Richard Cloudesley was a man of standing and substance who lived in Islington, where he died in 1518. His will directed that income from his land should be used for charitable purposes. The land was ‘Stony Fields’, or the Fourteen Acres, and his endowment is now managed as a registered charity, no.205959
Planning for development of the land started as early as 1812, with building beginning in 1820, the earliest development in Barnsbury. The development included Cloudesley Place and a terrace facing Liverpool Road, Cloudesley Square, Cloudesley Street, and a terrace facing Cloudesley Road.
Building started with Cloudesley Place, followed by Cloudesley Square which was built in 1826. The special feature of the square is the square corners on the western side, and the two freestanding houses on the east. While the housing is attractive I found the atmosphere rather oppressive, perhaps because of the dominance of the enormous church and no central garden.
Holy Trinity Church was built 1826-29 and designed by a young Sir James Barry in the style of King’s College, Cambridge. The church, now leased to a Pentecostal sect and apparently not in good repair, dominates the square in a somewhat depressing way.
Stonefield Street, a quiet, broad street leading northwards off the square, has houses in pairs on the west side and a terrace on the east, with attractive ironwork on first floor balconies.
In Cloudesley Street, to the south of the square, the ground floor entrances to the pairs of houses are indented and the houses are less-storied.
There was a school on the estate, completed in 1839. Was this the school?
Liverpool Road was the Back Road to Upper Street, renamed ‘Liverpool Road’ in 1822, leading from the turnpike at the High Street/Upper Street junction to the turnpike on the Holloway Road. This stretch of terraced houses, backing on to the Cloudesley Estate, is on a raised pavement above the road – apparently this allowed people to alight from their carriages without dirtying their shoes or clothes in the road.
Cloudesley Road on the opposite side of the square, retains a charming ‘small town’ atmosphere, with a uniform row of houses on the east side, flowers, and a picturesque pub at which I should have lingered, but didn’t. There is a curiously wide pavement at the southern end but I can’t find a reason for this.
And as on other parts of the estate the ironwork railings, fanlights above the doors, and windows are varied and beautiful.
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