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Located off the ever-hip Upper Street, Angel Central Shopping Centre (formerly known as The N1 Centre) has a vibrant and stylish collection of shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and music venues under its roof.

Whether you want to watch the latest movies and share a family-sized popcorn snack, or dine out for two on something more extravagant, Angel Central offers you that choice.

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Historical Sites In Islington

To celebrate Local and Community History Month, we’ve decided to take a look at some of our favourite spots in Islington and read a little bit into the history.

Canonbury Tower

One of the longest standing sites in Islington, the Canonbury Tower was originally built in the early 1500s by William Bolton of St Bartholomew’s Priory.

The Tower was then rebuilt in the 1590s and has seen its fair share of historical figures, such as English philosopher Francis Bacon and Irish novelist Oliver Goldsmith. Fast forward a couple of years and the Tower played home to The Tower Theatre Company from 1953 to 2003.

In 2018, history fans can still go on tours of the Tower and enjoy the beautiful view from the top.

King’s Head Theatre

Instagram Photo credit: @nkiely31

The King’s Head Theatre Pub is the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK, and was founded by Dan Crawford in 1970.

The pub theatre has played host to a large number of productions over the years, and has even seen well known actors such as Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French all perform there. The King’s Head has acted as a stepping stone in the careers of some of the UK’s biggest contemporary artists, and puts on shows with artists from all kinds of backgrounds.

Today, The King’s Head Theatre still puts on performances all the time, and we recommend you go down and catch a show.

Islington Tunnel

The Islington Tunnel takes the Regent’s Canal Arm through the Angel area and it opened all the way back in 1818.

The tunnel is 878 meters long and runs from Caledonian Road to Colebrooke Row. Originally being legged through the water, the tunnel was upgraded with a steam tug in 1826 and was replaced by a diesel engine during the 1930s.

Residents and tourists alike can now enjoy canal trips through the tunnel on boats after visiting the London Canal Museum. This makes for a fantastic journey and you can learn a lot of interesting information about the Islington Tunnel’s history from the tour guides.

The Screen On The Green

Instagram Photo credit: @juliemarquilly

Islington’s resident single screen cinema opened all the way back in 1913 under the name The Empress Picture Theatre.

During the 50s, it was renamed and known as The Rex, before being re-opened and named The Screen On The Green on 13th September 1970. Being running and operational since the early 1910s, The Screen On The Green is one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in the UK.

The cinema has even hosted live events in the past, including a showcase event in 1976 for The Sex Pistols, with support coming from The Clash and Buzzcocks. This was a notable event because it was only the third show that The Clash had ever played.

Emirates Stadium

Home to the Arsenal football team, the Emirates Stadium opened in 2006 and is the third largest football stadium in England.

Having previously being based at Arsenal Stadium in Highbury (now an apartment complex), the Arsenal team started looking at relocating in 1997, and work began on what would become Emirates Stadium in February 2004.

As well as being home to Arsenal, the stadium has also hosted a variety of international fixtures and music concerts from the likes of Muse, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen.

Highbury & Islington Station

The Highbury & Islington railway/underground station has served the people of Islington for over 160 years.

Opening in 1850, the station serves the London Underground’s Victoria line, the London Overground’s East and North London Lines and Great Northern’s Northern City Line. The NLR (North London Railway) station was heavily damaged by a bomb during World War II in 1944 and the original station was later demolished and replaced by the current building in the 1960s.

The station is still working today, seeing hundreds of people pass through it every single day.

Union Chapel

Union Chapel is a multi-purpose venue, being a working church as well as hosting live music and comedians.

The Chapel was built during 1874 to 1877, but it wasn’t until 1994 that it hosted it’s first live concert, with singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt recording a live album at the venue. Since then, the Chapel has seen the likes of Bjork, Amy Winehouse, Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding and even Elton.

It was even voted London’s Best Live Music Venue by Time Out magazine in 2012.

Union Chapel is also the base for the Margins Homelessness Project, which provides a range of support to anyone who is homeless or in need. The project has been in effect since 1992 and still provides crucial support to this day.

Summary

These are only a couple of the many historical sites located in our local area of Islington. What is the history behind your favourite spots? Be sure to let us know.

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