With a population of just over 200,000 hailing from 100 different countries of the 6 habitable continents on earth, Hackney is the cosmopolitan capital of London, and quite possibly the world! Why do people come here? As three quarters of the residents say, Hackney is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together.
Being located next to the world financial centre that is the City of London, you have the traditional and historical heritage of the capital right next door to this cultural melting pot. This unique mix of people and place has turned Hackney into a somewhat trendy place to be with each of the unique areas within the borough offering something different. The main areas are:-
- De Beauvoir
- Hackney Central
- Stamford Hill
- Stoke Newington
These places offer world renowned theatre, art galleries, live music venues, restaurants, film locations, sporting venues and a thriving social life which in turn has produced and inspired some of the most famous and iconic figures of our times.
How did Hackney come to be like this? Well, the history of hackney can be traced back to the Roman times when it was mostly farmland providing for the Roman settlement of Londinium. Of course, if the Roman’s were somewhere for too long they had to build a road or two, which can be seen today with what is now the A10 (a trunk road to Lincoln) and another main road that ran/runs through modern day Old Street.
In the middle ages, the principal land owner was an order of the Knight’s Templar, but during the Tudor period, their lands were seized and Hackney became a retreat for the nobility with many vast estates springing up. Henry VIII even had a palace by the Lea Bridge Road...good for hunting I hear. This way of life and living continued to late Georgian times when industry sparked a massive change in Hackney, as it did with the rest of the country.
In the 1850s, the introduction of the railways to the borough made it more accessible for all social classes and not just the landed gentry. Industry began to take a foothold and farmland and estates were built over with factories and housing creating much of the urban landscape that can still be seen today.
These factories closed with the decline in industry after the Second World War, and many have now been either demolished and built over or converted into luxury apartments or artists studios, reshaping the boroughs identity.
Despite all the development of the past, Hackney is still inner London’s greenest borough with 62 parks and open spaces covering 815 acres and home to the largest collection of football pitches in Europe and a site for the Olympics.
Offering value for money with some of its residential areas considered to be the most moderately priced in inner London, Hackney also boasts convenient access to the rest of the city via numerous bus routes, the north London line, the Lea Valley line, the East London line and the proposed Crossrail.
All in all it is a great place to live, work or play.