Highbury Fields Forever

A walk from Homerton through Hackney, Dalston, Newington Green to Highbury Barn

The pull of nostalgia is a powerful thing. It was during the first lockdown that I devised this walk from Leytonstone to Highbury – from my current home to one from my past laced with happy memories. It was a comforting thought in such an uncertain time. Now in the first week of the third national lockdown it seems an apt moment to post this video of that walk which I finally embarked upon during the second lockdown.

It starts on Homerton High Street, which was recorded as Humberton in the 14th Century, and is said to be derived from a lady’s farmstead Hunburh. We take a look at the Tudor Sutton House built in 1535, before walking through St. John’s Gardens to Hackney Central. Along Mare Street we pay homage to the Hackney Empire, designed by Frank Matcham in 1901 as a Music Hall.

Our walk takes up Graham Road to Ridley Road Market, Dalston and then along Kingsland Road (Ermine Street) to the Rio Cinema. Next we go up John Campbell Road and Mildmay Road to Newington Green where we look at Richard Price’s Unitarian Chapel built in 1701.

From here we pass along Ferntower Road to Petherton Road where the New River runs beneath a green strip of land running along the middle of the street.

Highbury Fields

Highbury Fields

Highbury New Park takes us to Highbury Grove and we turn up Baalbec Road to Highbury Place.

Highbury Fields is one of my favourite spots in London, a beautiful open space covering a high ridge of land which was once known for its springs and conduits. We walk around Highbury Fields contemplating the possibility that the name suggests that this was once the location of an ancient burial mound, barrow or fortification given that the area was previously known as Newington Barrow.

Our walk ends at Highbury Barn at the site of the former pleasure garden famed for its milk, custards, and concerts.


  1. Sue Condon   •  

    Wonderful and interesting as always. I love following your walks, even more so in these bleak times. Thank you for the mysteries.

  2. neil lipman   •  

    As a 75 year old who has lived in Australia the past 50 odd years, I still have fond memories of being brought up around North London in 40sand 50’s andplaying on bomb sites!Even remember someone throwing my scooter into the Caledonian Canal..only 4 at the time..what a bastard he must have been!
    I follow all your walks and thoroughly enjoy them.Thanks

  3. Nick   •  

    Many thanks for this. Much more enjoyable than I thought it would be! Can I ask what camera you use for your walks?

  4. Alison Goldie   •  

    Lovely. This is my manor. Have lived in Hackney for 15 years of my life, off and on (and steadily for the last 10, think it’ll be my resting place now). It’s so great to see these terribly familiar streets through your appreciative eyes, and learn some history I never knew.

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