The Oldest Terraced Houses in London
by Ben Johnson
On the west side of Newington Green, perched on the border of Hackney and Islington, is the home of the oldest surviving terraced houses in London. Built in 1658, the four buildings at 52-55 Newington Green have survived the Great Fire of London as well as two World Wars.
The building of the terrace was actually as a replacement of a much larger house that stood on the same site. This original house was said to have had gardens, orchards and outhouses, but with the growth of the Stoke Newington area the terraced houses provided more financial yield from the land.
Famous residents of the terrace have included Dr Richard Price, the famous preacher and dissident, who moved into No 54 in 1758 (by this time the terrace was already a hundred years old!). During the next few years, and no doubt due to his sympathies towards the American Revolution, Price was visited at No 54 by many of the American ‘founding fathers’ including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.
Just two doors down, No 52 was the likely birth place of the poet Samuel Rogers in 1763. Interestingly, Price was actually good friends with Samuel Rogers’ father, Thomas, and they often dined at each others houses.
Thanks to a recent restoration by English Heritage in the late 1990’s, all four of the terraced houses appear today as they did over 350 years ago. If you’re interested in visiting, the nearest overground station is Canonbury, or alternatively it’s a 15 minute walk from Dalston Junction.
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