The area forms part of London Borough of Islington. It was mentioned in the Doomesday Book under its old name Tolentone.
Until the Henry Eighth confiscated the lands in 1540, the area was owned by the Knights of St John. Afterwards the land stayed in Crown control until the 18th century when it was sold off to a string of wealthy merchants who built Highbury House & substantial grounds including an observatory. Highbury House was later converted into a school and was finally demolished in the 1930s. Today, Eton House Flats on Leigh Road stands on the spot.
Also making up Highbury are Highbury grange & Highbury barn. As their names suggest, they were originally working agricultural buildings bordering what’s now St Paul’s Road. Highbury barn became an ale & cake house & in 1770s when local entrepreneur, William Willoughby expanded the facilities to include dining rooms with dancing for up to 2000 people and a bowling green. By the 1870s however, the Barn featured in a drunken student riot, so lost it entertainment license.
The final area making up Highbury’s intended boundary comprised Highbury Terrace and Highbury Place. However, as plans to develop the adjoining swathe of land into London’s first great park, Albert Park, fell through (with the park moving to nearby Finsbury Park), only Highbury Fields were saved. So the developers moved in and turned the remainder into the mainly residential area of Highbury we know today.
Other Highbury Landmarks include Arsenal FC’s original football stadium by Drayton Park w converted into luxury houses and flats since 2006, along with the impressive Joan of Arc church on Highbury Park, designed by Staley Kerr Bate in 1963.
Next door to Islington, Highbury also offers a great mix of pubs, independent shops, cafes and chic foodie restaurants. But unlike its more densely populated neighbour, Highbury benefits from having a slightly more laid-back, residential vibe thanks largely to 28 acres of Highbury Fields that traverse the area.
Transport in Highbury is excellent with Highbury & Islington tube at Highbury Corner and Arsenal tubes book-ending the area, with the helpful additions of Canonbury & Dayton Park railway stations. There is also a constant supply of buses running along the main arterial routes ; St Paul’s and Balls Pond, Seven Sisters and Holloway Road.
Celebrities have made Highbury their home : Rowan Atkinson, actor and comedian, Nigel Slater, food writer, Nick Hornby, writer, Ed O’brian, Guitarist with Radiohead, Alan Davies, comedian, Walter Sickert, artist.
Famous for its elegant Victorian squares to the South, and smaller, characterful turn of the last Century terraces to the North, Highbury is an upmarket residential area with lots of green space, providing larger family homes and lots of converted flats. Homes are effortlessly intermingled with attractive urban cafes and pubs, contemporary restaurants and eclectic shops. It attracts City executives, media and entertainment folk, along with London’s intelligentsia and unsurprisingly, prices are at a premium compared with average London average. Despite the current slowdown, they are still increasing. If you’re thinking of buying in Highbury, expect to dig deep. Aside from this, you will be in good company and enjoy the delights of living in one of London’s desirable areas, with quick tube access to the City and the West End.
Homes in Highbury sell quickly and prices have remained resilient despite the recent slowdown. In fact, flats and Houses in Highbury have bucked the recent trends and are still are increasing year on year. People will always pay for quality and Highbury certainly delivers in spades.
For those looking to rent property in Highbury, there’s lots to choose from. With flats for sharers and couples, along with homes for families and corporate Relocation properties to Let. Young professionals in particular love the urban vibe, along with the excellent tube & public transport links into the City, Central and East London. Whilst families enjoy the long walks & great facilities on Highbury Fields. With cafes and restaurant everywhere and a relaxed night life close by, renters in the area delight in the overall Highbury package. Landlords also continue to rate Highbury’s property investment potential and many have built-up successful rental portfolios in the area.
Drivers & Norris is an independent Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agency that has been helping sellers, buyers, renters and landlords in Highbury, and across North London since 1852. We are experts in selling and letting residential property to buyers and tenants locally, around the UK and Overseas. Our experienced Team of property professionals love working in Highbury and they have exceptional local knowledge & property know-how to provide a Top quality service, whilst also delivering the best possible results for clients. We’re proud of our reputation and that’s why we’d be pleased to show you how Drivers & Norris will make a difference in Highbury.