Hoxton was for many years an area that I probably would not have wanted to visit – well not unaccompanied at least. Now, however it is becoming increasingly fashionable and pleasant and gentrified, though there are still one or two estates that are a bit better not visited after dark…
My first photo is strictly speaking in Shoreditch (both Shoreditch and Hoxton are part of London Borough of Hackney) and one or two of the others are Shoreditch also.
There are a number of photos of the interior of St Monica’s RC Church in Hoxton Square which I have photographed before – a little over three years ago. I was surprised to discover that the chancel part of the church (the narrower part of the aisle surrounding the altar) was beautifully decorated – what I took to be new decorations. However, I learnt that the decorations were discovered when the Church underwent a major restoration programme earlier this year. They are by E W Pugin, the son of Augustus Welby Pugin – one of Victorian England’s most eminent church architects.
The parish priest at St Monica’s was at one time a Father Kelly (d. 1914) who established the nearby St Monica’s School and did much for the local poor. He became known as the Saint of the Slums and his obituary appeared in the New York Times and occupied a full page in the Daily Sketch.
For this I am indebted to the Westminster RC Diocese Newsletter.
Many of the photos are of Hoxton Street – where there is a market – but not on the day I was there. In the middle of the street is a quite amazing lovely community garden – which is really quite a haven away from the street itself.
As can be seen from the very trendy shoe shop that I have snapped in Hoxton Square, Hoxton is no longer much part of the slums…However, as with so many such areas if all the new housing is affordable only to the very well-off, we will end up removing all the working population of London and this will be a disaster. Only this week, I have been reading of two new swanky towers about to be built on the Colville Estate – just to the north and east of Hoxton Street.