April 30, 2012

My 'hood.

The area we live in is Mildmay, in the wider area of Newington Green. It straddles the borders of the boroughs of Islington and Hackney. The first record of the area is as 'Neutone' in the Domesday Survey of 1086. The thirteenth century saw 'Newton' become 'Newington'. For my local friends, the prefix 'Stoke' was added to the northern area, distinguishing it from 'Newington Barrow' in Islington. 'Newington Barrow' later became known as 'Highbury'.

Newington Green, north side

There was probably a medieval settlement, and the prevailing activity was agriculture, growing hay and food for the inhabitants of nearby London. By the 15th century the area had become more prosperous and in 1445 there were a good number of Londoners living in the hamlet.

In the 16th century the area became connected to the court of Henry VIII. (Hence local street names like Boleyn Rd. and King Henry's Walk.) The king used a house on the south side of the Green as a base for hunting the wild bulls, stags and wild boars that roamed the surrounding forest. 

By 1611, a large house on the south side of the green, probably of at least six bays with three storeys and with ornate ceilings, was occupied by Alderman William Halliday. It was later called Mildmay House and then Eagle House. By 1649, the Halliday (Mildmay) estate had about seven dwellings in addition to this main house.

1964 / 2012
Newington Green, south side

In 1708, the Unitarian Church was built on the North side of the Green and, historically, has had the biggest impact on the area. It was a hotbed of radical thinkers, social reformers and Protestant dissension. 

1900 / 2012
Newington Green, north side

Their first minister was housed in London's oldest brick terrace (No 54, dated 1658). FYI, residential London, particularly outside Westminster and the City, is essentially a 19th century city. Even in the centre, there are no brick houses this old, pre-dating the Great Fire of 1666. 

1965 / 2012
Newington Green, west side. Number 54 is the one with the green door.

In the 1860s, building was extended over much of the Halliday (Mildmay) Estate and, in 1863, Queen Margarets Grove was built. Apparently, relatively little happened to my road until it was bombed in WWII (pics from previous blog). After the bomb, my road seems to have remained pretty derelict until the 1970s when money was pumped into the area and the houses rebuilt.  

It was my goal to find out more about the people that have lived in the house, but alas time has all but run out on me. Sorry about that. I hope you'll be consoled with the following interesting pictures...

1900 / 1969 / 2012
Newington Green, east side


1890 / 1969 / 2012
Newington Green, north side


1900 / 2012
Newington Green, southeast side


Obviously this is just a tidbit of local info with some interesting then and now pics. There are much more informed and involved people, and factually-detailed books available. Check out the sources below or the Islington and Hackney Archives for more info.


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