This is Tamworth House and it's all that's left of the troubled Market Estate in
If you were to ask some of the local old timers about the history of the area chances are they'd probably tell you that up until the 1960's it was the site of the Metropolitan Cattle Market, and that's why some of the estate buildings were named after farmyard animals, Tamworth (pigs), Kerry (cattle) and Southdown (sheep). They may even tell you that the clock tower to the east not only contains the original clock but that its workings were the prototype for the capitals most famous time-piece big ben. They could tell you all this but it still wouldn't get you any closer to finding out what the site was originally used for. To do that you'd need to go back to the 18th century.
Before the estate and before the cattle market, before computer games, before television and before any health and safety considerations this site was a pleasure garden.
In Georgian England as in many parts of
· Live music
· Light shows - this is pre-electricity so for light read open flame
· Fireworks - unregulated, possibly home-made, poor quality control, erratic trajectory
· Shooting galleries - real guns
· Balloon flights - large basket made out of twigs with open fire in it below many square feet of rapidly warming fabric
No, what really ended the popularity of the pleasure gardens was the increase in anti social behaviour they experienced over time. The same thing that eventually forced the borough of Islington to knock down the Market Estate and build anew over a century and a half after the