Islington History Brochure

Page 1

Islington Squares


Past & Present Islington London

islington squares

2 islington squares


Islington has some of the most picturesque and

This brochure looks at the development of seven

sought-after squares in London. Developed across

of Islington’s most recognised squares. Many

different estates by a mixture of landowners,

were constructed during the early 19th century

architects and designers they offer a variety of

and may appear architecturally similar, but they

historic stories. They were all developed at a time

all offer different histories. From the New River

when London was experiencing vast expansion,

Head near Myddelton square and water brought

with both population and building development

to London in the 17th century; Canonbury and

quickly spreading across the surrounding fields.

its medieval and Tudor associations; through to

The early to mid 19th century was a period

rumours of a Roman fort in Barnsbury.

of great development across Islington; an area known as ‘the dairy of London’ with its

Keep reading for the history of Myddleton,

rural-like community with open fields and

Lonsdale, Gibson, Barnsbury, Cloudesley,

cattle, within a few years had transformed into

Thornhill and Canonbury squares.

a suburb of London.

3 islington squares

Myddelton Square

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

Myddelton Square has been called Islington’s

site of thefts from footpads (thieves on foot).

wooden pipes, which were only replaced by

finest square. It was developed during the 1820s

The area soon became associated with the New

iron pipes 200 years later, in 1812. It has been

as part of the New River Estate and is one of

River Company which was instrumental in

suggested that another engineer, William

the largest squares in Islington. The houses were

altering the provision of water to London.

Inglebert, was in fact the original developer of the

constructed in an archetypal Islington style that

The New River is a man-made aqueduct that

idea, but this has been difficult to substantiate.

came to be known as the ‘New River Style’ with

was originally proposed by Captain Edmund

stuccoed ground floor and upper floors in brick

Colthurst in 1607, but due to decisions made by

The New River Estate purchased large parts

with square headed windows in round arched

the aldermen of the City of London the project

of the land surrounding the canal, in particular

recesses. Myddelton Square has been a popular

passed to Sir Hugh Myddelton two years later.

around the river head in Clerkenwell and

address over the centuries and has been the home of politicians, artists and writers.

Islington. By the early 19th century, it was The aim was to bring fresh water supplies into

decided to develop the land with new houses,

London from Hertfordshire. The 40 mile long

including Chadwell Street, River Street and

Prior to the development of the square, this

canal took four years to complete and finally

Myddelton Square. The Estate commissioned

part of Islington was open fields and known

reached Clerkenwell in 1613. It supplied a

their own surveyor, William Chadwell Mylne

as ‘Butcher’s Mantells’, which was often the

much needed water supply to London through

to design the layout, as well as the houses, with

4 islington squares

5 Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

islington squares

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

building starting in the square in 1824, when

be stopped and robbed on their return in the

it was known as Chadwell Square. Most of

evening from Sadler’s Wells; and the ground

the square had been completed in 1827, with

floor of the parlour where I sit was as nearly

a number appearing as occupied in the parish

as possible the very spot where my wife and I

rate books. Early residents of Myddelton Square

fell over a recumbent cow, on our way home

were predominately of independent means, with

one murky night in a thunder storm, and only

many recorded as ‘gentlemen’, as well as doctors

regained the solitary the timely aid of

and clergymen.

a tremendous flash of lightening.”

The actor and playwright, Thomas Dibden, who

The houses within the square are all four storeys

lived at No.5 Myddelton Square commented

with basements and most feature stucco on

when it was first built that “not five years since,

the ground floor, round headed front door

was an immense field, where people used to

with fanlight and ground floor round headed

6 islington squares

windows. The first floor windows are square

actor, Thomas John Dibden, who later became

headed, but sit within arched recess panels.

joint stage manager at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Most houses also feature cast-iron balconies

Dibden’s godfather was the famous actor, David

along the first floor. The north side of the square

Garrick. Poet and novelist, B.S. Johnson lived

was almost entirely destroyed during World

in a flat at No.5 Myddelton Square in 1965-9

War II and rebuilt in a similar style in 1947-8.

and writer, journalist and barrister, Stanley Lees Giffard, lived at No.39 Myddelton Square until

William Chadwell Mylne was also responsible

the year 1857.

for the designs for St Mark’s Church in the centre of the square, completed in 1827. It was

The man attributed as being the ‘second founder

consecrated in January 1828 by the Bishop

of Methodism’, Reverend Jabez Bunting, lived

of London, Dr William Howley, who later

at No.30 from 1833 until his death in 1858.

became Archbishop of Canterbury. The church

Bunting was senior secretary of the Missionary

was badly damaged in air raids during World

Society in 1833 and was also President of the

War II, but was conserved and today is Grade

Theological Institute in 1834-58. The architect

II listed. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner referred to St

of Lonsdale Square and district surveyor for

Mark’s as a ‘neat Gothic box’.

East Islington, Richard Cromwell Carpenter, lived at No.61 from 1836-42. Fenner Brockway,

Myddelton Square was a highly sought after

the first labour peer and a prolific reformer,

address, much as it is today. It has been the

lived at No.60 Myddelton Square in 1908-10,

home of painters, Edward Hughes, who

in the home of leading independent Labour

was born in the square in 1832, and Guido

Party activist, Alfred Harvey Smith. Brockway

Philipp Schmitt, who lived at No.9 in 1869.

was created a peer in 1964 and unveiled his own

As mentioned above, No.5 was the home of

plaque at the house in 1975.

7 islington squares

Lonsdale Square Lonsdale Square is one of the more uniquely designed squares in Islington, built in 1835 and designed in a bold Tudor style reminiscent of almshouses. In fact, it has come to be recognised as ‘almshouse style’, noted for its pointed gables and quatrefoils over the doorways. It was also one of the few squares that was designed as a unified whole. In the 17th century, the area where Lonsdale Square is located today was known as ‘Gosseyfield’ and was in the hands of the Drapers’ Company. It continued as open fields and grazing land until the early 19th century and in 1818 it was recorded as a cattle-pen for animals heading to Smithfield market. The original designs for the square were drawn up by estate surveyor, Richard Carpenter, in a more typical classical design, but after he died in 1839 his son, church architect, Richard Cromwell Carpenter, changed the plans to the Tudor design we see today. The square had been laid out for building in 1838, but building was still ongoing in 1842 and only completed by 1845.

8 islington squares

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

R.C. Carpenter was a friend of notable architect,

of Islington, the houses began to be divided

Augustus Pugin and like Pugin heavily favoured

into separate apartments. The central garden

the gothic style. Carpenter went on to design

remained private until the 1960s, unlike most

a number of Gothic churches and the uniquely

other Islington squares, which were passed to

designed square has been attributed as the only

the council earlier. The railings that had been

Gothic London Square. His designs for the

removed during World War II were replaced in

square have been described as ‘eccentric’ and

the early 1970s, at which time the gardens were

feature pointed gables and broad windows with

also restored.

mullions, stuccoed Tudor arched entrance, while some feature an entrance porch and others

Writer and surgeon, William Harvey, died at

have a door flush with the entrance. The design

No.48 Lonsdale Square in 1873. He wrote under

also features the more unusual quatrefoils,

the pseudonym ‘Aleph’ and contributed to the

rather than fanlights, over the front doors. The

London City Press, as well as being the author

terraced houses are almost symmetrical, but

of London Scenes and London People (1863)

offer some slight variation between house sizes

and The Old City and its Highways and Byways

and window sizes. Drawings for the square were

(1865). Another Victorian journalist, George

exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841.

Sims, lived at No.30 Lonsdale Square in 1878-9.

The first residents of Lonsdale Square were predominately from the middle classes, a mixture of professional, as well as a number of men of the church, with most households having at least one servant. The square continued to be the home of middle class residents throughout the 19th century, but by the 20th century, along with many other areas

9 islington squares

Gibson Square

Gibson Square was laid out for building in

while the upper floor windows are square headed

rundown and was surrendered to Islington

the 1830s, the first of two squares that were

with window surrounds and cast-iron balconies.

Council for upkeep. During World War II, the

built on the Milner Gibson estate (Milner

The central houses feature round headed windows

garden was dug up for air raid shelters and later

Square was started 10 years later). The design

on the first floor and are also slightly advanced.

replanted. In 1963, a proposed 50 foot high

and layout were due to estate surveyor and

ventilation shaft for the new Victoria Line was

architect, Francis Edwards, who had previously

The southern stretch of Gibson Square, now

staunchly opposed by residents. This resulted

been a student of Sir John Soane. Building of the

part of Theberton Street, was originally a separate

in the imitation classical temple with domed

square began in 1832, but it took a while for all

terrace constructed in 1831. It was renumbered

roof, designed by Raymond Erith and Quinlan

houses to be completed, with houses only finished

and renamed as part of Theberton Street in 1866,

Terry, which stands in the garden today. It

during the 1840s.

when later building was added to the east and west.

was completed in 1970 and designed to be in harmony with the surroundings. At the same

The designs for Gibson Square by Edwards are

Estate owner, Thomas Milner Gibson of

time London Transport also restored the garden

more distinct and prominent than many other

Theberton Hall in Suffolk was a friend of

and replaced the railings that had been lost

square designs across Islington, most noted for

Charles Dickens and Benjamin Disraeli. He

during the war.

the pavilion blocks at the ends of each terrace with

was also MP for Ipswich and President of the

large pilasters and pediments (the pediment has

Board of Trade, as well as a keen yachtsman,

been lost on the south east). The long east and

and in fact he died on board his yacht near Algiers.

west terraces were constructed between 1836 and 1839. They are stuccoed on the ground floor

The garden was originally only open to

with round-headed windows and door frame,

residents, but in the 1930s it had become

10 islington squares

11 Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

islington squares

12 islington squares

13 Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

islington squares

Barnsbury Square Barnsbury Square is one of the more unusual

19th century lord of the manor of Barnsbury

stretch also features detached houses, including

looking squares in Islington, with much of the

was William Tufnell, who began to lease land

the grand No.13 Barnsbury Square, built by

building development taking place at different

for development to various speculative builders.

William Grimman and first known as Suetonius

times, as well as sections being built by different

The early history of the square is unclear,

Lodge, but later renamed West Lodge.

builders and landowners. The western loops of

but some building had started in the 1820s.

Mountfort Terrace and Mountfort Crescent

However, by the 1830s most of the square

The eastern terrace, known as Minerva Terrace

also don’t fit the usual layout of a garden square.

was undeveloped, at which time land was

and part of Thornhill Road is the more familiar

Barnsbury Square has most significantly been

leased by Robert Clarke, who began building

early 19th century terrace. Completed in around

associated with the former site of a Roman

development from 1834, with houses occupied

1828, it features stucco on the ground floor and

moated fort, however, this has since been

by 1836. Robert Clarke then passed the lease

round headed windows and the upper floors are

disproved and the moat connected to a much

to John Huskisson, but he in turn leased it to

brick with square headed sash windows. Part of

later medieval farm.

Thomas Bilham and Thomas Whowell.

the northern stretch was by Benjamin Green. Mountfort Crescent, in the north west of the

Barnsbury Square is located on the site of the

Barnsbury Square is significantly different

square, was laid out for building in 1841. It

former Reed Moat Field, which is now known

from other Islington squares as it was built

features pairs of grand stuccoed houses, as well

to have been an old medieval farm connected

with a combination of detached villa, semi-

as a detached home where Thomas Whowell

to Barnsbury Manor. It was also thought it

detached houses and terraced houses, but there

first lived, which later became the vicarage for

was the location where Roman General, Gaius

was no unified appearance. The development

Holy Trinity Church and then St Andrew’s.

Suetonius Paulinus retreated from London

by different leaseholders and builders explains

before moving on to confront and defeat Queen

why there is no unified appearance and also

Mountfort House is the most prominent

Boadicea. However, again, this has been found

meant building took place in different stages.

feature of Barnsbury Square, completed in

to be untrue.

The southern part of the square has semi-

1836, and initially part of a development that

detached brick ‘villa-style’ cottages by William

Whowell called ‘The Mountfort Estate’. The

The name of Barnsbury originated from Ralph

Slark, featuring a mixture of architectural

name ‘Mountfort’ is said to originate from the

de Berners, whose family owned the manor

styles, although many of these homes have been

early rumours of the Roman camp. However,

until the early 16th century. However, by the

extended and altered over time. The southern

the house was never a single home, being

14 islington squares

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

divided into two at the time of construction. It

a number of new homes, including Mica House

also had later additions and the northern stretch

was first home to Reverend Henry Beamish,

(now apartments), were built in the grounds of

was affected by bomb damage, which left only

as well as Reverend John Jackson, headmaster

Mountfort House. The house is stuccoed and

two of the original villas.

of Islington Proprietary School. From 1859

the first floor windows are square headed with

to 1874, Mountfort House was home to the

bold shell moulding in round arches. The front

The square’s gardens were laid out as ‘ornamental

Forbes-Robertson family, who entertained a

door is raised with fanlight and the adjacent

pleasure grounds’ for the private use of residents.

number of 19th century celebrities, including

windows are also square headed within round

In 1889, the Metropolitan Public Gardens

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, William Morris and


Association (MPGA) purchased the lease and

Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Sir Johnstone Forbes-

opened the gardens to the public, but ownership

Robertson lived in the house in 1860-74. He

During the 20th century, new developments

disputes, after the lease expired in 1909, led to

is most remembered for his Shakespearean

changed the fortunes of Barnsbury Square as

decline and damage over the following decade.

roles and his success opposite the renowned,

it was infiltrated with industrial buildings. In

The gardens were finally conveyed to Islington

Mrs Patrick Campbell. By 1896, the house had

1914, Mountfort House was taken by Henry

Council in 1933, restored with funds from the

become a ‘Home for Destitute Boys’, run by

Gibbs, a silk dyer, who converted the house for

MPGA and reopened to the public in 1934. It

Mrs Margaret Watts Hughes and then later by

industrial use, but was later converted again to

was redesigned again during the 1960s and 70s,

Reverend Charles Spencer. During the 1930s

become offices. The southern part of the square

which included the replacement of the iron railings.

15 islington squares

16 islington squares

Cloudesley Square

Cloudesley Square was the first square to be

features stuccoed ground floor and round

kneeling with an inscription of his donation

built over the Barnsbury area of Islington and

headed windows, while the first floor windows

to the parish. Cloudesley left an allowance of

was originally part of the Cloudesley Estate.

are square headed but set within an arched

straw to the prisoners of Newgate, King’s Bench,

The site of the square was formerly known as

recess and have wrought iron balconies.

Marshalsea and Bedlam, as well as clothes for

Stoneyfield and in the 16th century was owned by Sir Richard Cloudesley.

the poor. The central church, Holy Trinity, was completed in 1826-9 by renowned architect Sir Charles

Holy Trinity was the district church for a short

By the early 19th century, the area was leased by

Barry. Sir Charles Barry is most remembered as

time, until the 1850s, when it was replaced by

dairy farmer, Samuel Rhodes (great grandfather

the architect for the Houses of Parliament when

St Andrew’s at Thornhill Crescent. However,

of Cecil Rhodes), but it wasn’t long before

they were rebuilt in the 1840s. Barry is one of

it continued as a parish church until the 20th

areas of the Estate were being chosen for new

Britain’s most celebrated architects, responsible

century and today is used by an independent

building development. The building lease for

for many institutional buildings and churches,

Christian church.

Cloudesley Square was purchased by carpenter,

along with large country houses, including the

John Emmett in 1824 and the square laid out

remodelling of Highclere House in Hampshire,

Cloudesley Square has been the home of some

in 1825. The terraced houses within Cloudesley

Harewood House in Yorkshire, and Cliveden in

notable residents, including writer and social

Square were completed in a few short years and


reformer, George Linnaeus Banks and his wife,

occupied by 1828.

poet and novelist, Isabella, who lived at No.33 The design for Holy Trinity Church is most

in 1864. Another writer, Thomas Edwards,

The building of houses was undertaken by a

notably in a style that replicates the designs of

who was responsible for the English-Welsh

collection of local builders, and primarily in a

King’s College Chapel in Cambridge. The east

Dictionary in 1850 died at No.10 Cloudesley

uniform ‘New River Style’. This familiar style

window is by Thomas Willement and features

Square in 1858.

that is used in a number of Islington Squares

Sir Richard Cloudesley, who died in 1517,

17 Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

islington squares

Thornhill Square

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

Thornhill Square was built during the 1840s

dairy farming until the early 19th century

George, in 1847. The completion of the square

and 50s and features the more unusual curved

when landowner, George Thornhill proposed

took some time and was undertaken by a

and elongated design. It is the largest square

the development of the estate. He planned

number of speculative builders, with the first

in Islington and houses were completed in a

for building the square in 1808-10, but after

33 houses completed on the west side by G.S.S.

bolder, mid-Victorian design, with the centre of

a disagreement with neighbouring landowner

Williams, and the Crescent by Samuel Pocock.

the square dominated by St Andrew’s Church,

and negotiations with other developments,

The square was only entirely completed by 1852.

while the southern section features the large

including the future Caledonian Road and

The residents of Thornhill Square were of the

open gardens.

Regents Canal, no building was completed.

upper middle and professional classes, including lawyers, clerks, clergy and artists.

The area where Thornhill Square is located

The unusual layout of mirrored crescents and

today was part of a large estate owned by

the elongated oval to the south was by estate

George Thornhill, who became MP for

the Thornhill family, who also owned vast

surveyor, Joseph Kay, who had previously

Huntingdonshire, also gave the land for St

sections of land in Huntingdonshire and

been surveyor to the Foundling Estate in

Andrew’s Church, designed by Francis B.

Cambridgeshire (and where some of the street

Bloomsbury. Despite the early plans, building

Newman and John Johnson and constructed

names across the Islington estate originated).

only began in Thornhill Square under the

with Kentish rag and Bath stone. It was

The land was originally open fields used for

direction of George Thornhill’s son, also

consecrated by Bishop, Dr Charles Blomfield

18 islington squares

in January 1854 and was attended by many,

with residential homes in the 20th century.

including the Lord Mayor, Thomas Sidney. The

Most notably, the north east section of land

East window was added later, in 1873.

behind Thornhill Square became known as ‘Barnsbury Wood’, covering almost an acre of

The buildings feature a heavier mid Victorian

ground behind Huntingdon Street, Hemingford

style with Romanesque detailing. The ground

Road, Crescent Street and Thornhill Crescent.

floors are stucco with square headed front

The space was originally allocated to the

doors and bracketed hood, but the first floors

vicarage (formerly No.7 Huntingdon Street

are a mixture of paired windows and tripartite

– now separate flats) and was threatened with

windows with alternating triangular and

development a number of times, but today it

segmental pediments, and balconies. The

has been retained as an ecological park.

northern crescent is a little more uniform and houses are stuccoed on the ground floor and

Thornhill Square also features the West Library

brick to the upper floors, the windows are

on the corner of Bridgeman Road. Two original

paired, but feature a mixture of plain square

houses were demolished in 1906 to make way

headed frames and some with pediments.

for the new library, designed by E. Beresford Pite, who much favoured the Arts and Crafts

The gardens were originally the largest open

style. The design is made up of three parts; an

green space in Islington and like many garden

entrance block with an arched entrance porch;

squares, they were originally private and only

a gabled main block that sits on the corner of

accessible to residents of the square, but in 1946

Thornhill Square and Bridgeman Road; and a

they were donated to the public by Captain Noel

single storey block at the rear, facing Bridgeman

Thornhill. In 1953, the gardens were redesigned

Road. The brick work includes yellow brick

as part of coronation year improvements.

with bands of purple brick, as well as detailing in Portland stone. The corner section of the

The corner sections remained gardens and

building features tall arches with the windows

woods for a short time, but the south west

separated by giant pilasters inspired by classical

section was filled in with industrial buildings


in the late 19th century, and later replaced

19 islington squares

Canonbury Square

Image by kind permission of Islington Local History Centre

Canonbury Square was one of the earliest

Bartholomew’s Priory in the 14th century. It

pleasure gardens attached to Canonbury

Islington Squares to be developed, in the

was later confiscated during the Dissolution

Tavern. Canonbury Tavern, formerly a farm

early 1800s. The quiet garden square didn’t

of the Monasteries and passed to Thomas

building, became a very popular ale house, and

develop exactly as planned with the building of

Cromwell, but after his execution in 1540 it

in the 18th century was enlarged to include tea

Canonbury Road, but it has long been a popular

returned to the Crown. By 1570, it was in the

gardens with dances and entertainment. Today,

address, with Grade II listed Georgian terraces

hands of John Spencer, who later became Lord

the Canonbury Tavern is still a popular local pub.

and the acclaimed central garden. Canonbury

Mayor of London. Spencer built himself a new

Square has been the home of Evelyn Waugh,

Country house and much of the early manorial

At the turn of the 19th century, the land was

George Orwell and renowned Victorian actor,

buildings that remain today were from this time.

in the hands of the Marquess of Northampton.

Samuel Phelps.

Canonbury Square was laid out for building Much of the area remained as open fields

by Henry Leroux in the early 1800s, but

In the early medieval period, the area where

for dairy cows throughout the 17th and 18th

development was slow and by 1809 no building

Canonbury Square is located today was

centuries, but in the late 1700s, the manor

had started and Leroux was recorded as

open fields and in the hands of lord of the

house was being leased out and the surrounding

bankrupt. In 1810, it was also decided to develop

manor, Ralph de Berners, who passed it to St

grounds taken up with bowling greens and

Canonbury Road, first known as ‘New North

20 islington squares

Road’, which ran straight through the centre

Canonbury Road is believed to be one of the

that had been lost during the war. The gardens

of the planned Canonbury Square. Within a

first completed, in around 1810-11, and was

have long been accepted as a highlight of the

couple of years the road was completed and

the home of Henry Leroux. The majority of

area, and in the Evening Standard in 1956 were

immediately spoiled the plans for the quiet

the terraced homes consist of four storeys plus

described as ‘London’s most beautiful square’.

garden square, in particular the north west side

a basement, with a mixture of complete brick

In 2006, the gardens were changed again to

of the square which had been partly built.

facades and some with stucco on the ground

become the Loire Valley Wines Legacy Garden,

and basement levels. The doorways are round

with roses and a small vineyard. Canonbury

Development continued slowly, not helped

arched with fanlights and ground floor windows

Square Gardens also feature in the Open

by the constraints on investment caused by

are also round arched. Some doors are plain,

Garden Squares weekend in June each year.

the Napoleonic wars. By 1818, the square was

while others feature Doric columns or fluted

still only partly built, and in 1819 the building

pilasters. First floor windows are squared and

Canonbury Square has been the home of a

shifted to leaseholder, Richard Laycock, who

set within arched recesses and feature cast-iron

number of notable residents, including Evelyn

had been using the land to the south for

balconies. The south east and south west sections

Waugh at No.17a in 1928-30 and George

farming. In 1821, Laycock agreed to undertake

were completed in the ‘New River Style’.

Orwell as No.27b in 1944-50. Actor, Samuel

development of the southern and eastern

Phelps lived at No.8 Canonbury Square

parts of the square and soon the building

Canonbury Square received direct bomb

in 1844-67. Phelps is attributed as being a

of the southern terraces had begun. They

damage during World War II, with houses in

reformer of the English stage and in 1844

were completed in the mid to late 1820s and

the north-eastern section completely destroyed.

he became the manager of Sadler’s Wells

immediately became a sought after address.

The houses were rebuilt in a sympathetic style

Theatre. No.8 features an early LCC tablet

during the 1950s, along with a number of original

commemorating Phelps in the house. George

houses that were reconstructed and renovated.

Daniel, bibliophile and book collector lived at

The different dates of construction give a slight variation in the architecture of the

No.18 Canonbury Square in 1837 until 1864;

different terraces. The clearest difference

Canonbury Square Gardens were opened to the

Reverend Arthur Johnson ran a school at

is the houses in the north east, built with

public by the 4th Marquess of Northampton in

No.36, where one of the students was politician,

complete brick facades, a mixture of round and

1884, but by 1888 they had been conveyed to

Joseph Chamberlain. The square was also the

square headed windows (some set in arched

Islington Borough Council. The layout of the

home of artist and designer, Duncan Grant along

surrounds) and various heights and widths.

gardens was redesigned in the 1950s, including

with artist and sister of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa

No.39, Northampton Lodge, on the corner of

the replacement of the surrounding iron railings

Bell, who lived at No.26a Canonbury Square.

21 islington squares

the historian melanie backe-hansen

At Chesterton Humberts we understand the

made available within property details. Historical

or a particular building and wondered how long it

importance of national heritage, with our own

information such as former residents, when the

has been there or what it may have been hundreds

history dating back to 1805.

house was built, how the area developed, and even

of years ago. The Chesterton Humberts historian

any significant events in the house are used to

can give an insight to these mysteries and an

Chesterton Humberts greatly value the history

give an insight into the history of the house and

overview of the life of a house and the people

of houses and the insight they give to the lives of

the people who have lived there.

who have called it home.

our ancestors and our nation’s social history. As well as being property experts we believe that it is

Along with providing an historical overview of

important to understand our history – to support

the house, the Chesterton Humberts historian

this we employ our own in-house historian to

works closely with our marketing team and

bring the history of property to life. Chesterton

journalists with a view to generating additional

Humberts is the only UK estate agent to offer this

publicity for the property. Whether the home

unique service.

of a famous resident, striking architecture or an association with an historic event, the historian

The Chesterton Humberts historian is responsible

can offer a unique perspective that may generate

for uncovering and bringing to life the stories

further media coverage.

behind each house, as well as giving insight into the history of local areas and streets.

People are increasingly interested in knowing more about the history of their house or the

On homes where the history is deemed

house they hope to live in. Most people have

particularly valuable, historical information is

walked along a street and noticed a blue plaque

melanie backe-hansen

Specialist in researching the history of houses. Chesterton Humberts is the only estate agent to employ a full time house historian. Read Melanie’s blog at or follow Melanie on twitter

22 islington squares

23 islington squares

Islington Office 327 - 329 Upper Street London n1 2xq sales t: 020 7359 9777

lettings t: 020 7226 4221

24 islington squares

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