London Borough of Islington
Islington shown within Greater London
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Created||1 April 1965|
|Admin HQ||Upper Street, Islington|
|• Type||London borough council|
|• Body||Islington London Borough Council|
|• Leadership||Leader & Cabinet (Labour)|
|• Mayor||Cllr Dave Poyser|
|• London Assembly||Jennette Arnold (Labour) AM for North East|
|• MPs||Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
|• Total||5.74 sq mi (14.86 km2)|
|Area rank||315th (of 317)|
|• Rank||74th (of 317)|
|• Density||42,000/sq mi (16,000/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||47.7% White British
3.9% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
16.4% Other White
2.1% White & Black Caribbean
0.9% White & Black African
1.4% White & Asian
2.1% Other Mixed
2.6% Other Asian
6.1% Black African
3.9% Black Caribbean
2.8% Other Black
|Time zone||UTC (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
The London Borough of Islington (/ˈɪzlɪŋtən/ (listen) IZ-ling-tən) is a London borough in Inner London. The borough includes a significant area to the south which forms part of central London. Islington has an estimated population of 215,667. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury.
The merged entity remains the second smallest borough in London and the third-smallest district in England. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, both represented by Labour Members of Parliament: Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader from 2015 to 2020, represents Islington North, and Emily Thornberry represents Islington South & Finsbury. The local authority is Islington Council. The borough is home to football club Arsenal, one of the most successful clubs in England and its home Emirates Stadium is one of the largest football stadiums in the country.
The southern part of the borough, south of the A501 Pentonville Road and City Road, is part of central London and the central London congestion charging zone. A significant part of the southern section of the borough borders the City of London, with the area to the south west bordering the London Borough of Camden. The central London area includes a number of zone 1 stations including Farringdon and Old Street.
Islington was originally named by the Saxons Giseldone (1005), then Gislandune (1062). The name means ‘Gīsla’s hill’ from the Old English personal name Gīsla and dun ‘hill‘, ‘down’. The name then later mutated to Isledon, which remained in use well into the 17th century when the modern form arose. In medieval times, Islington was just one of many small manors in the area, along with Bernersbury, Neweton Berewe or Hey-bury, and Canonesbury (Barnsbury, Highbury and Canonbury – names first recorded in the 13th and 14th centuries). “Islington” came to be applied as the name for the parish covering these villages, and was the name chosen for the Metropolitan Borough of Islington, on its formation in 1899. On the merger with Finsbury, to form the modern borough this name came to be applied to the whole borough.
Districts of Islington
The borough includes the areas:
- Finsbury Park (split between three boroughs. Other boroughs are London Borough of Haringey and London Borough of Hackney).
- Kings Cross
- Lower Holloway
- Nag’s Head
- Newington Green
- Old Street
- St Luke’s
- Tufnell Park
- Upper Holloway
- Finsbury Park
- Highbury East
- Highbury West
- Junction (part of Archway and Upper Holloway)
- Saint George’s
- Saint Mary’s (covering most of Upper Street)
- Saint Peter’s
Government and infrastructure
Islington Council is the borough’s local authority. It is a London borough council, one of thirty-two principal subdivisions of the administrative area of Greater London. The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities: Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council. The former Islington Metropolitan Town Hall, at the intersection of Upper Street and Richmond Grove, serves as the present Borough’s council building.
Islington is divided into 16 wards, each electing three councillors. Following the May 2018 election, Islington Council comprises 47 Labour Party councillors and 1 Green Party councillor. Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the Council is Councillor Richard Watts, while the Mayor is Councillor Dave Poyser.
Islington is represented by two parliamentary constituencies. Islington North is represented by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition between 2015 and 2020. Islington South and Finsbury is represented by Emily Thornberry, former Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and current Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade of the Labour Party.
Major public and private bodies in Islington
There is one prison in Islington, a men’s prison, HM Prison Pentonville. Until it closed in 2016 there was also a women’s prison HM Prison Holloway, which in the early 20th century was used to hold many suffragettes.
The Borough boasts a large transport network for rail, bus, cycles and road users.
There are ten London Underground stations in the borough across London fare zones 1, 2 and 3. These stations are principally served by the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, although the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines also pass through the Borough:
- Caledonian Road
- Farringdon (future: )
- Finsbury Park
- Highbury & Islington
- Holloway Road
- Old Street
- Tufnell Park
The Piccadilly line carries passengers to key London destinations, including the West End and Heathrow Airport (). The Northern and Victoria lines also link the Borough to the West End, whilst the Northern line (Bank Branch) also passes through the City of London.
London Overground stations
There are also several London Overground stations in the borough, all but one of which are in London fare zone 2:
Farringdon and Finsbury Park are served by Thameslink services, with some trains travelling direct to Gatwick Airport (), as well as destinations including Cambridge, Peterborough, Brighton and Sevenoaks. Other stations, including Finsbury Park, are served by Great Northern trains which normally operate between Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City.
Crossrail (Elizabeth line) will pass through Farringdon once opened.
Moorgate lies just to the south of the Borough, in the City of London, whilst King’s Cross lies to the Borough’s immediate west, with destinations including Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Inverness.
Travel to work
In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 19.4% of all residents aged 16–74; bus, minibus or coach, 10.3%; on foot, 10.3%; bicycle, 6.2%; driving a car or van, 6.0%; train, 3.7%; work mainly at or from home, 3.6%.
Cultural attractions and institutions in Islington
- Almeida Theatre
- Artillery Ground
- Pleasance Islington Theatre
- Courtyard Theatre
- Emirates Stadium (and the former Arsenal Stadium at Highbury)
- Angel Central (formerly the Islington N1 Centre)
- The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in Canonbury Square
- Hen and Chickens Theatre
- Islington Arts Factory, in Parkhurst Road,
- London Canal Museum, located in New Wharf Road, King’s Cross
- London Screen Academy, on Highbury Grove – specialist film/TV sixth form academy
- Islington Museum, located at Finsbury Library
- Islington Local History Centre, located at Finsbury Library
- John Salt, cocktail bar on Upper Street
- The King’s Head Theatre
- Sadler’s Wells Theatre
- Union Chapel
- Peter Benenson House, headquarters of Amnesty International
- Little Angel Theatre a puppet theatre and producer of the Suspense Puppetry Festival of London.
- VUE Cinema, located inside the N1 center
- Odeon Cinema, located on Holloway Road
- St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell (Islington’s badge for London2012)
- The Screen On The Green, a single screen cinema on Upper Street
- Holloway in Islington is home to Freightliners City Farm which is one of the many city farms throughout London. The farm contains a wide range of animals from rabbits to cows to chickens and pigs all free for the public to view.
|Source: A Vision of Britain through time|
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 65,721. This rose steadily throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; exceeding 200,000 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased—reaching nearly 400,000 by the turn of the century; with the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury particularly suffering deprivation, poverty and severe overcrowding. The increase in population peaked before World War I, falling slowly in the aftermath until World War II began an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London (1944). The decline in population reversed in the 1980s, but it remains below its 1951 level.
According to the 2001 census Islington had a population of 175,797. It was 75% White, including 5% White Irish, 6% Black African, 5% Black Caribbean and 2% Bangladeshi. Thirty-two per cent of the borough’s residents were owner–occupiers.
A 2017 study by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that a third of Islington residents live in poverty. This is above the London average of 27%. It also found that just 14% of local employees are in jobs which pay below the London Living Wage – which is the 4th lowest figure of any London borough.
39% of the borough are Christian, 12.8% Muslim, 1.7% are Jewish and 42.7% have no religion. Christians and Muslims live throughout the borough, while the Jewish population is highest in the north of the borough in the Hillrise and Junction wards (bordering Highgate and Crouch End).
The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Islington.
|White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller||163||0.08%|
|Asian or Asian British: Indian||2,851||1.32%||3,534||2.06%|
|Asian or Asian British: Pakistani||912||0.52%||951||0.46%|
|Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi||4,229||2.41%||4,662||2.26%|
|Asian or Asian British: Chinese||3,074||1.75%||4,457||2.16%|
|Asian or Asian British: Other Asian||1,492||0.85%||5,430||2.63%|
|Asian or Asian British: Total||12,558||7.14%||19,034||9.23%|
|Black or Black British: African||10,500||5.97%||12,622||6.12%|
|Black or Black British: Caribbean||8,550||4.86%||7,943||3.85%|
|Black or Black British: Other Black||1,806||1.03%||5,729||2.78%|
|Black or Black British: Total||20,856||11.86%||26,294||12.76%|
|Mixed: White and Black Caribbean||2,329||1.32%||4,236||2.06%|
|Mixed: White and Black African||1,241||0.71%||1,912||0.93%|
|Mixed: White and Asian||1,543||0.88%||2,964||1.44%|
|Mixed: Other Mixed||2,121||1.21%||4,227||2.05%|
|Other: Any other ethnic group||5,050||2.45%|
|Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total||43,333||24.65%||65,610||31.83%|
The London Borough of Islington is home to two higher education institutions:
- City, University of London at Northampton Square, formerly The City University, founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute; and
- London Metropolitan University, North Campus on the Holloway Road, formed from the merger of the University of North London and London Guildhall University in 2002. The University of North London was founded on this site in 1896 as the Northern Polytechnic Institute.
The borough also currently contains three colleges of further education:
- London Screen Academy;
- City and Islington College; and
- Westminster Kingsway College (while major improvement works are carried out at King’s Cross).
The borough currently maintains 47 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, three special schools and five Pupil Referral Units. In 2000, Cambridge Education Associates, a private firm, took over the management of the Islington’s state schools from the local education authority.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to London Borough of Islington.|
Freedom of the Borough
The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Islington.
- The Honourable Artillery Company: October 2009
- The Islington Veterans’ Association: March 2015.
- The Islington and Holloway Fire Stations of the London Fire Brigade: March 2018.