Interesting facts about Islington
Originally named Giseldone by the Saxons, Islington was the dairy capital of pre-Victorian London; however as times changed, skyscrapers went up, but were doomed for demolition after heavy bombings during World War II.
Modern day Islington is a central London district, formed by the merger of Islington and Finsbury boroughs. Freightliners City Farm in Lower Holloway is a big attraction, open for the public to see farm animals usually seen in the green, open fields of the countryside, and not generally associated with a large city!
There are two prisons in Islington, the first, HM Prison Pentonville, informally named ‘The Ville’, is a Category B/C men’s prison. Construction of the prison began in April 1840 and was completed in 1842. Prisoners under sentence of death were not housed at Pentonville until the closure of Newgate Prison in 1902 when it took over executions. The final execution held at Pentonville was Edwin Bush (21) who was hanged on 6 July 1961.
HM Prison Holloway was opened in 1852, originally as a mixed prison but became a female only prison in 1903 due to increased demand. Five hangings took place between 1903 and 1955, the last being Ruth Ellis on 13 July 1955. The prison underwent extensive rebuilding between 1971 and 1985 during which the remains of all executed women were exhumed.
Notable personalities with strong associations to Islington include Sir Francis Bacon, Douglas Adams, Tony Blair, Dido, Jimmy Carr and Neve Campbell.