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London Borough of Islington

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Sovereign state
United Kingdom


1 April 1965

Administrative center
Upper Street

Dialling code

Constituent country

Ceremonial county
Greater London

14.86 km²

Area code

London boroughs

London Borough of Islington wikitravelorguploadsharedthumbdd8Islington

Admin HQ
Upper Street, Islington

Colleges and Universities
City and Islington College, City - University of London, University of North London

Points of interest
London Canal Museum, Estorick Collection of Moder, Kings Place, Highbury Fields, Islington Museum

The London Borough of Islington /ˈɪzlɪŋtən/ is a London borough in Inner London with an estimated population of 215,667. It was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury, but the merged entity remains the second smallest borough in London and the third smallest district in England. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies, Islington North and 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 that is one of the largest football stadiums in the country.


Map of London Borough of Islington, UK


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:

  • Angel
  • Archway
  • Barnsbury
  • Canonbury
  • Clerkenwell
  • Farringdon
  • Finsbury
  • Finsbury Park
  • Highbury
  • Highgate
  • Holloway
  • Islington
  • Kings Cross
  • Lower Holloway
  • Mildmay
  • Nag's Head
  • Newington Green
  • Old Street
  • Pentonville
  • St Luke's
  • Tufnell Park
  • Upper Holloway
  • Wards

  • Barnsbury
  • Bunhill
  • Caledonian
  • Canonbury
  • Newington Green
  • Clerkenwell
  • Finsbury Park
  • Highbury East
  • Highbury West
  • Hillrise
  • Holloway
  • Junction
  • Mildmay
  • Saint Georges
  • Saint Marys
  • Saint Peters
  • Tollington
  • 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 2014 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 Theresa Debono.

    Islington is represented by two parliamentary constituencies. Islington North is represented by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, the current Leader of the Opposition since 2015. Islington South and Finsbury is represented by Emily Thornberry, of the Labour Party

    Islington forms part of the North East constituency for the London Assembly, represented by Jennette Arnold, also of the Labour Party.


    Inmarsat has its head office in the borough.


    Islington has a wide variety of transportation services, with direct connections to the suburbs and the City and West End. Islington also has ten tube stations within its boundaries, with connections by the tube to all around London.

    London Underground

    There are ten Underground stations in the borough:

  • Angel
  • Archway
  • Arsenal
  • Caledonian Road
  • Farringdon
  • Finsbury Park
  • Highbury and Islington
  • Holloway Road
  • Old Street
  • Tufnell Park
  • These stations principally serve the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines. Farringdon station is also served by the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

    London Overground stations

    There are also several London Overground stations in the borough. They are as follows:

  • Caledonian Road & Barnsbury
  • Canonbury
  • Crouch Hill
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Upper Holloway
  • Railway stations

    There are several railway stations in the borough. They are as follows:

  • Drayton Park
  • Essex Road
  • Farringdon
  • Finsbury Park
  • Highbury and Islington
  • Old Street
  • 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%.


    There are two prisons in Islington, a men's prison, HM Prison Pentonville and a women's prison HM Prison Holloway, which in the early 20th century was used to hold many suffragettes.

    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
  • Islington Museum, located at Finsbury Library
  • Islington Local History Centre, located at Finsbury Library
  • 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.
  • Demographics

    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 1971 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. 32% of the borough's residents were owner–occupiers.

    According to the 2011 census, Islington has the highest population density of local authorities in England and Wales—13,875 people per km2.

    Islington has the second highest proportion of Irish people in the country, behind London Borough of Brent.


    The London Borough of Islington is home to two higher education institutions:

  • City University, London at Northampton Square, formerly the Northampton Institute, founded in 1894; 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.
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital is a major centre for postgraduate training of ophthalmologists, orthoptists, optometrists, and nurses.


    The borough also currently contains two colleges of further education:

  • City and Islington College; and
  • Westminster Kingsway College (while major improvement works are carried out at King's Cross).
  • There are two performing arts colleges. The Urdang Academy and the Musical Theatre Academy are both based in Islington.


    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.


    London Borough of Islington Wikipedia

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