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18 September 2014
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Tracking a street through time

Find out more about a high street's past by finding the signs that tells its story. Choose a date and then select an image on the right to discover more about Upper Street's history

1811 | 1908 | 2001

Upper Street, Islington, London (1811)

1811 - fashionable Georgian residences

detail from 1811 engraving of Upper Street buildingsdetail from 2001 photograph of Upper Street houses

The sheep being driven to market or the trees in the middle of the engraving underline Islington's semi-rural character in the early 19th century. But the row of houses on the left also show something of the transformation of Islington into a wealthy suburb of the city.

These tall Georgian terraced town houses would have been newly built when the engraving was made and owned by people wealthy enough to abandon the unhealthy and cramped districts surrounding the city of London. The population of Islington increased fivefold during the 18th century as the fields which once stretched from the top of Upper Street to Holloway were built over.

Medieval origins
The church as focal point
Fashionable Georgian residences
From stagecoach to omnibus
A cobbled thoroughfare
Local History
Getting Started
Industry: Canney Hill Pottery
Landscape: Thriplow
Village: Freckleton
City: Coventry

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