) but the buildings had apparently disappeared by c. 1853. (fn. 99)
In 1848 the sanitary inspectors found that both Belle Isle and Experimental Gardens had filthy cottages, with open drains, and that most residents kept pigs. (fn. 1) In the 1840s the area was further disturbed by the G.N.R. line, which, although it crossed Copenhagen fields in a tunnel for most of the way, came out into a cutting on the west side of the Gardens, and from the early 1850s the N.L.R. line ran on the south side of Belle Isle and the Gardens. By c. 1853 the cottages were being replaced by terraces. The industries at Belle Isle remained a blight on residential growth, a source of worry to medical officers, and an eyesore. In 1853 a passenger on the N.L.R. complained to the government's Board of Health of a knacker's yard which not only produced a stench but subjected travellers to the view of parts of dead horses. (fn. 2) The area west of Caledonian Road was further affected by the sale c. 1852 of Copenhagen House and 72 a. to the Corporation of London, which demolished the house and built the Metropolitan Cattle Market on 30 a., opened in 1855. (fn. 3) Drovers' lodgings, five public houses, and two hotels were put up around the market, and the Corporation built a block of working-class dwellings c. 1865. (fn. 4)
In the 1850s building began on Cubitt's land, but the railway, prison, and market made poor neighbours and houses had to be designed for artisans and clerks rather than the wealthier residents catered for south of Offord Road. The 1 a. on the west side of Caledonian Road was leased in 1853 to Henry Law, who built the 14 houses in Arthur Terrace fronting Caledonian Road (nos. 353-79 odd), with a workshop added to the first house and a stable yard at the back. (fn. 5) Law continued Arthur Terrace on the opposite side of Caledonian Road with seven houses (? nos. 418-406 even) in the block between Market (later Wheelwright) and Cumberland (later Ponder) streets in 1856. (fn. 6) In 1853 Thompson and Crosswell started building south of the prison with the City of Rome public house and some houses at the east end of both streets, but the south side of Market Street was completed only in 1863 and the north side of Cumberland Street in 1866, the south side being sold to the railway. (fn. 7) In the same period building joined Roman Road to the streets spreading westward from Holloway Road. Some houses in Roman Road were occupied in 1858, (fn. 8) and in 1860 leases were granted for houses built by William Dennis behind the Caledonian asylum and in three new streets linking Roman and Westbourne roads. (fn. 9) In Hollingsworth Road a little farther east Mrs. Mary Tealby started a temporary home for lost dogs in stables behind nos. 15 and 16, raising funds from friends. After her death in 1865 the home was carried on by a committee which included her brother the Revd. Edward Bates. Although ridiculed by press and public, the home received benefactions and by 1869 was admitting an average of 850 dogs a month, with c. 200 kept there at any one time. Complaints about the noise in a residential area prompted a move in 1871 to more suitable premises, where the enterprise became the Battersea Dogs' Home. (fn. 10)
The remaining open land north of the market was built over in the 1860s and early 1870s. Penn Road, with St. Luke's church and the houses behind Camden Road, was built in the 1860s, as was the south-west side of Hillmarton Road, (fn. 11) but the angle between Hillmarton and Caledonian roads was filled a little later. Hungerford Road was partially built up by 1862, from either end, and more houses there were leased in 1873. (fn. 12) The houses between Camden Road and the market, influenced by the proximity to Tufnell Park, were substantial terraced and detached buildings.
Further growth took the form of infilling and additions to the industrial premises near the market, until some rebuilding was done by local authorities. The district was not uniform in character and some middle-class streets near Camden Road contrasted with the market area and pockets of severe overcrowding. A ragged school was needed for Holloway by 1846, housed in Brand Street off Hornsey Road, (fn. 13) where the houses had to be limed and cleansed in 1849, when one family was sleeping on a damp floor and three others had to be supplied with bedsteads, (fn. 14) and the area nearby centred on Queensland Road was found to be poor and of very low moral character at the end of the century. The same was true of the area around St. James's and Wellington streets, while in Belle Isle the inhabitants, although not among the poorest, were rough. (fn. 15) In 1929 four areas of Lower Holloway were in the second highest category of overcrowding with 1.50 to 1.75 persons to a room: between Eden Grove and Sheringham Road, between Liverpool and Wellington roads, between Blundell and Brewery roads, south of the market, and in Queensland Road and along Drayton Park to the railway line. The area west of Liverpool Road and housing at the Metropolitan market had 1.25 to 1.50 persons, while the least crowded areas, with less than 1 person to a room, were Furlong Road and Crane Grove near St. Mary Magdalene's and between Camden and Hungerford roads and either side of Hillmarton Road. The remainder had a density of 1 to 1.25. (fn. 16)
The L.C.C. undertook much rehousing. In 1901 it bought the 2-a. Caledonian asylum and after the occupants had moved out in 1903 replaced the building with 5 five-storeyed blocks containing 272 flats around a garden, designed by a Mr. Riley and completed in 1906. (fn. 17) The L.C.C. also rebuilt two of the worse areas at Brand Street and George's Road, known together as the Ring Cross estate and completed in 1928. At Brand Street two blocks with shops fronting Hornsey Road called Branston and Rollit houses were built to house 292 people, and Rollit Street was laid out to replace Brand Street. The cleared site extended from Hornsey Road to the Northern Polytechnic, built in Holloway Road in 1896, and the east end of the site was used for an extension to the polytechnic. (fn. 18) The north side of George's Road around Hartnoll Street was rebuilt in 1929 with Radford House, five-storeyed blocks containing 111 flats, and the smaller four-storeyed Hartnoll House with 24 flats for cheaper letting to slum tenants. A garden was laid out in 1930, and c. 1 a. in the south-west corner was used for Hope Street (Ring Cross) primary school and Barnsbury Central school for boys, opened 1931. (fn. 19) Between 1934 and 1942 the L.C.C. also built 6 five-storeyed blocks on the site of Loraine Place, Holloway Road. (fn. 20)
The greatest changes took place after the Second World War, at the cattle market, and at Westbourne Road. The Corporation of London sold Corporation Buildings to the borough council in 1935 and the 28-a. site of the Metropolitan market to the L.C.C. after the market's closure in 1939. The 'flea market' known as the Caledonian market which had also been held there moved to Bermondsey Square, Bermondsey (Surr.). (fn. 21) The G.L.C. and Islington L.B. cleared Corporation Buildings and various halls and sheds from 1965, leaving the central clock tower as a landmark. Caledonian Market estate, with 271 dwellings designed by Farber & Bartholomew, was built c. 1967 (fn. 22) on the south side of the road and west of the clock tower; open space was left both around the tower and south of Market Road, where public gardens and sports grounds included an astro-turf football pitch first used in 1971. (fn. 23) Two blocks of eleven-storeyed flats were also built between Rowstock Gardens and Camden Road, with some four-storeyed blocks of masionettes. In the 1970s two- and three-storeyed flats and houses were built east of the clock tower grounds and an eight- and a four-storeyed block farther east on the south side of North Road, the rest of the road being filled with industrial premises. The other large scheme involved clearing a decayed area between Bride Street and George's Road, where housing problems had been made worse by families displaced from Barnsbury seeking cheap private accommodation; the area was compared unfavourably with the worst city ghettoes in the U.S.A. (fn. 24) In the 1970s the housing between Roman Way and Westbourne Road was replaced by two-storeyed houses and open spaces, with some roads closed to traffic, and old houses retained on the outskirts were gradually rehabilitated.
In 1983 Lower Holloway bore a mixed aspect. Although the market area was largely housing and open space, to the south and east were mainly industrial and commercial premises. Nineteenthcentury houses remained south of Camden Road, where many had been converted into flats, and around Arundel Square and south of St. Mary Magdalene's church, where rehabilitation had preserved some attractive streets. The central part of the district, west of Liverpool Road, had been largely rebuilt, and a spacious park had greatly improved residential amenities. The changes there, however, contrasted with the stretch of Caledonian Road between the G.N.R. and N.L.R. Once the focal point for local shops, businesses, and entertainments, it has a mixture of new and decayed buildings, and a general air of disuse that reveals local economic decline.
Upper Holloway. By the late 16th century a gentleman's residence, probably a former farmhouse, stood at the foot of Highgate Hill, occupied in the early 17th century by Christopher Wase and later by the Masters and Blount families. A small house next to it was sold by the Blounts in the mid 17th century. (fn. 25) The Mother Red Cap inn stood almost opposite on the west side of the high road by the 1630s, when it seems to have been the haunt of prostitutes. (fn. 26) A little south of the Mother Red Cap was another inn by the 1680s, later known as the Horse and Groom. (fn. 27) Fields separated the hamlet from the next settlement south along the high road, at the junction with Roffe's or Cock Lane (later Tollington Way), where at least one inn, the Crown, stood in the early 17th century. Opposite the entrance to the lane by the early 18th century stood the Half Moon, noted for its Holloway cheesecakes. (fn. 28) A little farther south was the moated site of the Brewhouse estate. (fn. 29) In the early 18th century a house was built there, known later as the manor farm and part of the Barnsbury demesne. (fn. 30)
By the 1740s houses stood on both sides of the high road in Upper Holloway at the junction with the original Maiden Lane, and in Lower Holloway at the junction with Roffe's Lane, with a few more at the three-mile stone, approximately at the later Camden Road junction. (fn. 31) A settlement also grew up on the slope at the extreme northern limit of the parish, with the Black Dog at the later corner of Dartmouth Park Hill and Highgate Hill and a scattering of houses along Hornsey Lane at the Highgate end. A few buildings also stood at Mount Pleasant, where the road from Crouch End to Stroud Green entered the parish, and at the Green itself. Another settlement had been formed in Tollington Lane above and below Heame Lane, including the copyhold moated farmhouse called Lower Place or the Devil's House, which stood there in the 16th century and was an inn in 1721. (fn. 32)
Little change occurred in the settlement pattern until the 1820s. In the hamlets, consisting mainly of farmhouses, inns, and craftsmen's shops, new houses were built and older ones improved. On the north-east side of the high road at Upper Holloway some ancient houses in 1811 were thought to have once been occupied by gentry. (fn. 33) One was probably the 17th-century Blounts' house, which seems to have stood just south of the later St. John's Way and was probably the house owned by Mr. Dickenson in 1806. (fn. 34) Another was owned by Robert William Sievier, sculptor and inventor (d. 1865), in 1848, on the south corner of Red Cap Lane (later Elthorne Road). Sievier, who invented several manufacturing processes, probably built the india-rubber works that stood at the end of his land by 1841. He also carried out experiments in electric telegraphy there. The house was called Old Manor House in 1851, probably because part was ancient, but it had been doubled in size, with a new front that included a bas-relief by Sievier; it was demolished in 1897. (fn. 35) In 1820 Hornsey Road was still said to be the haunt of footpads. (fn. 36) By that date, however, new buildings were beginning to fill in the frontages along Holloway Road south of Lower Holloway, with small terraces and cottage-style houses built mainly for Londoners as 'retiring villas'. (fn. 37) In Upper Holloway the Mercers' Company of London built Whittington College in 1822 on the east side of Archway Road (opened 1813) to replace the almshouses in St. Michael's Paternoster (London), founded by Richard Whittington in 1424. The site was chosen to be as near the Whittington stone as possible. The two-storeyed building stood on three sides of a courtyard, with a chapel in the middle of the central block, and was designed in an early Gothic style by George Smith (d. 1869), surveyor to the Company. It contained tworoomed houses for 30 almswomen who were relatives of company members. Gardens were laid out around the building, which was faced with Portland cement in 1830, and an extra bedroom was added to each house in 1877. (fn. 38)
Besides the old inns, the Mother Red Cap and the Horse and Groom, the Archway tavern had been built in the angle between Archway Road and Highgate Hill, while a few small terraces were appearing on the hill, including Bedford Place opposite the Whittington stone and Whittington Place and Gordon Place slightly higher on the west side. A little south of the Horse and Groom St. John's church was built in 1828 but still had fields on three sides. Hornsey Road had attracted even more building and by 1829 was filled with villas and cottages from Heame Lane to the new Hanley Road, with another isolated group half-way to Hornsey Lane. Tollington Park had also been laid out and a few villas built at the west end. (fn. 39)
The western part of Upper Holloway being still free of building, the Corporation of London bought 10 a. or more for a cemetery during the cholera epidemic of 1832 and held c. 27 a. on the north side of Camden Road in 1848. (fn. 40) Between 1849 and 1852 its house of correction for all classes of convicted criminals was built on 8 a. there. Designed by J. B. Bunning, the prison was notable for its front and gateway, a copy of Warwick Castle, built in Kentish rag with Caen stone dressings. It had accommodation in 4 three-storeyed wings for 288 men, in one wing for 56 women, and one wing for 56 juveniles. (fn. 41) The prison was taken over by the government in 1878 and used only for women from c. 1903. (fn. 42) As Holloway prison, it became well known for the imprisonment of suffragettes, for internments during the Second World War, and for executions. Upper Holloway also attracted a few industrial works, which brought strong objections from landowners and residents. A printers' ink factory was ordered to close in 1827, reopened, again closed in 1838, and had started up once more in 1853. (fn. 43) Brickmaking and lack of sewers were othernuisances that grew worse as building spread. (fn. 44)
A noticeable increase in building began in Upper Holloway in the 1840s. The Sons of the Clergy granted building leases for land around the Horse and Groom in 1842, and St. John's Park was partially laid out. (fn. 45) Leases were granted in Hanley Road c. 1840, and by 1849 Hanley Road and Tollington Park were about half filled, mainly with terraces. Nos. 96-108 Tollington Park, attributed to Gough & Roumieu, were partly built 1839-40. (fn. 46) Houses were also being built in Seven Sisters Road, which had replaced Heame Lane, and in roads leading off Holloway Road, between Parkhurst and Camden roads, and at the east end of Tufnell Park Road. (fn. 47) Building was still fairly scattered and many of the houses were detached villas with spacious grounds.
Denser building began in the 1850s, especially east of Holloway Road where 110 houses were under construction at one time in 1851, as opposed to only 18 on the west side; 65 were being built in Cottenham Road (later Sussex Way) and the adjoining streets were also being started. (fn. 48) Long Lands estate, east of Hornsey Road, was bought by the St. Pancras, Marylebone and Paddington Freehold Land Society, and sold off in plots in 1851; the provisional street names, Reform, Franchise, Liberty, and Freehold, reflected the society's aim to create more voters, but were soon changed, to Alsen, Andover, Victor, and Durham roads. (fn. 49) The society also owned the Seven Sisters Road estate east of Long Lands, comprising Campbell (later Whadcoat) Road and the west side of Nightingale (Fonthill) Road, on which plots were sold off from 1857. (fn. 50) It had another estate on the west side of Holloway Road, where Hampden, Cromwell, and Rupert streets were laid out by the mid 1850s; two houses in Hampden Road were completed in 1855. (fn. 51) Other land societies were also laying out estates in Islington in the 1850s. The National Freehold Land Society had a small estate off Hornsey Rise just north of Hanley Road including Lambton and Grenville roads, and the Birkbeck Freehold Land Society laid out an area south of St. John's Road (later Way). North of St. John's Road a small area called St. John's Ville, immediately east of Whittington College, was under construction in the early 1850s, althought only two of the planned streets were built by 1860. Farther west on Highgate Hill, where terraces lined the main road, Salisbury and Brunswick roads were built. The smallpox hospital was built in 1850 and St. Joseph's retreat in 1858. A few terraces appeared in Junction Road and St. John's Park, and roads were being laid across the estate of the Sons of the Clergy and land adjoining belonging to the Hargrave family. West of the prison Hilldrop Crescent and neighbouring streets were added to the substantial terraces and semi-detached villas that had been built along Camden Road and Brecknock Road. Just to the north the demesne land of the Tufnell estate had been set aside as Tufnell Park, with two roads (Carleton and Tufnell Park roads) lined with villas and with open space between the roads. By c. 1853, however, only the Lodge and a few houses at the junction of Carleton and Brecknock roads had been built. (fn. 52)
Not only were estates being built with much open space between them, but building was far from rapid or consistent even where a street plan had been laid down. Most of the streets started in the 1850s were not completed until the 1870s or 1880s, and in the 1890s early villas were replaced by terraces. (fn. 53) Sales of most of the St. Pancras Freehold Land Society's plots singly, or at not more than four to a person, (fn. 54) also made building progress erratic and had important social consequences, of which Campbell Road became the extreme example. Work started there in the 1860s but in 1871 only 63 houses out of the final 104 were ready, with 16 more under way; the rest were finished slowly during the 1870s. While the street was unfinished it remained unpaved and unlighted and was used for rubbish, with the result that poorer tenants moved into the six-roomed houses intended for clerks and social decline set in from the start. (fn. 55) Many of Islington's roughest streets in the 1930s had experienced the same early history: Rupert Road, another St. Pancras Freehold Land Society street, George's Road in Lower Holloway, and Bemerton Road and its adjoining streets in Barnsbury. (fn. 56)
Although much infilling remained to be completed, by the late 1860s land north of the G.N.R. and Holloway Road as far as the Tottenham and Hampstead line had few open areas, the principal ones being south of Hanley Road, land adjoining the G.N.R., most of which soon became the railway company's goods and coal yards, and land north and west of the City workhouse, built c. 1860 in Cornwallis Road. (fn. 57) Two of the smaller spaces were nursery grounds. Other parts of North Islington were less densely built over but apart from Tufnell Park and the fields around it, and those around Islington workhouse in St. John's Way, open ground was scattered in small parcels. Houses with large gardens were being divided: the Hollies east of Crouch Hill was sold off in 20 plots as Holly Park from 1864-7. (fn. 58a) Progress was made on the Hargrave estate. (fn. 59a)
Building in Tufnell Park had started around St. George's church and been extended in Carleton Road, the scheme for a park having been abandoned and the whole area being gradually laid out for building. (fn. 60a) Houses here were still substantial villas similar to those in Tollington Park and Hanley Road, and demand for them was apparently not as high as for lower middle-class terraces, which by the 1860s predominated among the finished houses. Several institutions acquired healthy sites on the higher ground at the northern end of the parish. St. Mary's workhouse school had been built in Hornsey Road in 1853, and the new workhouse called Islington Institution in St. John's Road in 1865. (fn. 61a) The Alexandra orphanage for infants, a charity to house and educate children up to the age of 8, was built on 3 1/2 a. between Hazelville and Sunnyside roads. In 1871, when 101 children were receiving school instruction and another 11 were in the nursery, the orphanage was described as very interesting and well conducted. (fn. 62a) The Aged Pilgrims Friend Society built a home for 120 pensioners at the northern corner of St. John's Road and Hazelville Road in 1870. The two-storeyed building was designed by F. Boreham in Tudor Gothic style around a large courtyard with chapel, hall, and committee rooms. (fn. 63a) Holborn union built its infirmary on 2 3/4 a. on the west side of Archway Road between 1875 and 1885. (fn. 64a)
From the 1870s the remaining land was filled and existing streets were completed, until by the mid 1890s the only open spaces were the grounds of the institutions, two sports grounds, and the gardens of a few large houses, especially along Hornsey Lane. Most of the building was in crowded terraces (fn. 65a) of the 1870s and early 1880s. By 1886 Tufnell Park was partly filled: Carleton Road was lined with detached and semi-detached houses, but open ground remained in Anson, Hugo, and Dalmeny roads, west and north of All Saints' church. Campdale Road had been laid but not built up and to its west the land had become a sports field by the 1890s. Mercers Road, on land belonging to the Mercers' Company, was partially built up. Pemberton Road terminated in land which also became a sports ground, and the south side of Hargrave Road was still open in 1886. Between Highgate Hill and Archway Road building had started in Despard and Bismarck roads, north of Holborn infirmary. On the east side of Archway Road the large houses, Whithall and Alpha Villas, stood on Hornsey Lane but between them and Whittington College and Miranda Road the land was still open in 1886. Building had started in Cheverton, Dresden, and Ashmount roads, with some detached houses in Hazelville Road and the still mainly empty Sunnyside Road. In the north-east corner of the parish Holly Park had been completed with detached houses, and on the boundary Mount Pleasant House, standing in the 1860s, had been replaced by terraces that belonged more to Crouch End than Upper Holloway, as a G.N.R. branch line cut them off from the rest of Crouch Hill. Some detached houses stood on the north side of Warltersville Road, but on the south side Warltersville House still had much open land behind it in the 1890s. Roads like Hanley Road and Tollington Park, started in the 1840s, were finished by the mid 1890s, but some large villas on the south side of Tollington Park were replaced by small terraced houses in Birnam Road in the late 1890s. (fn. 66a)
The latest estate was Whitehall Park, designed by R. W. Hill and begun in 1889, Whitehall Park and Gladsmuir Road being completed in 1891, Cressida Road in 1892, and Harberton Road in 1893. (fn. 67a) The original house, Whitehall, was not sold for building until 1910, when it included land on three sides through which Fitzwarren Avenue had been laid in a crescent around the south side with an exit into Whitehall Park. (fn. 68a) Some building took place soon after the sale, but many houses were not built until the period between the World Wars. Many small infillings included six houses in College Gardens, which were built between nos. 4 and 6 Carleton Road c. 1900 in the grounds of the former Queen's College private school. (fn. 69a)
Growth nearby brought changes to Holloway Road, as a centre for commerce and services. Tradesmen and craftsmen had lived along the road since it was first recorded, and with the spread of building the range of activities increased, particularly along the east side. (fn. 70a) Towards the end of the 19th century the stretch of Holloway Road north-west of the G.N.R. line became an important shopping area with some substantial firms all on the east side, including (from south to north) Jones Bros., linendrapers (nos. 348-66), Beale's, refreshment contractors and confectioners (nos. 370-4), Thomas Usher, tailors (nos. 376-80), Ephraim Hart & Co., house furnishers (nos. 404-6, 416-20), and B. Davies, fancy drapers (nos. 426-34). The west side of the road remained mainly residential from Loraine Place to Mercers Road, with a concentration of doctors and dentists between Camden and Parkhurst roads in 1902. At Upper Holloway small tradesmen were on both sides of the road and increased as houses were converted to shops or other commercial uses. The few large private houses were also replaced at that period. Grove House made way for the Great Northern hospital in the 1880s and the Sieviers' house for commercial premises in 1897. The Blounts' house, possibly called Elm Lodge, and some neigbouring detached houses had been replaced by Giesbach Road and shops fronting the high road by 1894. (fn. 71a)
Although Tufnell Park and Tollington Park retained well-to-do residents, Upper Holloway in the 1890s was mainly the home of clerks and artisans, served by an army of small tradesmen and characterized in The Diary of a Nobody by Mr. Pooter, who strove to maintain a front of gentility. (fn. 72a) Some streets, however, had a rougher population, including Campbell Road, known familiarly as the Bunk or Campbell Bunk, with the reputation from the 1890s to the Second World War of being the worst street in North London. Its social decline stemmed from the way in which it had been built up (fn. 73a) but was hastened from the early 1880s, when a large building intended as a public house was registered as a common lodging house for 90 men. Many houses were sold because of difficulties in repaying mortgages and several also became lodging houses, which drew a rough and shifting population, whereupon most respectable residents left. Soon an address there became a bar to decent employment, however menial, and brought condemnation on anyone suspected of a crime. Residents in the 1890s did casual work or were thieves or prostitutes, and roughness was increased by London slum clearances from the 1870s, many people coming from the courts around the Angel.
Although it did not look like a slum, having standard three-storeyed houses with area railings lining a wide street, 30 per cent of its households were overcrowded in the 1930s, compared with 7.5 per cent for Islington as a whole, and on average more than 11 people shared each sixroomed house. Like similar streets in the parish and elsewhere in London, Campbell Road had its own subculture with a vocabulary formed from 19th-century thieves' and costers' slang that was unknown to the neighbouring streets. The street also represented working-class independence, a freedom secretly envied by many, so that the demise of the road was later widely regretted even by some who had regarded it with horror. (fn. 74a)
Communities in streets like Campbell Road were eventually dispersed by the spread of local authority housing, which limited tenants' freedom by curtailing their economic activities. Such housing was, however, badly needed: in 1929 parts of Campbell and Playford roads and Poole Park had the worst overcrowding with over 1.75 persons to a room; the rest of those streets and those around Wedmore Street and north of Rupert Road had 1.50 to 1.75 persons, and Rupert Road, Fonthill Road to Stroud Green Road, Andover Road, and the area between Hornsey and Cornwallis roads all had between 1.25 and 1.50 persons to a room. (fn. 75a) In Upper Holloway the first municipal housing was in Wedmore Street, where the L.C.C. bought eight semi-detached houses with land at the rear in 1901 as a site for Wessex Buildings, with accommodation for 1,050 in three blocks, two completed in 1904 and one in 1905. (fn. 76a) Little municipal building was done until after the First World War, when several sites were bought by the L.C.C. for people displaced by slum clearance. The site of 16 houses and a small factory adjoining Wessex Buildings was bought and 2 five-storeyed blocks were built c. 1931 with 46 dwellings, while 8 of the houses which fronted Wedmore Street were kept. (fn. 77a) Hornsey Rise estate between Hazelville and Sunnyside roads was completed in 1928 on the site of the Alexandra orphanage, which in 1913 was Shoreditch's additional workhouse; three large three-sided blocks of flats were built, (fn. 78a) which were modernized c. 1980. By 1937 the L.C.C. had also completed 253 dwellings in Wedmore Street and 170 in Andover Street, and started others in Tufnell Park Road and Hilldrop Road. The borough council also built several estates, especially in the northern extremity where there were houses with large gardens and other parcels of vacant land. Manchester Mansions, off Hornsey Lane, was opened in 1921, and Hornsey Lane estate in 1939. Farther east were Warltersville Mansions (opened 1926), the Highlands (1934) on the east side of Crouch Hill, Blythe Mansions (1937) near Hornsey Rise, Hillrise Mansions (1932) and off Hornsey Rise, Coleman Mansions, Crouch Hill (1937), and Leyden Mansions (1931) on the south side of Warltersville Road. (fn. 79a)
Several other municipal estates were built, mostly between Hanley Road and Seven Sisters Road or between Hornsey and Holloway roads. (fn. 80a) By 1967 the borough had 27 estates of 20 or more dwellings in the area, with 12 more in progress, and the G.L.C. owned 5 estates and 4 housing schemes and sites. After the Second World War Campbell Road (renamed Whadcoat Road in the 1930s) was one of the first streets to be demolished, with some surrounding streets, and it was removed entirely to provide the site for flats at Haddon Court in the 1950s and for Clifton Court and the Six Acres estate in the 1960s. The latter was opened in 1969, and provided 356 family flats and maisonettes in 7 four-storeyed blocks and a six- and a twelve-storeyed block. It covered c. 9 a., included a Y.M.C.A. building and a home for retired people, and was interspersed with open spaces and games areas. (fn. 81a) The estate joined the council's estate on the east, while the area west of Durham Road was also rebuilt by the G.L.C. in the 1970s as the Alsen Road estate with over 1,000 houses, stretching to Hornsey Road and joining an older L.C.C. estate in Andover Road. Between Isledon Road and the G.N.R. line another large clearance was made for the council's Harvist estate, with 432 flats in tower blocks surrounded by open space, completed in 1970. At the junction of Tollington and Hornsey roads the Sobell indoor sports centre was completed in 1973. (fn. 82a)
The area between Hornsey and Holloway roads was also largely rebuilt by the council from the 1950s. Bennett Court near Seven Sisters Road, Shaw and Landseer Courts just north of Tollington Way, and Simmons House, Sussex Close, and Oakdale Court near Kingsdown Road were completed by 1967. Further estates were started in the 1960s, in Salterton Road near Bennett Court, and along Sussex Way at Bavaria Road near Simmons House. (fn. 83a) The second was completed in 1979 and Bavaria and Simmons House together provided 206 houses, flats, and maisonnettes fronting Hornsey Road and running back to Sussex Way, having replaced rundown houses, shops, and small factories. (fn. 84a) Farther north, between Fairbridge Road and St. John's Way, the G.L.C. cleared c. 30 a. in the early 1970s for over 1,500 homes (fn. 85a) in a mainly traffic-free complex, with open space and some old buildings such as the school in Duncombe Road. At its clearance the area had become one of the worst examples of urban decay in London and the subject of a book on social problems. (fn. 86a) Adjoining areas were also cleared: the Aged Pilgrims asylum and part of the former workhouse were demolished and housing was built at the Hazelville and Cheverton Road frontages, while the west side of the site was taken for a garden, play area, and the Caxton House community centre, opened in 1976. A large area at the junction of Hazelville Road and Hornsey Rise was cleared and part became an adventure playground, to ameliorate the serious lack of leisure facilities. Additional council estates were built near Hornsey Lane: Redwood Court in 1968, the New Orleans estate in 1972-4, and more flats at Warltersville Mansions in 1972-3. (fn. 87a) A major clearance was also carried out on the west side of Highgate Hill in the 1970s. New blocks were added to the Whittington hospital and the area south of the hospital as far as Junction Road was cleared for housing, with a large office block and new shops and Underground station at the corner of Junction Road and Highgate Hill. Rebuilding was extended westward in the late 1970s to Bickerton Road.
The south-west part of the district, in Tufnell Park and Camden Road, where housing had not been allowed to decay so far, was not rebuilt to the same extent. L.C.C. estates in Tufnell Park Road and Hilldrop Road were planned in 1936 (fn. 88a) but probably not completed until c. 1950, and borough council estates had been added near both of them by 1967. The borough council also demolished houses at the junction of Anson, Carleton, and Brecknock roads c. 1948 (fn. 89a) and built the Brecknock Road estate with 226 dwellings in the 1950s. The G.L.C. and Islington L.B. in the 1970s added to their Hilldrop estates, (fn. 90a) which together covered a wide area on the north side of Camden Road west of Holloway prison; one of the blocks, Margaret Bondfield House, replaced the semi-detached house in Hilldrop Crescent where Dr. Crippen had lived. (fn. 91a) The prison was also rebuilt over several years from 1972 to provide medical and psychiatric facilities for the whole women's prison service, with accommodation for prisoners and staff on a new ground plan, (fn. 92a) that eventually involved demolishing the Gothic gateway, despite widespread protests. The Corporation of London, which had retained adjoining land, also rebuilt its estate between Parkhurst and Camden roads in the 1970s.
Widespread clearance, although it removed substandard dwellings, also destroyed sounder houses and disrupted communities, since many families were not rehoused nearby. As a result in Upper Holloway, the area most affected by council rebuilding, a working-class residents' association, formed to resist further demolition, in 1975 saved over 200 houses in Charteris Road off Tollington Park, after a campaign that involved M.P.s, government ministers, and the national media. Despite evidence that rehabilitation was cheaper than rebuilding, Islington L.B. for some time refused to reverse its decision and finally did so by one vote. Thereafter, however, the council rapidly rehabilitated houses and the Charteris Neighbourhood Tenants' Cooperative was formed to manage and allot them. (fn. 93a)
The co-operative was one of several tenants' management groups, modelled on the Holloway Tenant Co-operative, formed in 1972 and possibly the first of its kind in England. (fn. 94a) It was started by three community workers at a time of intense property speculation and displacement, to convert dilapidated houses that were not included in the council's schemes and offer them preferably to the sitting tenants. The co-operative took over houses bought and converted by the Circle 33 housing trust and eventually became a registered housing association. (fn. 95a) The original founders withdrew, leaving the local tenants to manage the co-operative. It represented a radical change after a hundred years of working-class housing in Islington, from provision in accord with middle-class ideas to decisions made by the tenants themselves.
The co-operative was one of several groups, including housing associations and Holloway Housing Aid Centre, participating in the North Islington Housing Rights Project, also set up in 1972 and funded by Shelter, to avert the problems that gentrification had brought in Barnsbury. Its main aim was to improve five areas in north-east Islington, containing 2,000 substandard homes, by rehabilitation and forming tenants' co-operatives. Existing tenants were to be rehoused in the same street or immediate neighbourhood, (fn. 96a) to avoid the effects of rehabilitation in Barnsbury which had created a bigger housing problem elsewhere.
In 1983 Upper Holloway presented a very mixed appearance, with different types of housing, commerce, and small industry. Holloway Road and the adjoining part of Seven Sisters Road formed the largest commercial area; it had a major department store and several large chain stores and supermarkets, while retaining many smaller specialist and food shops, besides some street stalls, and served much of North London. Spreading out from the central commercial area around the Nag's Head junction were more small shops, often run-down and catering for ethnic minorities. Such shops could be found along Seven Sisters Road towards Finsbury Park, along Hornsey Road as far as Hornsey Rise, along Holloway Road as far as Archway tavern, and along Junction Road. The shopping area of Upper Holloway Road and Junction Road had once been important but offered only a limited provision after the closing of the Co-operative department store c. 1980. Despite schemes to separate industry from housing, many scattered small workshops remained where 19th-century buildings still stood.