So much more than an open space, Newington Green boasts a wealth of history. Check it out.
This outlying area of Islington carries a surprising wealth of historic architecture and Newington Green has become a conservation area. On the west side of the Green is London's oldest surviving brickterrace, which is Grade I listed . These were built in 1658, even in the centre of London, there are few brick houses this old, pre-dating the Great Fire of 1666.
The Green also has two Grade II listed buildings. To the north is the Unitarian Church, which celebrated its tercentenary in 2008. Built in 1709. Mary Wollstonecraft’s pew is still in the church.
Royal visitors and ministers
In the 16th century the area was connected to the court of Henry VIII. The king himself used a house on the south side of the Green as a base for hunting the wild bulls, stags and wild boars that roamed the surrounding forest.
In 1523 a resident of the north side of the Green, the future 6th Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy became engaged to Anne Boleyn. At the time he was page to Cardinal Wolsey. Lord Percy had not sought permission from either his father or the king, causing Wolsey to scold him and his father to refuse the marriage. He later found himself a member of the jury that convicted Anne of adultery. His home, Brook House, stood at the northeast corner of the square. It contained a central courtyard and was decorated with gilded and painted wainscotting. It was later demolished, renamed Bishop's Place, and divided into tenements for the poor.
During the 1660s Newington Green became a centre of nonconformist activities, culminating in the building of the chapel in 1708 following the Act of Toleration. During the 18th century, the chapel became a focus for influential thinkers: poet, Samuel Rogers (1763-1865) born at 52 Newington Green, Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743- 1825), Mary Wollstonecraft (1759- 1797), Daniel Defoe (1660-1730) and Richard Price(1723-1791).