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Bunhill

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Islington

Bunhill is an electoral ward taking its name from a graveyard at the southern end of City Road. Bunhill Fields, which is a corruption of Bone Hill Fields, had been associated with interments since Saxon times and became a Quaker burial ground in 1665, the year of the plague. It was popular with Dissenters of various denominations because the ground was unconsecrated. By the 1800s the graveyard had seen 12,000 burials and had become so overcrowded as to constitute a health hazard, although it was not actually closed until 1863. The Corporation of London subsequently took over its maintenance and part of it was laid out as a garden in 1960. John Bunyan, William Blake and Daniel Defoe are buried here, but their memorials do not mark the precise sites of the graves as there has been so much disarrangement.

John Milton lived in Artillery Row, now Bunhill Row, from 1663 to 1674. Here he completed Paradise Lost and wrote its sequel Paradise Regained and the poetic drama Samson Agonistes.

Fewer than a fifth of the homes in Bunhill ward are owner-occupied, with the majority of residents renting from Islington council or a housing association. Two-thirds of households have no access to a car.

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John Bunyan's memorial in Bunhill Fields

Postal district: EC1
Population: 10,055
Further reading: Susan Black, Bunhill Fields: The Great Dissenters’ Burial Ground, Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1990

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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