Nag's Head, Holloway

Category: Markets

Nag’s Head, Holloway is a locality in North London, in the Borough of Islington. It is the centremost of the three Holloway districts of Islington.

It was originally named after the Nag’s Head public house in the Holloway Road (the A1). The pub changed names (despite stiff local resistance) when it was bought by a pub chain, O’Neills, and closed permanently in early 2004. It is currently being used as a furniture shop. The name remains attached to the Nag’s Head market (behind Holloway Road on the northwest corner of Hertslet Road) and the Nag’s Head Shopping Centre.

The area, like so much of the rest of North London, experienced rapid growth around the very early 1900s and quickly became an important local shopping centre. This was aided by the importance of the road junction here – the area was an important hub for trolleybus services up until their withdrawal in the 1950s.

The London and North Eastern Railway opened a station here, which had a significant impact on the residential and commercial development of the area in the latter part of the 19th century. The station, now closed, was at the same spot as the current Holloway Road tube station, on the Piccadilly Line.

Holloway Road has seen some of its older stores close in recent years. Jones Brothers Department store closed in the 1980s. James Selby remains open for business, and there are branches of Waitrose, Boots and Marks and Spencer.

The Odeon cinema on the junction of Tufnell Park Road and Holloway Road was built in the late 1930s as a Gaumont but was severely damaged by a doodlebug during the Second World War. It has recently undergone extensive refurbishment but retains its impressive foyer and staircase. The original, 3,000 seat theatre has, however, been divided into a number of smaller cinemas.


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