Newington Green, N16

Road in/near Highbury, existing between 1480 and now

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Fullscreen map
Road · Highbury · N16 ·
Newington Green is a road, open space and neighbourhood on the border between Islington and Hackney.

Appearing in the Domesday Survey of 1086, the main activity for centuries was agriculture - latterly growing hay for nearby London.

In the 16th century, the area became connected to the court of Henry VIII. The king reputedly used a house on the south side of the Green and in 1523 a resident of the north side of the Green, in Brook House, was the future 6th Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy. He was noted for his role in the affairs of Anne Boleyn. Brook House was later demolished, renamed Bishop’s Place, and divided into tenements.

The area became the home of English Dissenters during the 17th century. They moved to places tolerant of them and one such place was Newington Green. A dissenting academy was set up on north of the Green, run by Charles Morton. One of the academy’s students was Daniel Defoe, the writer famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Another pupil was Samuel Wesley, father of John Wesley.

One of the most notable residents of the Green was the early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who moved her school for girls from Islington to Newington Green in 1784.

For a period from the end of the nineteenth century, the Newington Green Area was host to a large Jewish population, which was beginning to leave the East End and move northwards towards Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill. A large United Synagogue was built in Poets Road in the 1870s and remained active until it closed down in the late 1960s, as the remaining Jewish population moved on further afield. The synagogue site was eventually sold and the beautiful building was demolished in 1970 and replaced by a block of council flats, leaving no trace of the Jewish life which existed in this area.

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