From hunting grounds and bubbling brooks to royal reconciliations with infamous individuals of British history, the area of London Fields and Hackney is undergoing a revival of its former cultural and spiritual heritage.
If you go back 450 years, Hackney was once a cluster of small villages and decadent mansions that provided a welcome escape for the landed gentry and bourgeois from the foul-smelling, medieval streets of London. This East London district now finds itself at the heart of a rapidly changing London metropolis and burgeoning community with a few surviving features of its past.
Henry VIII, divorce and a Bloody Mary
You'd be hard pressed to find a primary school student who doesn’t know how many wives Henry VIII married, beheaded or divorced. Yet many would be unaware King’s Place aka Brooke House in Hackney was where Henry VII reconciled with his daughter, the future Bloody Mary following a five year thawing of relations. Who could blame her feeling of acrimony when he divorced her mother and cut her out of the royal succession?
Protected by the National Trust and at the heart of East London, this quaint Tudor dwelling filled with oak-panelled rooms, original carved fireplaces and courtyard have survived despite 500 years of alterations including Huguenot silkweavers, merchants, and our kind urban guardians, squatters.
Fun events for friends and family: Late night film screenings, after dark evening tours, free themed family days, a cup of tea on vintage crockery. See more here
This former common area used by drovers to pasture livestock before market, now holds a Green Flag award, cricket pitch, two childrens’ play areas, and a lot more
What We Suggest:
- Activity: The local London Fields Primary School now hosts the London Fields Farmers' Market
- Sport clubs: Hackney Aquatics Club, London Fields Triathlon Club, London Fields Cricket Club
- Movie, you say?: Coming soon to our screens is Johnny Depp’s 'London Fields'
This trendy, newly built set of apartments sits within two conservation areas, Mare Street and the Broadway Market. With a vibrant residential community including a variety of social amenities and eclectic mix of independent retailers.
London Evening Standard: Nights out on Mare Street: the best bars, restaurants and hangouts in E8
The Telegraph: The surprising history of Hackney
*Image credit to Al Lloyd via Flickr