Parish boundary markers on the former Clark’s Place, Islington, London N1

From the Running the Northern Heights blog:

“…a building originally known as No. 1 Clark’s Place (it is now No. 1 Upper Street) that was built in 1784. There is a small plaque to this effect between the first and second floors facing Islington High Street…

“CLARK’S PLACE, Islington High St. Also Clarke’s Place. Changed to part of Upper Street between 1856 and 1859. After then, nos 1-7 Upper Street.” (Streets with a Story)

…You may also notice the words ‘Halifax Building Society’ (see main image) engraved at the top of this building – these were added at some point in the 20th century as it was a pawn shop until the early 20th century.

The distinctive roofline of No. 1 Clark’s Place can be recognised in old pictures of the toll booth that stood nearby…This toll booth used to control the traffic passing between Islington High Street and Upper Street/ Liverpool Road. As one of the final sections of the Great North Road, this section of road has been a major thoroughfare for centuries. It is now cars and lorries, but in days gone by cattle drovers coming down Liverpool Road en route to Smithfield market would have mixed with coaches coming up and down Upper Street to and from the City…”

From the website Caroline’s Miscellany:

“This St Mary Islington parish marker, near the junction of Upper Street and Liverpool Road, is unusual for listing the churchwardens who placed it there. One of these made his mark on the local landscape in other ways, too.

James Wagstaff was a local property developer, involved in building projects around Canonbury and Highbury Crescent. He lived in Highbury Lodge and, despite his role in shaping the area, was listed in several sources as ‘gentleman’ or ‘esquire’. However, a more realistic insight into his professional life is given by an 1847 theft case. As the victim, he gave evidence of how


I am a surveyor—I live in Albion-terrace, Canonbury-square, lslington—I have a yard at the back of my premises, where I keep building materials—I know this kitchen range, it is mine—I lost it from my yard three or four days before I was before the magistrate, which was on the 19th of Feb.—my yard is enclosed by a wall—the gates are kept locked…

His fellow churchwardens have left less obvious trace, although John Shadgett lived in Liverpool Road and was also a ‘gentleman’.Their appointment as churchwardens was itself a confirmation of their social status.”

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