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 - medieval origins
By far and away the oldest feature on all of these pictures is Upper Street itself, which predates all of the buildings in the 1811 engraving and was part of the medieval street plan of Islington. Islington's two 'streets', Upper Street and Lower Street, date back to at least the 12th century. Upper Street has also always been part of one of England's great roads - the Great North Road, which begins in Aldersgate and continues through Islington and Holloway to the north.
Long-distance and local stagecoach routes used Upper Street which ran north out of London. The flock of sheep being driven along the street towards London are probably headed towards Smithfield meat market. This would have been a common sight until the arrival of the railways in the 1840s and 1850s.
Select a new date from the top of the page or an image from below.