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The London Borough of Hackney ( ) is a London borough of north Londonmarker, and forms part of inner London.

Between 1999 and 2001 serious concerns were expressed about Hackney's performance as a council by the Audit Commission, and many aspects of council services were failing. This led to considerable negative press coverage that still colours perceptions of the area, but is at odds with the changing realities of the borough. In 2005, MORI identified that residents were significantly more satisfied than they had been in 2002, and in 2007 the Audit Commission showed that improvements continue to be made in council performance, with the council now achieving 'three stars', and described as 'improving strongly'. Every ward remains among the 10% most deprived in the country, with 47% of children living in low income households.

Hackney has a reputation as one of the most crime-affected London boroughs, but cooperation between local police and council has resulted in the borough experiencing a bigger drop in crime than in any other London borough in the four year period up to 2007 (28% reduction).

The south western tip of the borough is adjacent to the Citymarker and close to the Broadgatemarker development. In this area some office development has taken place within the borough boundary. Also in the south west is Hoxtonmarker and Shoreditchmarker which are central to the London arts scene and home to numerous clubs, bars, shops and restaurants, much of which is centred on Hoxton Squaremarker. The development of Shoreditch and Hoxton caused land value to increase in the area such that developers looked to other parts of the borough for development. Much of Hackney is inner-city in character and in places like Dalstonmarker large housing estates now sit side-by-side with gated communities.

The historical and administrative heart of Hackney is the area roughly extending north from Mare Street and surrounding the Church of St John-at-Hackneymarker; known as Hackney Centralmarker. Hackney Town Hall Square has been developed as a new 'creative quarter'. Surrounding the public square itself is the now bankrupt Ocean music venue, a new Library, Technology and Learning Centre, Hackney Museum and the refurbished Hackney Empiremarker. A new town hall complex is being built behind the existing building. South Hackneymarker abuts Victoria Parkmarker (which is in neighbouring Tower Hamletsmarker) and terraced Victorian and Edwardian housing stock has survived in the area.

To the north of the borough are Uppermarker and Lower Claptonmarker, Stamford Hillmarker and Stoke Newingtonmarker. To the east is the large open space of the Hackney Marshesmarker and the districts of Hackney Wickmarker and Homertonmarker. Light Industries employing over 3000 people have been claimed from this area to allow the land around the River Lea (the eastern boundary) to be used for the 2012 Summer Olympics, making the area one of the Host Boroughs for the games.

There are 1,300 listed buildings in Hackney, including the iconic grade II* Hackney Empire, Tudor Sutton Housemarker, and the grade I medieval St Augustine's towermarker. The Borough contains 25 conservation areas including Clapton Squaremarker, and many urban open-spaces including Clapton Common and Clissold Parkmarker. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and Victorian housing, and areas of industrial heritage. Hackney Society photographic survery accessed 23 Jan 2007


The borough was formed in 1965 from the area of the former metropolitan boroughs of Hackneymarker, Shoreditchmarker and Stoke Newingtonmarker. The new council adopted elements of its constituents in the new coat of arms; Shoreditch by three bells from Shoreditch Churchmarker (recalled in the rhyme Oranges and Lemons), Stoke Newington by two trees bearing fruit, and Hackney by the eight pointed cross of the principal landowners of the parishmarker in the middle-ages, the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The shield is surmounted by a representation of St Augustin's Towermarker, the remains of Hackney's former parish church in the historical centre of Hackneymarker. The motto is Justitia turris nostra, translated as Being fair is what makes us strong. The Queen's portrait hangs in the council chamber, wearing the robes of the Venerable Order of Saint John.

Individual parts of the borough have a rich history. The Roman road, Ermine Streetmarker forms the western edge of the borough. Much of the rest of the land was covered with open oak and hazel woodlands, with marshland around the rivers and streams that crossed the area. Hackney lay in the Catuvellauni tribal territory. The eastern boundary of the borough is formed by the River Lee. This was an ancient boundary between pre-Roman tribes, and in the Roman era, was tidal as far as Hackney Wickmarker and continued as the boundary between the historic counties of Middlesexmarker and Essex.
In the Tudor period the lands of the religious order were seized and Hackney became a retreat for nobility around Hackney Centralmarker and Homertonmarker, including Henry VIII's palace by the Lee Bridge roundaboutmarker, where BSix Sixth Form Collegemarker stands today. 'Hackney: Settlement and Building to c.1800', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 10-4 Date accessed: 02 Oct 2006 Sutton Housemarker, on Homerton High Street, is the oldest surviving dwelling in Hackney, originally built as Bryck Place for Tudor diplomat Sir Ralph Sadleir in 1535. The village of Hackney flourished from the Tudor to late Georgian periods as a rural retreat – brought to an end by the construction of the railway in the 1850s. Notable residents have included Thomas Sutton, Samuel Courtauld, Joseph Priestly, a governor of the Bank of Englandmarker and the founding director of the Honourable East India Company.
London's first Tudor theatres were built in Shoreditchmarker and the Gunpowder Plot was first exposed at nearby Hoxtonmarker. Houses of Parliament factsheet on event accessed 6 Mar 2007 Many grand houses stood in Stoke Newingtonmarker and Stamford Hillmarker, with the latter providing a haven for Hackney's many orthodox Jewish residents from the 1930s. Alfred Hitchcock made many of his first films in Hoxton at the Gainsborough Studios in Poole street.

After industrialisation, extensive post-war development and immigration the area is now gentrifying its large stock of Georgian and Victorian terraces and new apartments, warehouse conversions and period restorations are being built. Despite development it is inner London's 'greenest borough' and London Transport's 'best bike borough 2006', with 62 parks and open spaces, covering . Seven Hackney parks have now achieved Green Flag status. Hackney Marshesmarker play host to the largest collection of football pitches in Europe; and will be the site of part of the 2012 Summer Olympics.


The borough consists of two parliamentary constituencies: Hackney North and Stoke Newingtonmarker (represented by Diane Abbott MP) and Hackney South and Shoreditchmarker (represented by Meg Hillier MP; both are Labour Party Members of Parliament. The borough is in the North East London Assembly constituency returning Jennette Arnold AM, as the directly elected Assembly Member. Hackney is part of the London constituency in the European Parliamentmarker.

Unlike most other English local authorities, the Borough is now governed by a directly-elected Mayor who is also the political leader of the council. The Mayor – currently Jules Pipe CBE – is supported by a cabinet, councillors and a Speaker, currently Councillor Muttalip Ünlüer, who fulfils the civic and ceremonial duties previously undertaken by the (non-political) mayor.

At the Hackney Council election on 4 May 2006 the Labour Party were returned with 44 councillors, winning one seat and losing one. They gained an additional Councillor in 2008 with the defection from the Liberal Democrats of Cllr Joseph Stauber. The Conservative Party forms the largest opposition party on the council with nine councillors, the Liberal Democrats have two, and for only the second time a candidate from the Green Party was elected.



The London Borough of Hackney is an inner London Borough within Greater Londonmarker. It is to the north-east of the City of Londonmarker; and neighboured by the London Boroughs of Tower Hamletsmarker, to the south; Islingtonmarker to the west at Southgate Roadmarker; Haringeymarker to the north. On the east, the River Lee forms the boundary with Waltham Forestmarker; and to the south-east is Newhammarker. Historically, this river has formed a boundary between the former counties of Middlesexmarker and Essex.

Hackney Town Hall is about north-east of Charing Crossmarker; and from the GLA City Hallmarker near Tower Bridgemarker.

Districts and postcodes

The most southerly district in the borough is Shoreditchmarker, adjacent to the City. To the north-west, bordering Islington, the City, and north of Old Streetmarker is Hoxtonmarker. To the north of Shoreditch is Haggerstonmarker, north of Hackney Road — which forms the boundary with Bethnal Greenmarker in Tower Hamlets.

Settlements to the west of the borough followed the line of the former Ermine Streetmarker, with De Beauvoir Townmarker — a Victorian estate to the west of the (now) Kingsland Roadmarker. Further north, lie Dalstonmarker, Stoke Newingtonmarker and Stamford Hillmarker — where the borough meets Haringey.

A further group of settlements follow another north-south radial road, with South Hackneymarker to the east of Cambridge Heath Road — north of Victoria Parkmarker; and Hackney Centralmarker commencing where this street becomes Mare Street. London Fieldsmarker was common land to the west of this point, but now forms a district in its own right. To the north, Homertonmarker lies immediately east of the centre of Hackney. The borough boundary, further east is formed by the River Lee; and Hackney Wickmarker, the Hackney Marshesmarker, Lowermarker and Upper Claptonmarker all lie on the eastern boundary of the borough.

Postal districts were assigned to the former parts of the borough in 1857/8. Most of the borough would originally have been covered by a planned 'NE' postal district, but this was abolished in 1866. Most of the borough is covered by the eastern postal districtmarker, but Shoreditch benefits from five separate postcodes; and areas to the west of Kingsland Road and in the north of the borough are predominantly covered by the northern postal districtmarker.


The London Borough of Hackney covers an area of . Its primary geographic feature is the course of the River Lee; and the associated River Lee Navigationmarker, which passes through Hackney Cutmarker — an artificial channel of the Lee built in 1770 across the Hackney Marshesmarker to straighten a meander of the natural river. A tributary of the Lee, Hackney Brookmarker was fully culverted in 1860 by the Metropolitan Board of Works.

The New Rivermarker passes through the Borough from near Finsbury Parkmarker, and flows towards Islington. The Regents Canal also crosses the Borough below De Beauvoir Town in the west, joining the Hertford Union Canal below Victoria Park.

Within the Borough, the land rises westward from the Lee reaching above sea level at Clapton Common and Stamford Hillmarker. The area around Victoria Park, in the south of the borough lies about above sea level. At Spring Hill, in Upper Claptonmarker the road descends sharply from to only at High Hill Ferry, on the Lee Navigation.


The Lea and Hackney Marsh are underlain by alluvium soils; and the higher ground between Homerton and Stamford Hill is formed on a widening bed of London Clay. Brickearth deposits are within tongues of clay extending beneath Clapton Common, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington High Street. The centre and south western districts lie on river terrace deposits of Taplow Gravel. Victoria Park and Well Street Common are on flood plain gravel.


This data was taken between 1971 and 2000 at the nearest national weather station in Greenwichmarker; around south of Hackney Town hall:


In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 14,609. This rose steadily throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; reaching 95,000 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased — reaching nearly 374,000 by the turn of the century. This increase in population peaked before World War I, falling slowly in the aftermath until World War II began an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London (1944). The population is now rising again, and the 2001 census gives Hackney a population of 202,824.Statistics for ethnicity[14048], country of birth[14049], and religion[14050] are from the UK census.

The population is ethnically diverse. Of the resident population, 89,490 (44%) people describe themselves as White British. 30,978 (15%) are in other White ethnic groups, 53,009 (25%) are Black or Black British, 20,000 (9.4%) are Asian or Asian British, 8,501 (4%) describe themselves as 'Mixed', and 6,432 (3%) as Chinese or Other.

There is also a large Turkish population in Hackney, many of whom are Turkish Cypriot. Turkish-speaking communities are located in all parts of the Borough, though there is a greater concentration in the north and in central Hackney. Stoke Newingtonmarker, Newington Greenmarker and Dalstonmarker have the greatest concentration of population and in particular Green Lanesmarker, running from Manor Housemarker down to Newington Green Roundabout, has a high concentration of businesses and shops.

132,931 (66%) of the resident population were born in the UK. A further 10,095 (5%) were born in other parts of Europe, and the remaining 59,798 (29%) born elsewhere in the world.

The 2001 census also shows Christianity is the biggest religion in Hackney, with (44%) Christian; (18%) Muslim; (4%) Jewish; and (3%) belong to other religions. A further (19%) stated no religion, and (12%) did not state a religion.

32% of householders are owner–occupiers.


In 2002, the borough entered into a ten year contract withthe Learning Trust, an independent collaborative body that organises education for Hackney's 27,000 pupils in over 70 schools, nurseries and play centres. The trust was set up in response to an OFSTED report that identified failings in the then existing system. Two of London's most successful City Academies are in Hackney with another two in development and plans to rebuild or renovate every other Hackney school by 2016.


Hackney is currently poorly served by London Underground services. Only one station, Manor Housemarker is located in the Borough, on its extreme north-westen fringe on the boundary with Haringeymarker. Old Streetmarker sits only a few yards south-west of the Borough in Islingtonmarker.

Transport for London is extending the East London Line northwards through the borough, reusing some of the abandoned line between Dalston Junctionmarker and Broad Streetmarker, with stations planned at Shoreditch High Streetmarker, Hoxtonmarker, Haggerstonmarker and Dalston Junctionmarker. When complete, in June 2010, the line will be handed over to London Overground, who will run services from Hackney to South London. Crossrail 2 would provide a direct Underground line to serve Hackney, Dalston and Homerton although it is currently undecided whether this would be operated by London Underground or as a main line.

The North London Line is operated by TfL, as a part of the London Overground. The Lea Valley Lines also pass through Hackney:

London Overground

North London Line Travelling west to east — nearest London Overground stations are Dalston Kingslandmarker, Hackney Centralmarker, Homertonmarker and Hackney Wickmarker

East London Line (opening June 2010) Travelling north to south — nearest London Overground stations are Dalston Junctionmarker, Haggerstonmarker, Hoxtonmarker and Shoreditch High Streetmarker

Lea Valley Lines

Hackney stations (north to south)

Notable associated people

Notable attractions and institutions

Twinned towns

The London Borough of Hackney has formal twinning arrangements with:–
Flag Country Town Region
Barbadosmarker Bridgetownmarker Caribbeanmarker
Francemarker Suresnes Western Parismarker
Germanymarker Göttingenmarker Lower Saxonymarker
Grenadamarker St George'smarker Caribbeanmarker
Israelmarker Haifamarker Northern Israelmarker
Russiamarker Presnensky District Moscow suburbmarker
The borough also has informal links with South Africa, Turkeymarker, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesmarker. The Homerton University Hospitalmarker has its own twinning arrangements with the Rambam Medical Centre (Haifa, Israel) and St George’s Hospital (Grenada). Schools are encouraged to pursue links with specific schools abroad – such as the arrangement between Our Lady'smarker and a school in Hangzhoumarker, South West China.
An informal twinning with the township of Alexandramarker, South Africa.


  1. Map 5A.1 - London's sub-regions The London Plan (Greater London Authority, 2008) accessed 13 November 2009
  2. Office of Public Sector Information - London Government Act 1963 (c.33) (as amended) accessed 13 November 2009
  3. City's councils get top ratings (BBC News) 7 February accessed 8 Feb 2008
  4. Corporate Assessment Report: London Borough of Hackney (The Audit Commission August 2006) accessed 4 Dec 2007
  5. Hackney Today 157 23 April 2007 accessed 6 June 2007
  6. Details extracted from a council information sheet — May 2007
  7. Roman Landscape (Brickfields Building Exploratory) accessed 10 May 2007
  8. Visiting Hackney accessed 10 May 2007
  9. Location, Location: Best and Worse Hackney One Year On (Channek 4 TV) accessed 7 Nov 2007
  10. Hackney wins best bike borough (LBH Press release, 6 April 2006) accessed 7 Nov 2007
  11. Parks department (LB Hackney) accessed 7 Nov 2007
  12. Hackney Today 188 21 July 2008
  13. The Speaker of Hackney Council accessed 13 May 2009
  14. Mayor and Council Elections 2006 accessed 10 May 2007
  15. Hackney: Introduction, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 1-4. Date accessed: 13 June 2009
  16. A Vision of Britain through time accessed 20 February 2009
  17. Learning Trust history accessed 5 May 2007
  18. Twinning (LB Hackney) Accessed 2008-09-19

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