Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Islington 13 March 2010

Geffrye MuseumOne of the truly delightful types of buildings in England are almshouses. Generally built by a wealthy benefactor for the elderly poor of the parish, almshouses are all different, yet have a distinctive look. Geffrye MuseumThis morning we visited an almshouse complex built in 1714, which is now a museum of middle class homes since the 17th century. Originally called the 'middling sort', the middle class was a new concept, of increasingly prosperous professional people. The Geffrye Museum is an interestingly different type of museum.

Crocuses in the New River gardensFrom here, we did a walk through Islington to Holloway. Islington used to a dairying area, supplying the capital with its fresh milk, but looks rather different today. Just off the High Street is Camden Passage, a fascinating area of antique shops and cafes.

Cannonbury TowerThe New River was a channel completed in 1613 to bring fresh water to the city, but in the 19th century the river was piped underground, and the next part of our walk followed the course of the 'river', now made into pleasant gardens. We left the gardens near Cannonbury Tower, owned in the 16th century by a wealthy, but mean, cloth merchant whose daughter eloped with Lord Compton after being lowered from an upper floor window in a bread basket.

Entrance to Arsenal StadiumWe finished our walk just beyond a modern-day landmark, the Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Football Club.

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