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Finsbury Town hall1.jpg
Finsbury Town Hall
Grid reference: TQ315825
Location: 51°31’34"N, 0°6’12"W
Post town: London
Postcode: EC1, WC1
Dialling code: 020
Local Government
Council: Islington
Islington South and Finsbury

Finsbury is a district of Middlesex close into the middle of the metropolitan conurbation, standing immediately north of the City of London, east and north of Clerkenwell, west of Shoreditch, and south of Islington and the City Road. The Finsbury Estate is in the western part of the area.

The name 'Finsbury' is now most often used of the western part of the town, historically regarded as part of Clerkenwell, where the former Finsbury Town Hall is to be found, around the area of the Finsbury Estate, and here too are Exmouth Market, the Sadler's Wells Theatre, Islington Local History Centre, Islington Museum and City University.

The area should not be confused with Finsbury Park, a public space roughly three miles to the north which also gives its name to the surrounding residential area.


The name is first recorded as Vinisbir (1231) and means "Finn's manor" after an otherwise unknown owner.[1]


In the Middle Ages, Finsbury was part of the great fen which lay outside the walls of the City of London,[2] within the Ossulstone Hundred. In the early 17th century, trees were planted and gravel walks made, and the area became a place for recreation. In 1641 the Honourable Artillery Company moved to Finsbury, where it still remains, and in 1665 the Bunhill Fields burial ground was opened in the area. The City of London Yeomanry (COLY) also had its headquarters in nearby Finsbury Square when founded at the time of the Second Boer War.

Building on Finsbury Fields began in the late 17th century. The parish church, St Luke's was built in 1732–33, and at the end of the 18th century a residential suburb was built with its centre at Finsbury Square.[2]

In 1857 a park was opened some three miles north of Finsbury for the enjoyment of the residents of Finsbury, and named Finsbury Park.[1]

In 1900 a 'Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury' was created, which became known for radicalism. In 1938, Dr Chuni Lal Katial was elected mayor of Finsbury, making him the first Asian mayor in the United Kingdom. In 1942, during the War, the borough council erected a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Holford Square (now demolished).


Nearest tube stations:

  • Angel tube station (Northern Line)
  • Barbican tube station (Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan Lines)


Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mills, D. (2000). Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names. ISBN 0-19-860957-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weinreb, B. and Hibbert, C. (eds.) (1983) The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-57688-8