North London Line Barnsbury

North London Railway
The Railway from Dalston Junction runs south westwards
TQ 30592 84023

An area of Islington where housing which was slum property fifty years ago is now upmarket - some of it designed and laid out by major architects.  The main Caledonian Road runs north:south through the area and the North London line runs north west:south east and there are the remains of what was once an important railway transhipment area. There is open space, churches and an inner city mix of 19th and 20th social action invitiatives

Post to the south Canonbury

This post covers only the south east corner of the square
Post to the quarter square to the west Ladykillers
Post to the quarter square to the north

Main Square to the west
South east quarter square Camden Town
South west quarter square Camden Road

Main square to the east
Quarter square to the north east Highbury Corner
Quarter square to the north west Arundel Square

Post to the north Holloway Road

Barnsbury Terrace
Historians of the 18th and 19th claimed this was the site of a ‘The pretorium of a Roman camp’, this is now thought to have been a moated medieval farm. The street was built up from the 1820s
The Courtyard. This is a group of five houses built in the 1970s using London stock brick. They were designed by Tim Tomlinson Associates, and developed by the construction firm Dove Brothers
17 2020 Archery.  Indoor archery range.

Barnsbury Wood
This is a space of about 0.86 acre behind the houses of Hemingford Road, Huntingdon Street, Crescent Street and Thornhill Crescent. It was originally a garden belonging to developer George Thornhill and then an area for the Vicarage at 7 Huntington Street but the area gradually reverted to woodland and by the 1960s had mature trees. The Council bought the site for housing but access problems meant it was left in a semi-natural state. In 1981 a co-operative was formed by local residents to buy and manage the site. It had then 74 trees, with ducks, jays, kestrels and wood pigeons. It was then set up as an ecological park.

Belitha Villas
Belitha was the landowners name and the street dates from the 1840s.

Bridgeman Road
Rev. Bridgeman was a vicar of St.Andrews Church
West Branch Library. A replacement for two terraced houses built in 1905-7 designed by Beresford Pite. It was also the fourth library funded in Islington by Andrew Carnegie.  It is in a classical style with acanthus motifs and capitals based on the Temple of Epicurus at Bassae plus Art Nouveau features. The inside was planned through the progressive librarianship of James Duff Brown. 

Bemerton Estate
The rest of the area west of Caledonian Road was rebuilt from 1947 by the London County Council

Caledonian Road
This was a turnpike road built on the line of an old lane – until 1853 it was called The Chalk Road. It was built privately in 1826 by the The Battle Bridge and Holloway Road Co. and was a toll road by to link New Road with the Great North Road.
Caledonian Road Station. The station opened in 1852 to deal with traffic from the cattle market on the North London Line on the west side of Caledonian Road. It was renamed in 1870 as Barnsbury and was soon after relocated to the east side of Roman Road.
Caledonian Road and Barnsbury Station.  A subway connected the platforms to Caledonian Road. In 1968 an entrance was opened here south of the line with a path to the platforms linked by a footbridge. Following upgrading work in 2012 there is a footpath, with Oyster readers, from Caledonian Road to the entrance of the station
Signal Boxes – the original box was replaced by one o the other side of the line. And was closed in 1970
297 Kennedy’s Bar. This was previously called the Edinburgh Castle Pub
325 Variety Picture Palace. For a few years, 1909 until 1915 this building, now a solicitor’s office, operated as a cinema
342 The Prince. This pub was originally the Prince of Wales and had also been called The Islington Bar.
379 Doyle's Tavern. This was called the Prince Arthur from 1869 but has also been called the Pride of the West and the Tirconail Bar.
North London Railway Bridge. Until 2013 this had an advertisement on it for Ferodo brake linings. This has now been replaced
Coal shoots along the south east side of the railway in the 1870s
Kings Court. Posh housing in a gated development at the back of what was Arthur Terrace –linked to the Prince Arthur pub. The site was Arthur Mews.
388 Islington Glass. This shop was the Offord Arms Pub on site in 1851

Carnoustie Drive
1a Coatbridge House. Bemerton Children's Centre. Services include early learning and childcare

Crescent Street
1 and 2 were demolished to facilitate access to Barnsbury Wood

Frederica Street
Before redevelopment in the 1970a it featured in 'The Ladykillers’ with a house specially built for the film. The road has however been realigned.

Freeling Street
Graffiti dog with earphones.

Hemmingford Road
115 Huntingdon Arms. This was later know as The Cuckoo but since 2011 has been a restaurant.
158 Hemingford Arms. Pub with flowers outside

Huntingdon Street
7 this was originally a Vicarage. Behind it was a large garden which is now Barnsbury Wood. This is the biggest house in the row and backs directly on to it. It later became a private school, and then divided into flats.

Offord Road
One of Thornhill’s sons was rector of Offord D'Arcy.  Plain terraces.
38 Bath Sorts. This was a pub called the Prince Alfred
Offord Road Congregational Church. Built by Sanders and Bedells in 1857 and closed in 1918. It has been in industrial use since.

Offord Street
This back road was small houses but is now Roman Way Trading Estate.
Caledonian Road and Barnsbury Station. The original station opened in 1852 on the East and West India Dock and Birmingham Junction Railway. In 1870 the North London Railway moved the station and renamed it ‘Barnsbury’ with an entrance on Roman Road and then on Caledonian Road. It was later renamed ‘Caledonian Road plus Barnsbury’ and Caledonian Road and Barnsbury from 1893. The area around the line was designed for the transport of cattle.  Upgrading work in 2012 has led to more changes and the station entrance on Offord Street leads to the old westbound platform from which a footbridge gives access to the new island platforms, numbered 2 and 3. Probably to distinguish from the old platform 1.
Carriage sidings. There were two carriage siding south of the tracks with coal sidings to the west – some of which must be covered by the buildings of Roman Way Trading Estate

Roman Way
Until 1938 this was Roman Road
114 This was the City of Rome Pub.  Built by Charles Thompson and William Crosswell in 1853
Caledonian Road and Barnsbury Station. Station building designed by Edwin Henry Horne was built on the west side of the road as Barnsbury Station. In 1893 this was renamed ‘Caledonian Road and Barnsbury’.  In 1920 this entrance closed and in 1968 Horne’s building was demolished.

Suttereton Street
Local Authority housing built 1972

Thornhill Crescent
Built by Samuel Pocock, from a family of local dairy farmers in 1852 - 44 years after the first talk of the project. The houses were built with conservatories at the rear, many of which remain.
St. Andrew's Church. Named to go with the Scottish named workmen’s dwellings in the area built after the construction of the prison. The decision to build had been taken at two parish meetings because of the overcrowding and rising, population. It was one of the largest churches in the suburbs built in. 1852-4 with a design chosen by competition, won by Francis Newman and John Johnson, and built by Dove Brother in ‘fashionable’ Kentish rag.  It cost much more than the original stipulated price. Initially the congregation sometimes crowded it out but the population began to fall in the mid-20th and In the 1960s pews and pulpit were removed to allow more community space. The interior was partitioned for a school-room, kitchen and coffee room, quiet room and offices.

Thornhill Estate
The estate was laid out by surveyor Joseph Kaye. The Thornhill family came from Yorkshire with Islington property let as a dairy farm but it was a very poor area.  George Thornhill saw it as appropriate for development in the late 18th and commissioned a surveyor, Henry Richardson to draw up a building lease but the plan failed following quarrels.  In 1812 the Regent's Canal, of which Thornhill was a proprietors, was built increasing the estates’ value. His son was also involved in local development companies and Joseph Kay continued as manager of the development.

Thornhill Square
This is Islington's largest square, and has a Public garden in the centre. Building started in 1847 by G. S. S. Williams. It is not a square, but two crescents bounding a 'square' with two built sides. Yet after the Second World War it was run down, and after the death of Noel Thornhill, in 1955 its future was uncertain. There were rumours of a break-up followed; but in 1970 99 per cent, was still owned by the Trustees of the Thornhill Estate although many of the freeholds were purchased by occupants,
33 this was the Buffalo Club –a workingmen’s club
Gardens.  This was Islington's largest though private recreational space until the 1880s. In 1946 they handed the gardens over to the Council for public use, and opened by the Mayor in 1947. In 1953 they were newly laid out as part of Coronation Year improvements.

Wheelwright Street
This was originally called Market Street and was named after the Commanding Officer of the local militia.  The north side is entirely taken up with the prison wall. There were at one time cottages here for prison staff.

Archer, Nature Conservation in Islington
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Camden History Review
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Cosh. The squares of Islington
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LAMAS. Journal
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O’Connor. Forgotten Stations of London
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Willatts. Streets with a Story


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