Canonbury: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°32′37″N 0°05′18″W / 51.5437°N 0.0883°W / 51.5437; -0.0883

Canonbury is located in Greater London

 Canonbury shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ325845
London borough Islington
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district N1
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Islington South and Finsbury
London Assembly North East
List of places: UK • England • London

Canonbury is a residential district in the London Borough of Islington in the north of London. It is roughly in the area between Essex Road, Upper Street and Cross Street and either side of St Paul's Road. In 1253 land in the area was granted to the Canons of St Bartholomew’s Priory, Smithfield and became known as Canonbury. The area continued predominantly as open land until it was developed as a suburb in the early 19th century.[1] In common with similar inner London areas, it suffered decline when the construction of railways in the 1860s enabled commuting into the city from further afield. The gentrification of the area from the 1950s included new developments to replace war-damaged properties in Canonbury Park North and South as well as restoration of older buildings.

East Canonbury is the south-eastern corner of the district, bordering on the Regents Canal. Parts of this area were transferred to the district from the London Borough of Hackney in a boundary adjustment (along the line of the northern tow-path of the canal), in 1993.[2]

In the east is the New River Estate (formerly the Marquess Estate), a 1,200 dwelling council estate, completed in 1976 on 26 acres (110,000 m2), and designed by Darbourne & Darke.[1] A dark red brick, traffic free estate, it was praised as an example of municipal architecture, but achieved a bad reputation and has since been extensively redeveloped to improve security for residents.


Notable residents

Canonbury Tower Sept 2008

Literary and artistic connections

Canonbury Square Sept 2008

George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh lived in Canonbury Square each quite early in their literary careers. Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas story about a lamplighter in Canonbury, which features the Tower.[3] Lesley Forbes, the travel and detective story writer, and amateur historian Gavin Menzies, who has claimed that China launched an expedition which travelled the world in 1421, both live in the area.

Places of interest

  • Canonbury Tower - The manor of Canonbury was constructed by William Bolton of St Bartholomew’s Priory between 1509 and 1532. At the dissolution it was granted to Thomas Cromwell. In the 1590s the manor was rebuilt by Sir John Spencer, Lord Mayor of the City of London, including the construction of its tower. The tower has been occupied by many historical figures, including Francis Bacon and Oliver Goldsmith. The Tower Theatre Company was based here from 1953 to 2003. It is currently used as a Masonic research centre.
  • Canonbury Square - An attractive square, developed between 1805 and 1830, it includes a variety of distinct styles. In 1812, when few properties had been built, the New North Road turnpike, now known as Canonbury Road, was constructed and bisects the square. Many significant figures from the arts and literary worlds have lived on the square, including George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh and Samuel Phelps.
  • The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is in Canonbury Square.
  • New River Walk - The New River, an aqueduct built by Sir Hugh Myddelton to supply fresh water to London, was completed in 1613. The walk is in two parts, with a break at Willowbridge. The southern section received an early National Lottery grant, and has a back-pumping scheme which simulates the water flow of the original aqueduct.
  • Canonbury Grove - is a road running parallel to part of New River Walk, made up of typical attractive 2 and 3 storey early 19th century terraces.

Groups in Canonbury

Alwyne Villas Sept 2008
  • Greenpeace UK - offices based at Canonbury Villas.
  • The Canonbury Society aims to conserve the special character of Canonbury by monitoring development
  • Islington & Stoke Newington (T.S Quail) Sea Cadet Unit


  • The local MP is Labour politician Emily Thornberry (her full constituency is Islington South and Finsbury). The Islington councillors representing Canonbury are Barbara Smith, Lucy Watt and Paula Belford (all Liberal Democrat).

Transport and locale

Compton Road Sept 2008
Gardens of Canonbury Square Sept 2008

Nearest railway stations

Nearest tube stations

Nearest bus routes

Bus Route 4 19 21 30 38 43 56 67 73
Bus Route 76 141 149 242 243 271 277 341 476


External links


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