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Butler & Stag

Hoxton | N1

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Hoxton Area Info

Hoxton Area Info

The area of Hoxton is bordered by Regent's Canal on the north side, Wharf Road and City Road to the west, Old Street to the south, and Kingsland Road to the east. Much like Shoreditch, Hoxton has become a sought after location to live in the last twenty years. Much of the areas popularity relates to the canal side developments, that are extremely desirable for buyers and tenants alike who are looking for loft apartments and new build homes. Hoxton property offers a cheaper alternative to neighbouring Shoreditch whether buying or renting.

The area has its own vibe but also offers easy access to other social hubs including Shoreditch, Spitalfields, the City, Islington and Brick Lane.

Things To Do In Hoxton

Where do we start... The Breakfast Club is as a good a place as any! Just off of Hoxton Square, a place that is open until late, so you are welcome to have lunch or dinner but I recommend being a purist and going for breakfast here. It's a diner meets London café. Stylish décor, serving pancakes and bacon, smoothies and tea. The best way to start your day in my opinion.

Want to burn of your breakfast? The Regents Canal is a popular thoroughfare for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists alike providing scenic and direct access either up in to the heart of Islington or out through East London taking in Victoria Park , Limehouse and the Olympic/Millennium Park.

Night time is when the area really springs to life with some of the most talked about venues in East London. Electric Showrooms, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Mother, the Red Lion and Traffik to name a few.

For those looking for more cultural experience, The Geffrye Museum explores the home and the way people live. Their collections show how homes have been used and furnished over the past 400 years, leading visitors through a series of period rooms. If the sun is shining, relax in the beautifully manicured gardens that surround the building.

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History of Hoxton

"Hogesdon" was initially recorded in the Domesday Book, with a meaning of an Anglo-Saxon farm or "fortified enclosure" belonging to Hocq/ Hock. There is very little recorded of the origins of the settlement, although there was Roman activity around Ermine Street, which was located to the east of the area from the 1st century. During medieval times, Hoxton formed a rural part of Shoreditch parish. In 1926 Hoxton achieved independent ecclesiastical status by the founding of its own parish church dedicated to St John the Baptist, located on Pitfield Street and familiarly known as St Johns Hoxton. Civil jurisdiction was still invested in the Shoreditch vestry.

The London Lord Mayor called for the wall of the City to be broken towards Moorfields, and replaced the postern called Moorgate, for the ease of the citizens to walk that way upon causeways towards Islington and Hoxton at that time, still marshy areas. During this time local residents reacted by harassing walkers to protect their fields. Almost a century later, the hedges and ditches were destroyed, to allow City dwellers to partake in leisure at Hoxton.

In Tudor Times, Hoxton resident Sir Thomas Tresham was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I for harbouring Catholic priests. During the same period, fields to the north and west were used for archery practice. On 22 September 1598 Ben Johnson the playright fought and killed actor Gabriel Spencer in a fatal duel in Hoxton Fields. Johnson escaped a hanging by proving his literacy and therefore claiming benefit of clergy. Hoxton also hosted public gardens called 'Pimilico Trea Gardens' which were a popular reprieve for those looking to escape overcrowded streets. It is thought that they gained the name Pimlico from local publican, Ben Pimlico, after his famous brew. The gardens were located close to Hoxton Street which at the time were known as Pimlico Path. The Pimlico that we know today claims its name from its former use in Hoxton.

Hoxton achieved notoriety on October 26th 1605 by strong links to the 'Gunpowder Plot'. Most conspirators fled the area after discovering findings of the 'Gun Powder Plot', a local resident, Francis Tresham was arrested at his house in Hoxton a few days later. A commemorative plaque is attached to a modern development of flats on the site of Parker's House in Hoxton Street.

By the 17th Century many of the larger properties in Hoxton were used as madhouses with almhouses being built on land between by guilds and City benefactors. Aske's Almhouses were built on Pitfield Street in 1689 from Robert Aske's endowment. Hoxton House, was owned by the Miles Family and became a private asylum in 1695 and expanded rapidly into surrounding streets where it quickly became known as the Hoxton madhouse. Here fee paying 'gentle and middle' class people exercised in the expansive grounds between Kingsland Road and Pitfield Street. In 1921 Hoxton Square and Charles Square were laid out, forming a fashionable area. In Hoxton Street, a plaque marks the former location of the Britannia Theatre, a 3,000 seater venue that evolved from the Plimlico tea gardens. Together with the Pollock's Toy Museum, it was unfortunately destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War.

Hoxton lost its social standing during the Victorian era, railways made travelling to distant suburbs much easier, this combined with industrialisation drove away the wealthier classes, leaving the area with a concentration of poor families living in slum like conditions.

Rescued from obscurity by young artists attracted to the area by cheap rents for industrial lofts and warehouses which they used as live/work spaces, the area was frequented by revellers visiting for the raves and exhibitions which occupied former office buildings. By the end of the 20th century, the southern half of Hoxton attracted media-types and dot-commers, then becoming home to a vibrant mix of art galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs that we know today.

Ben Jonson - English playwright & poet
Ben Jonson - English playwright & poet
Francis Tresham
Francis Tresham

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