Author: Julie, 21/07/2016
Holloway is an inner-city district in the London Borough of Islington located 3.8 miles (6.1 km) north of Charing Cross and follows for the most part, the line of the Holloway Road (A1 road).
The origins of the name are disputed; some believe that it derives from Hollow, or Hollow way, due to a dip in the road caused by the passage of animals and water erosion, as this was the main cattle driving route from the North into Smithfield. In Lower Holloway, the former Back Road, now Liverpool Road was used to rest and graze the cattle before entering London. Others believe the name derives from Hallow and refers to the road’s historic significance as part of the pilgrimage route to Walsingham. No documentary evidence can be found to support either derivation; and by 1307, the name Holwey was applied to the district around the road. The main stretch of Holloway Road runs through the site of the former villages of Tollington and Stroud. The original route, from London, led through Tollington Lane, but such was the state of this road by the 14th century, that the Bishop of London built a new road up Highgate Hill, and was claiming tolls by 1318. This was the origins of the Great North Road, now the A1, which passes through Holloway
Until the 18th century the area was predominantly rural, but as London expanded in the second half of the 19th century it became extremely built-up. Holloway, like much of inner north London, experienced rapid growth around the very early 1900s. In the late 1930s, the Odeon cinema on the junction of Tufnell Park Road and Holloway Road was built as a Gaumont but was severely damaged by a doodlebug during the Second World War. It has since undergone extensive refurbishment but retains its impressive foyer and staircase. It is Grade II listed.
Like many other parts of Islington, the gentrification of Holloway is now under way, particularly in the Hillmarton and Mercers Road/Tavistock Terrace conservation areas (to the south and west of Holloway Road). There are also many luxury development projects taking place over a large area around the Arsenal stadium.