A stroll along Goswell Road

Click on a picture to see a larger version

Goswell Road on the map
Goswell Road on the map

Today’s walk took me south from the Angel crossroads along Goswell Road to where it meets Old Street and the Clerkenwell Road. The map shows the position of Goswell Road in relation to the Angel tube station, if that means anything to you. (Click for a larger view.)

Some people take their dogs for a walk; I take my camera. I do this firstly because there might be something worth photographing but also because having the camera attached to my belt makes me look at things more carefully, so that I see what I might otherwise miss.

Though it may sound strange coming from a non-drinker, I like pubs, especially old ones. This is because, next to churches (and funnily enough, they are often next to churches), pubs are some of our most ancient and best preserved buildings.

The Hat and Feathers Hat and Feathers lady

The Hat and Feathers is on the corner of Goswell Road and the Clerkenwell Road. It has a restrained but elegant demeanour and a good solid look to it. The lady stands on a ledge on the third floor. Fortunately, she is not intending to jump but is there to enhance the appeal of the building which, in my opinion, she does very well.

Graphics shop
Graphics shop

There’s nothing historical about this place, a branch of the London Graphic Centre, but I am obsessive about pens and mechanical pencils and therefore just had to go in. Yes, I bought something… A Pentel Technica-X mechanical pencil, if you really want to know 🙂

It’ll come in handy for doing sudoku in bed at night. (It’s a good way to make myself sleepy.)

Here’s another nice old pub on a corner site, the Ivy House. With its curved wooden benches outside, it looks more like a pub on the village green and one in a city high street.

The Ivy House

What about this old place: was it once loved and enjoyed? It seems to have been put to rather mixed use in its time.

Unloved corner
Unloved corner

Either way, it’s on the way out as there’s a planning application to knock it down and built flats on the site. Well, I suppose homes are needed.

I don’t know the history of this interesting building but I would guess it was once the warehouse of an import-export or shipping company. Why? Because there are four decorative plaques on the front, one to do with the picking of cotton and the rest to do with transport. Today, it occupied by the NHS.

NHS building
NHS building

It’s a pity the plaques are so high up as that means I have to photograph them at an angle. Then again, they are safer where they are.

Picking cotton Sailing ship
Steam ship Steam train

In my final picture below, showing the Angel clocktower, there are two timepieces. Do you see them?

Angel clocktower

There is the clocktower itself on the right and, at upper left, a rather modernist sundial. Whether by luck or judgement, both seem to be indicating about the same time, 12 noon!

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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4 Responses to A stroll along Goswell Road

  1. Villager says:

    It’s great to see these pictures and descriptions; perhaps you could run tours of the lesser-known and more fascinating parts of London ?

  2. David Wilson says:

    My great-great-grandmother Ann Hands came from Stanton St John near Oxford in about 1850, when she was 18, to be a servant at 150 Goswell Road. The position was probably found for her by her elder brother who had set up as ‘cowkeeper’ i.e. local milkman in St John;s Row (sic). Her mistress was a widow, Sarah ANN Comfort, and the clash of names probably accounts for her adopting the name Emma on arrival in London (I’m told this practice was not unusual). She married Walter Bell, a local glass grinder in 1857.

    150 Goswell Road has been redeveloped and is now a mastectomy fashion shop. Now what would a Victorian teenager up from the country made of that?

    • SilverTiger says:

      Thanks for this fascinating glimpse into the past off Goswell Road and your family history. It would be interesting to know where Walter Bell’s premises were and whether his business survived into modern times.

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