The clock tower in the village centre of Highbury (which was installed to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee) marks the centre of the old village of Highbury. This once small village takes its name from a manor house built in 1271. At this time, most of Highbury and the surrounding area was either farmland or woodland.
This manor house was only around for about a hundred years. It burnt down in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. however, the land and the small settlement remained. At the time, Highbury was owned by a religious and military order known as the Knights Hospitallers. That was until King Henry VIII confiscated it in 1540. And there Highbury sat. Highbury continued as a small settlement of farmers for about two hundred years.
In 1770, Highbury began to change again. John Dawes, a stockbroker, decided that Highbury would make a great place for another manor house. He built Highbury House and then set about building even more houses in Highbury. The beautiful terraces that Highbury is known for nowadays began popping up in Highbury Fields. So, if you to travel back in time to Highbury, here is the point where it was slowly beginning to look like the Highbury that we know today.
However, it is in the 19th century, where Highbury really starts growing and changing. Thomas Cubitt, the man responsible for building most of Georgian London, began a building project in Highbury. This was in the 1820s. This was when all of the incredible Victorian villas in the area were built.
Of course, you can’t have elegant buildings and nowhere for the owners of those buildings to enjoy a drink! Highbury Barn Tavern was built in the 18th century. Following the latest construction work, though, the tavern was extended. Oh and Highbury also has a very small and slight history with one of the most famous football clubs in the world, but you knew that already!