Finsbury

Nico Macdonald has asked in the Comments section why it is that no-one normally knows about Finsbury.   I asked the same question myself as I walked through it during the week.   It’s presumably partly historical, that it is no longer a constituency (originally established as part of the Great Reform Bill), nor a metropolitan borough after being abolished in 1965;  partly topographical in that it is uneasily sandwiched between Islington which has, since the early 1970s, been much more fashionable, and Clerkenwell, which has become fahionable more recently, so that Finsbury only has its history of big estates and social improvement to recommend it, including Lubetkin’s Finsbury Health Centre, the centrepiece of the so-called Finsbury Plan, and the fact that the borough council erected a statue to Lenin in 1942.   The Survey of London describes the area as Northern Clerkenwell and Pentonville, paying attention to the parish, rather than the borough.

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2 thoughts on “Finsbury

  1. Thank you, Charles. There is so much history about Finsbury to resurrect, not least its radical tradition, a function I suspect of its being just outside the City walls. I will just cite here the Parsi intellectual Dadabhai Naoroji who became Liberal Party MP for Finsbury Central in the late Nineteenth century, and was celebrated on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wby0q). One can only imagine the constituents of Finsbury were fairly progressive to elect one of the UK’s first Asian MPs. There is a plaque to him on the former Finsbury Town Hall, and Naoroji Street, just north of the Town Hall, is where the NHS was first headquartered.

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