Clerkenwell and Finsbury
Clerkenwell, EC1, is an area of central London within the London Borough of Islington. From the 1850s to the 1960s, the area was known as 'Little Italy' due to its extensive Italian population. Traditionally, an area of industry, EC1 is now a trendy place to live and work. Many lively bars and interesting restaurants can be found here now. Until around 1990, the district of Clerkenwell was the workplace of about 30,000 printers, with metalworkers and warehouses in between the printing premises. As the technology changed, the light industries that had flourished began to disappear. Loft-living began in this parish and since 1990, more than 1450 new homes have been created here, many carved out of old industrial buildings. This sudden increase in conversions was a result of Islington Council relaxing the usage conditions on redundant commercial space. Finsbury is home to Exmouth Market, the Sadler's Wells Theatre and City University.
Warehouses and spacious loft conversions are focused around the main roads, including St. John Street and Clerkenwell Road. These have been very popular with City workers. There are some handsome homes in Finsbury including Georgian, Regency and Victorian houses. A few mews properties exist and housing trust built flats, but much of the available spaces are conversions of offices, factories and warehouses into flats. The heart of Clerkenwell may be pricey, but East and North Finsbury may offer better value with traditional, but solid properties. Fine Georgian terraces can still be found between St. John Street and Farringdon Road, but as a whole the area is certainly less residential than either Canonbury or Barnsbury. Smaller flats and studios are rare, although there are still many new developments on the way, catering for those with less money to spend.
Wealthy young professionals and City types. The Clerkenwell and Smithfield areas are popular with media and design professionals. There is still an established Italian community in the Clerkenwell area.