The London Borough of Islington lies to the north of the city, and spans the areas of Islington, Highbury, Holloway, Archway and Highgate. Islington itself was once a tiny village on the edge of London, surrounded by an enormous farm. It was a stopping-point for drovers and traders taking cattle to London's Smithfield Market, and was famous for its many inns(there were nine clustered in the village by 1590). Major development began in the area at the end of the eighteenth century, and by 1820 there were many elegant terraces and squares in the area. However, much like neighbouring Camden Town, it became very run down over the next hundred years as the wealthy residents moved further out of the city and by the 1920s it was a slum, its terraces partitioned off into damp flats and small itinerant businesses.

Islington's regeneration began in the eighties, when property developers began buying it up and converting the old buildings into homes for yuppies. Houses in the area now go for around £1 million. The antique markets of Camden Passage, the many bars and restaurants and the small village green are now the haunts of the rich and famous. Tony Blair lived here before he became Prime Minister: Douglas Adams was another notable resident, who set parts of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish here, and named his dead rock star Hotblack Desiato after a firm of Islington estate agents. Other famous ex-residents include Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, Evelyn Waugh, Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, and Old Parr, the oldest recorded man in England.

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