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|Admin HQ||Mare Street, Hackney|
— Total (2005 est.)
|Ranked 64th (of 354)
10,897 / km²
|Leadership||Mayor & Cabinet|
|Mayor||Philip Glanville (Labour)|
|MPs||Diane Abbott (Labour)
Meg Hillier (Labour)
Jennette Arnold (Labour)
Southern and eastern parts of the borough are popularly regarded as being part of east London, with northern and western areas belonging to north London.
The London Plan issued by the Greater London Authority assigns whole boroughs to sub-regions for statutory monitoring, engagement and resource allocation purposes. The most recent (2011) iteration of this plan assigns Hackney to the ‘East’ sub-region, while the 2008 and 2004 versions assigned the borough to ‘North’ and ‘East’ sub-regions respectively.
Hackney is bounded by Islington to the west, Haringey to the north, Waltham Forest to the north-east, Newham to the east, Tower Hamlets to the south-east and the City of London to the south-west. Much of Hackney retains an inner-city character, but in such places as Dalston large housing estates have been joined by newly developed gated communities. In South Hackney, near Victoria Park, terraced Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian housing still survives.
The historical and administrative heart of Hackney is the area roughly extending north from Mare Street and surrounding the Church of St John-at-Hackney; known as Hackney Central. To the north of the borough are Upper Clapton and Lower Clapton, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington. To the east is the large open space of Hackney Marshes and the districts of Hackney Wick and Homerton. Light industries in the area around the River Lea employ over 3,000 people. Some of the area was used for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Notable associated people
- Attractions and institutions
- Twinned towns
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Administrative background and heritage
The borough was formed in 1965 from the area of the earlier metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. The new council included representative symbols of the predecessor boroughs in its new combined coat of arms: Shoreditch by three bells from Shoreditch Church; Stoke Newington by two trees bearing fruit; and Hackney by the Maltese Cross of the principal landowners of the parish in the Middle Ages. The shield is surmounted by a representation of St. Augustine's Tower.
The old metropolitan borough of Hackney was closely based on the unusually large ancient parish of the same name.
Place name origin
In the 13th century the name appears as Hackenaye or Hacquenye, but no certain derivation is advanced. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Place Names (fourth edition) discusses the origin of the name. The first surviving records of the place name are as Hakney (1231) and Hakeneye (1242 and 1294). The ‘ey’ suffix almost certainly refers to an island; the dictionary favours the interpretation that Hackney means ‘Haka’s island,’ with Haka being a notable local person and the island (or inaccessible place surrounded by marshes) lying close to the River Lea. This was once a much wilder place than today.
The Dictionary suggests that the ‘Hack’ element may also derive from:
- The Old English ‘Haecc’ meaning a hatch – an entrance to a woodland or common.
- Or alternatively from ‘Haca’ meaning a hook, and in this context, a bend of the river.
Given the island context, the ‘hatch’ option is unlikely to be correct, so the favoured 'Haka's Island' or the 'Island on the bend' seem more likely.
The place name will have originally referred to just the island or possibly both the island and the manor of the same name based around it. Subsequently, the name Hackney was applied to the whole ancient parish of Hackney.
At one time most of the area was covered with open oak and hazel woodlands, with marshland around the rivers and brooks that crossed the area. In Roman times and for a long time after, the River Lea was an estuary, tidal as far as Hackney Wick. Here is where the Hackney Brook met the Lea; the confluence was very wide when flooded.
Iron Age to Anglo-Saxon period
In the Iron Age and probably until after the Roman period (as the Romans used tribal territories as administrative sub-divisions), the River Lea was considered to separate the territories of the Catuvellauni to the west of the river from the Trinovantes to the east.
The Romans built the Roman road, Ermine Street, which runs through the modern borough under the names Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road amongst others.
In the Anglo-Saxon period, the River Lea separated the core territories of the East Saxons (on the east side) from the Middle Saxons (on the western, Hackney side) they often controlled. This continuity of this natural boundary from pre-Roman period may be a result of the differing Saxon groups taking control of pre-defined territories.
In the Tudor period, the lands of religious orders were seized by the Crown and put up for sale. Thus Hackney became a retreat for the nobility around Hackney Central and Homerton. Henry VIII's Palace was by Lea Bridge roundabout, where BSix Sixth Form College stands today. Sutton House, on Homerton High Street, is the oldest surviving dwelling in Hackney, originally built in 1535 as Bryck Place for Sir Ralph Sadleir, a diplomat. The village of Hackney flourished from the Tudor to late Georgian periods as a rural retreat.
The first documented "hackney coach"—the forerunner of the more generic "hackney carriage"—operated in London in 1621. Current opinion is that the name "hackney," to refer to a London taxi, is derived from the village name. (Hackney, associated with high-stepping horses and horse-drawn carriages, is the root of the French word haquenée, a term used for a small breed of horse, and the Sardinian achetta horse.) Construction of the railway in the 1850s ended Hackney's rural reputation by connecting it to other parts of the city and stimulating development.
Notable residents from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries included Robert Aske, William Cecil, Samuel Courtauld, Samuel Hoare, Joseph Priestley and Thomas Sutton.
Many grand houses stood in Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill; the latter neighbourhood became a center of Hackney's many Orthodox Jewish residents from the 1930s. Alfred Hitchcock made many of his first films in Hoxton at the Gainsborough Studios in Poole Street.
Following extensive post-war development and immigration since the late 20th century, population pressure has increased and the area's many Georgian and Victorian terraces are being gentrified, warehouses are being converted to housing, and new flats are being built. It was ranked as inner London's 'greenest borough' and London Transport's 'best bike borough 2006', with 62 parks and open spaces, covering 815 acres (3.3 km2). Seven Hackney parks have now achieved Green Flag status. One, Abney Park, became scheduled in 2009 as one of Britain's historic parks and garden at risk from neglect and decay. Hackney Marshes play host to the largest collection of football pitches in Europe. Part of it was used as a site for events of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Listed buildings and conservation areas
There are 1,300 listed buildings in Hackney, including the Hackney Empire, Tudor Sutton House, and the Grade I medieval St Augustine's Tower. The borough contains 25 conservation areas including Clapton Square and urban open-spaces including Clapton Common and Clissold Park. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and Victorian housing, and areas of industrial heritage.
The London Borough of Hackney is an Inner London Borough within Greater London. It is to the north-east of the City of London; and neighboured by the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, to the south; Islington to the west at Southgate Road; Haringey to the north. On the east, the River Lea forms the boundary with Waltham Forest; and to the south-east is Newham. Historically, the River Lea formed the boundary between the predecessor counties of Middlesex and Essex.
Districts and postcodes
The most southerly district in the borough is Shoreditch, adjacent to the City of London. To the north-west, bordering Islington, the City, and north of Old Street is Hoxton. To the north of Shoreditch is Haggerston, north of the Regents Canal. Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath also forms of the southern parts of the borough, also this is formally and majoritised within neighbouring Tower Hamlets.
Settlements to the west of the borough followed the line of the former Ermine Street, with De Beauvoir Town — a Victorian estate to the west of the (now) Kingsland Road. Further north, lie Dalston, Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill — where the borough abuts Haringey.
A further group of settlements follow another north-south radial road, with South Hackney to the east of Cambridge Heath Road — north of Victoria Park; and Hackney Central commencing at Mare Street. London Fields was formerly common land to the west of this place, but now forms a district in its own right. To the north, Homerton lies immediately east of the centre of Hackney. The River Lea forms the borough's eastern boundary. Hackney Wick, the Hackney Marshes, Lower and Upper Clapton all lie along this eastern boundary.
Postal districts were assigned to the former parts of the borough in 1857/8. Most of the borough would originally have been covered by a planned 'NE' postal district, but this was abolished in 1866. Most of the borough is covered by the eastern postal district, but Shoreditch constitutes five separate postcodes. Areas to the west of Kingsland Road and in the north of the borough are predominantly covered by the northern postal district.
Traditionally, much of the borough was and remains considered as a part of East London, with Hoxton and Shoreditch being part of the East End of London. In the 2008 revision of the London Plan, the borough was officially reassigned to the north London sub-region for administrative purposes.
The London Borough of Hackney covers an area of 19.06 square kilometres (7.4 sq mi). Its primary geographic feature is the course of the River Lea; and the associated River Lee Navigation, which passes through Hackney Cut — an artificial channel of the Lea built in 1770 across the Hackney Marshes to straighten a meander of the natural river. A tributary of the Lea, Hackney Brook was fully culverted in 1860 by the Metropolitan Board of Works.
The New River passes through the borough close to Finsbury Park and flows towards Islington. The Regents Canal also crosses the borough to the south of De Beauvoir Town in the west, joining the Hertford Union Canal below Victoria Park.
Within the Borough, the land rises westward from the Lea reaching 30 metres (98 ft) above sea level at Clapton Common and Stamford Hill. The area around Victoria Park, in the south of the borough lies about 15 metres (49 ft) above sea level. At Spring Hill, in Upper Clapton the road descends sharply from 25 metres (82 ft) to only 10 metres (33 ft) at High Hill Ferry, on the Lee Navigation.
The Lea and Hackney Marshes are underlain by alluvium soils; and the higher ground between Homerton and Stamford Hill is formed on a widening bed of London Clay. Brickearth deposits are within tongues of clay extending beneath Clapton Common, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington High Street. The centre and south western districts lie on river terrace deposits of Taplow Gravel. Victoria Park and Well Street Common lie on flood plain gravel.
This data was taken between 1971 and 2000 at the nearest national weather station in Greenwich; around 7 miles (11.3 km) south of Hackney Town Hall:
|Climate data for London (Greenwich)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.0
|Average high °C (°F)||8.3
|Average low °C (°F)||2.6
|Record low °C (°F)||-10.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||51.6
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||10.8||8.5||9.6||9.4||9.0||8.3||8.0||7.6||8.5||10.7||10.1||9.9||110.4|
|Avg. snowy days||4||4||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||16|
|Source #1: Record highs and lows from BBC Weather, except August and February maximum from Met Office|
|Source #2: All other data from Met Office, except for humidity and snow data which are from NOAA|
|Climate data for London (Heathrow airport 1981−2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.1
|Average low °C (°F)||2.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||55.2
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||11.1||8.5||9.3||9.1||8.8||8.2||7.7||7.5||8.1||10.8||10.3||10.2||109.6|
|Source: Met Office|
|Source: A Vision of Britain through time|
In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 14,609. This rose steadily throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 95,000 in the middle of that century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased — reaching nearly 374,000 by the turn of the century. This increase in population peaked before World War I, falling slowly in the aftermath until World War II began an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London (1944). The population is now rising again, and the 2001 census gives Hackney a population of 202,824.
The population is ethnically diverse. Of the resident population, 89,490 (41%) people describe themselves as White British. 30,978 (14%) are in other White ethnic groups, 63,009 (29%) are Black or Black British, 20,000 (9%) are Asian or Asian British, 8,501 (4%) describe themselves as 'Mixed', and 6,432 (3%) as Chinese or Other.
There is also a large Turkish and Kurdish population resident in Hackney. Turkish and Kurdish communities are located in all parts of the borough, though there is a greater concentration in north and central Hackney.
132,931 (66%) of the resident population were British born. A further 10,095 (5%) were born in other parts of Europe, and the remaining 59,798 (29%) born elsewhere in the world.
The 2001 census also shows Christianity is the biggest religion in Hackney, with 44% of residents identifying Christian; 18% identified as Muslim, 4% Jewish, and 3% belonged to other religions. A further 19% stated no religion, and 12% did not state a response. By the 2011 census, residents identifying themselves as Christian fell to 38.6%, whilst those with no religion rose to 28.2%. Judaism had a modest increase, Islam had a small increase, and Hinduism made a slight drop.
32% of households are owner–occupied.
The largest rise of ethnic groups between 2001 and 2011 was 'Other', which increased by 222%. This was followed by 'Mixed', which rose by 84%.
Hackney is served by London Underground services, but only Manor House, located on its extreme north-western fringe on the boundary with Haringey. Old Street is only a few metres south-west of Hackney in Islington.
However, three London Overground lines serve Hackney: the North London Line crosses from west to east while the East London Line runs from Highbury & Islington and passes through Dalston Junction and on south through Haggerston, Hoxton, Shoreditch towards destinations south of the River Thames, including Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace, Croydon, and New Cross. Local services on the Lea Valley Lines passed into London Overground on 31 May 2015. Trains originate at London Liverpool Street and head towards either Enfield Town (via Bush Hill Park), Cheshunt (via Turkey Street) or Chingford (via Clapton).
It is proposed that Crossrail 2, the 'Chelsea-Hackney Line', would provide a direct Underground service to Hackney Central, Dalston and Homerton, but it is currently undecided whether it would be built as London Underground or mainline specifications.
North London Line Travelling west to east — nearest London Overground stations are Dalston Kingsland, Hackney Central, Homerton and Hackney Wick
East London Line Travelling north to south — nearest London Overground stations are 'Dalston Junction, Haggerston, Hoxton' and 'Shoreditch High Street'
Travel to work
In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: bus, minibus or coach, 16.9% of all residents aged 16–74; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 9.2%; bicycle, 9.2%; on foot, 7.5%; driving a car or van, 7.1%; train, 4.6%; work mainly at or from home, 3.5%.
65% of households in Hackney are car free.
Notable associated people
Attractions and institutions
- Abney Park Cemetery – overgrown Victorian cemetery and Nature Reserve
- Arcola Theatre – studio theatre
- National Centre of Circus Arts – circus school
- Geffrye Museum – decorative arts museum
- Hackney Empire – theatre
- Hackney One Carnival - carnival street parade
- Hoxton Hall – community centre and performance space
- Newington Green Unitarian Church – London's oldest nonconformist place of worship
- St John's Hoxton – Anglican church (where "Amazing Grace" was written)
- Shoreditch Town Hall
- Sutton House – Heritage house and museum
- The Towers of Hackney
- Transition Gallery – contemporary art project space
- Victoria Miro Gallery – contemporary art gallery
- Vortex Jazz Club – live jazz venue
The London Borough of Hackney has formal twinning arrangements with:
- Bridgetown, Barbados
- Suresnes, France
- Göttingen, Germany
- St George's, Grenada
- Haifa, Israel
- Presnensky District, Russia
- Oslo, Norway
- Austin, USA
Hackney has an informal twinning with:
The borough also has informal links with South Africa, Turkey, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Homerton University Hospital has its own twinning arrangements with the Rambam Medical Centre (Haifa, Israel) and St George's Hospital (Grenada). Schools are encouraged to pursue links with specific schools abroad – such as the arrangement between Our Lady's and a school in Hangzhou, South West China.
|Greater London • London • City of London|
London Boroughs: Barking and Dagenham • Barnet • Bexley • Brent • Bromley • Camden • Croydon • Ealing • Enfield • Greenwich • Hackney • Hammersmith and Fulham • Haringey • Harrow • Havering • Hillingdon • Hounslow • Islington • Kensington and Chelsea • Kingston • Lambeth • Lewisham • Merton • Newham • Redbridge • Richmond • Southwark • Sutton • Tower Hamlets • Waltham Forest • Wandsworth • Westminster
Images for kids
London Borough of Hackney Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.