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Property Hackney

Hackney Area Guide

History of Hackney

Hackney takes its name from a saxon settlement called Haca's ey (‘raised ground or marshland’)

St Augustine's Tower which dates back to the 13th century is Hackney Central's oldest building.

Hackney was made of marshland and forests and was very sparsely populated through the medieval period. It began expanding slowly in the 16th and 17h centuries, mainly with large fine houses. Interestingly, the parish burial register has a record of Anthony, ‘a poore old negro’ who died in 1630 at the age of 105 and is the first recorded Black resident in the borough.

But it is during the Victorian era that Hackney expanded massively. The new middle classes wanted to escape polluted and overcrowded central London. The large estates were broken up and to be replaced by terraced and semi detached houses. With the arrival of the railway in 1850 it quickly changed from a rural outpost to a suburb of London.

From the late sixties to the mid 90’s, hackney was reputadly known for its cheap houses and a strong squatter community. In recent years, as property prices increased, Hackney and its large Victorian houses began to attract young affluent people to the point now where it has become a fairly sought after area. It has good shopping facilities, a beautiful large park (Victoria park) and a good choice of bars and restaurants. Although there is no tube, there are very good bus services and many cycle routes leading to London or nearby Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Stoke Newington and Islington.


Places of interest

• Victoria Park • Hackney Empire • Sutton House


Transport Links Visit Transport for London for more information

Hackney Central - Rail

Hackney Downs - Rail


Local Authority


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