London Westminster & Middlesex Family History Society

Islington Parish church of St Mary (1557)

StMary Islington2

Referred to in the Doomsday Book both as Isendone and Iseldone, which is conjectured to mean 'the lower town or fort,' to distinguish it from Tolentone, the old name for the district on higher ground to the north, now part of the area known as Highbury. The English Place Name Society, however, gives different derivations: Giseldine =Gisla's Hill; Tollandene =Tolla's Hill. Islington is bounded on the north by Hornsey, on the west by St Pancras, east by Stoke Newington and Hackney and, south by Shoreditch and Finsbury.
Of the well-known inns, the Angel was never in Islington but in the neighbouring parish of Clerkenwell; The White Conduit House nearby has extensive pleasure gardens and a cricket ground where Thomas Lord (of Lord's) was groundsman, and the Rosemary Branch, near the Shoreditch boundary, adjoining the famous archery butts of Islington and Finsbury Common.
In the Essex Road was the Islington Cattle market (1835) which occupied 15 acres. The existing Caledonian or Metropolitan Cattle Market was erected 1855 at a cost of £300,000, and originally covered 75 acres.
Through Islington flows the New River. This is a statue of Sir Hugh Myddleton on Islington Green (1862), who constructed a 'river' or channel, about 40 miles long which brought water from the springs of Chadwell and Amwell near Ware in Hertfordshire to a reservoir in the Parish of Clerkenwell. The Regent's Canal has a 900 foot tunnel between White Conduit House and Colebrook Row.
The parish church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. The 'old church' was the successor of one on the same site, and was over 300 years old when demolished in 1751; the present church was erected by Launcelot Dowbiggin, and was opened by Jas. Colebrook, lord of the manor in 1754. The parish registered date from 1557. In the 19th century a number of new churches were built in Islington, of which a few are worthy of mention. St Mary, Holloway (1815); St John, Holloway Road (1826); St Paul, Balls Pond Road (1828) and Holy Trinity, Cloudesley Square (1826)


St Mary was largely destroyed by bombing in 1940, aside from the tower and spire. Reconstruction was completed in 1956.


St Mary Islington

Other churches: All Saints, Battle Bridge Road
All Saints, Tytherton Road, Tufnell Park
Christ Church, Highbury Grove
Emmanuel, Hornsey Road
Holy Trinity, Cloudesley Square
New Norfolk Street Chapel
North London Welsh Church Mission, Hornsey Road
Rosemary Mission, Shepperton Road
St Andrew, Thornhill Square
St Andrew, Whitehall Park
St Anne, Poole's Park, Holloway
St Augustine, Highbury New Park
St Barnabas, Hornsey Road
St Bartholomew, Shepperton Road
St Clement, Westbourne Road, Barnsbury
St David, Westbourne Road, Barnsbury
St George, Crayford Road, Tufnell Park
St James, Victoria Road, Holloway
St James the Apostle, Prebend Street
St John, Highbury Park
St John's Mission, Copenhagen Street
St John the Baptist, Cleveland Road
St John the Evangelist, Pemberton Gardens
St Jude, Mildmay Grove
St Luke, Penn Road, West Holloway
St Mark, Tollington Park
St Mary, Ashley Road, Hornsey Rise
St Mary Magdalen, Holloway Road
St Matthew, Essex Road
St Matthew's Mission Church, Rupert Road
St Matthias, Caledonian Road
St Michael, Bingfield Street
St Padarn's Welsh Church, Salterton Road
St Paul, Essex Road, Canonbury
St Paul, Kingsdown Road, Upper Holloway
St Peter, Dartmouth Park Hill
St Peter, Devonia Road
St Peter's Iron Church, Highgate Hill
St Philip the Evangelist, Arlington Square
St Saviour, Aberdeen Park, Highbury
St Saviour, Hanley Road
St Stephen, Canonbury Road
St Stephen, Elthorne Road
St Stephen's Mission Road,
St Thomas, Hemingford Road
St Thomas, St Thomas's Road


St Mary

St Mary. Upper Street

St Mary Upper Street front

St Mary Upper Street


All Saints, Tytherton Road

All Saints Tytherton Road


St John the Evangelist, Duncan Terrace

St John the Evangelist Duncan Terrace


St Jude, Mildmay Grove

St Jude Mildmay Grove


St Luke, Penn Road

St Luke Penn Road


St Mary Brookfield, Dartmouth Park

St Mary Brookfield Dartmouth Park


St Paul, Essex Road

St Paul Essex Road


St Peter, Dartmouth Park Hill

St Peter Dartmouth Park Hill


St Silas, Penton Street

St Silas Penton Street


Union Chapel, Upper Street

Union Chapel Upper Street