Upper Clapton

Upper Clapton, Hackney

The northern part of Clapton is nowadays dominated by municipal and social housing and has a markedly transient population

geograph-5052750-by-Des-Blenkinsopp - Shop Terrace, Upper Clapton Road

Mano­r­i­al courts began to divide Clap­ton into upper and low­er halves around 1800 and the ter­mi­nol­o­gy soon entered pop­u­lar par­lance; Upper Clap­ton Road was for­mer­ly Hack­ney Lane and Clap­ton Com­mon was Broad Com­mon. From the late 18th cen­tu­ry labour­ers’ cot­tages began to clus­ter along the south­ern end of Upper Clap­ton Road and on Kate’s Lane (now North­wold Road). Grander prop­er­ties were erect­ed in the direc­tion of Stam­ford Hill, most­ly detached but with a few high class ter­races.

In the lat­ter half of the 19th cen­tu­ry con­struc­tion spread beyond the main thor­ough­fares into a net­work of new­ly cre­at­ed streets that joined up with Stoke New­ing­ton and Shack­lewell to the west. Towards the Riv­er Lea the grounds of three large hous­es were saved by the cre­ation of Spring­field Park in 1905. By this time Upper Clap­ton had its own shops, schools, pubs and places of wor­ship. A few hous­es were con­vert­ed for use as cloth­ing work­shops after the First World War.

From the ear­ly 1930s met­ro­pol­i­tan and local author­i­ties seized on Upper Clap­ton as a suit­able set­ting for large-scale hous­ing projects.

Some of the schemes utilised sur­viv­ing open ground and some replaced slum hous­ing but oth­ers were built at the expense of sound Geor­gian vil­las and ter­races. Hack­ney coun­cil added sys­tem-built tow­ers in the 1960s and 70s before switch­ing to low-rise blocks in its last phase of munic­i­pal con­struc­tion. There has been rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle fresh build­ing since this time.

With its con­cen­trat­ed stock of social hous­ing, Upper Clap­ton is a deprived area and the tran­sient pop­u­la­tion includes a num­ber of refugee fam­i­lies. The largest eth­nic minor­i­ty is of black Caribbean her­itage.

Postal district: E5
Blog: Clapton Pond – A Very Local East London Diary
* The picture of the Upper Clapton Road at the top of this page is modified from an original photograph, copyright Des Blenkinsopp, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.