Recently, one of our longer walks took us on an exploration of Barnsbury, an area of Islington, we walked around the area between York Way in the west, Liverpool Road in the east, Copenhagen Street in the south and Highbury Fields in the north. It is another area within walking distance of home that we have wandered in and out of or walked through, but never really explored. Much of the housing was developed around the mid 19th century and includes fine examples of Victorian architecture, squares and wide, tree-lined streets. In contrast, the plaque on Thornhill House, the building shown in the two subsequent photographs, is an example of housing built for people in extreme poverty. There is an interesting history of the East End Dwellings Co. here:
Other great discoveries included Barnsbury Woods (first photos) the library on Thornhill Square (see below), the intriguing arrangement of three entrance doors on each corner of Lonsdale Square and the most heavenly scented sweet pea on Malvern Terrace, a beautiful terrace of cottages facing a small park, with original cobbles on the access road and such an exuberantly colourful and scented mass and tumble of plants in each front garden that it was impossible to get a good shot!
On the corner of Thornhill Square and Bridgeman Road stands this beautiful, Grade II listed, library. A full description can be found at: https://historicengland.org.uk/…/the-list/list-entry/1280963
‘West Islington Branch Library’ was built in 1906 with the support of a £3,000 grant from the wealthy Scottish-American Industrialist and Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. He apparently made similar grants for three other libraries in Islington and in 2016 they were all still open. The building is decorated in iconic Art Deco style with the letters of the alphabet ornately carved in the arches above the windows and on the intervening columns. It is worth enlarging the photos to take a look!