Property to let in Hackney

The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough in North-East London, and forms part of inner London.

The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough in North-East London, and forms part of inner London. To rent flats, houses or apartments in Hackney, please contact Black Katz - City office.

Borough of contrasts

Between 1999 and 2001 serious concerns were expressed about Hackney's performance as a council by the Audit Commission, and many aspects of council services were failing. This led to considerable negative press coverage that still colours perceptions of the area, but is at odds with the changing realities of the borough. In 2005, MORI identified that residents were significantly more satisfied than they had been in 2002, and in 2007 the Audit Commission showed that improvements continue to be made in council performance, with the council now achieving 'three stars', and described as 'improving strongly'.

While every ward remains among the 10% most deprived in the country, with 47% of children living in low income households, the ethnic diversity of the area creates a vibrant inner city area of London. Hackney has a reputation as one of the most crime-affected London boroughs, but cooperation between local police and council has resulted in the borough experiencing a bigger drop in crime than in any other London borough in the four year period up to 2007 (28% reduction).

The south western tip of the borough is adjacent to the City and close to the Broadgate development. In this area some office development has taken place within the borough boundary. Also in the south west is Hoxton and Shoreditch which are central to the London arts scene and home to numerous clubs, bars, shops and restaurants, much of which is centred on Hoxton Square. The development of Shoreditch and Hoxton caused land value to increase in the area such that developers looked to other parts of the borough for development. Much of Hackney is inner-city in character and in places like Dalston large housing estates now sit side-by-side with gated communities.

The historical and administrative heart of Hackney is the area roughly surrounding and extending north from Mare Street known as Hackney Central. Hackney Town Hall Square has been developed as a new 'creative quarter'. Surrounding the public square itself is the Ocean music venue, a new Library, Technology and Learning Centre, Hackney Museum and the refurbished Hackney Empire. A new town hall complex is being built behind the existing building. South Hackney abuts Victoria Park (which is in neighbouring Tower Hamlets) and terraced Victorian and Edwardian housing stock has survived in the area.

To the north of the borough is Clapton, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington. To the east is the large open space of the Hackney Marshes and the districts of Hackney Wick and Homerton. There is some declining light industry around the River Lea (the eastern boundary) and land is planned to be re-used for the 2012 Summer Olympics, making the area one of the Host Boroughs for the games.

There are 1,300 listed buildings in Hackney, including the iconic grade II* Hackney Empire, Tudor Sutton House, and the grade I medieval St Augustine's tower. The Borough contains 25 conservation areas including Clapton Square, and many urban open-spaces including Clapton Common and Clissold Park. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and Victorian housing, and areas of industrial heritage.


The borough was formed in 1965 from the area of the former metropolitan boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. The new council adopted elements of its constituents in the new coat of arms; Shoreditch by three bells from Shoreditch Church (recalled in the rhyme Oranges and Lemons), Stoke Newington by two trees bearing fruit, and Hackney by the eight pointed cross of the principal landowners of the parish in the middle-ages, the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The shield is surmounted by a representation of St Augustin's Tower, the remains of Hackney's former parish church in the historical centre of Hackney. The motto is Justitia turris nostra, translated as Being fair is what makes us strong. The Queen's portrait hangs in the council chamber, wearing the robes of the Venerable Order of Saint John.

Individual parts of the borough have a rich history. The Roman road, Ermine Street forms the western edge of the borough. Much of the rest of the land was covered with open oak and hazel woodlands, with marshland around the rivers and streams that crossed the area. Hackney lay in the Catevallauni tribal territory. The eastern boundary of the borough is formed by the River Lee. This was an ancient boundary between pre-Roman tribes, and in the Roman era, was tidal as far as Hackney Wick and continued as the boundary between the historic counties of Middlesex and Essex.

In the Tudor period the lands of the religious order were seized and Hackney became a retreat for nobility around Hackney Central and Homerton, including Henry VIII's palace by the Lee Bridge roundabout, where Brooke House School stands today. Sutton House, on Homerton High Street, is the oldest surviving dwelling in Hackney, originally built as Bryck Place for Tudor diplomat Sir Ralph Sadleir in 1535. The village of Hackney flourished from the Tudor to late Georgian periods as a rural retreat brought to an end by the construction of the railway in the 1850s. Notable residents have included Thomas Sutton, Samuel Courtauld, Joseph Priestly, a governor of the Bank of England and the founding director of the Honourable East India Company.

London's first Tudor theatres were built in Shoreditch and the Gunpowder Plot was first exposed at nearby Hoxton. Many grand houses stood in Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill, with the latter providing a haven for Hackney's many orthodox Jewish residents from the 1930s. Alfred Hitchcock made many of his first films in Hoxton at the Gainsborough Studios in Poole street.

After industrialisation, extensive post-war development and immigration the area is now gentrifying its large stock of Georgian and Victorian terraces and new apartments, warehouse conversions and period restorations are being built. Despite development it is inner London's 'greenest borough' and London Transport's 'best bike borough 2006', with 62 parks and open spaces, covering 815 acres (3.3km2). Seven Hackney parks have now achieved Green Flag status. Hackney Marshes play host to the largest collection of football pitches in Europe; and will be the site of part of the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Unlike most other English local authorities, the Borough is now governed by a directly-elected Mayor who is also the political leader of the council. The Mayor currently Jules Pipe CBE is supported by a Cabinet, Councillors and a Speaker, currently Councillor Ian Rathbone, who fulfils the civic and ceremonial duties previously undertaken by the (non-political) mayor.

At the Hackney Council election on 4 May 2006 the Labour Party were returned with 44 councillors, winning one seat and losing one. The Conservative Party forms the largest opposition party on the council with nine councillors, the Liberal Democrats have three, and for only the second time a candidate from the Green Party was elected.

Demographics of Hackney

Stamford Hill has a large Haredim (Orthodox Jewish) population.The 2001 census gives Hackney a population of 202,824.

The population is ethnically diverse. Of the resident population, 89,490 (44%) people describe themselves as White British. 30,978 (15%) are in other White ethnic groups, 50,009 (25%) are Black or Black British, 17,414 (9%) are Asian or Asian British, 8,501 (4%) describe themselves as 'Mixed', and 6,432 (3%) as Chinese or Other.

There is also a large Turkish population in Hackney, mainly whom are Turkish Cypriot. Turkish-speaking communities are located in all parts of the Borough, though there is a greater concentration in North and Central parts of the Borough. Stoke Newington, Newington Green and Dalston have the greatest concentration of population and in particular Green Lanes, running from Manor House down to Newington Green Roundabout, has a high concentration of businesses and shops.

132,931 (66%) of the resident population were born in the UK. A further 10,095 (5%) were born in other parts of Europe, and the remaining 59,798 (29%) born elsewhere in the world.

The 2001 census also shows Christianity is the biggest religion in Hackney, with (44%) Christian; (18%) Muslim; (4%) Jewish; and (3%) belong to other religions. A further (19%) stated no religion, and (12%) did not state a religion.

32% of householders are owner–occupiers.


In 2002, the borough entered into a ten year contract with the Learning Trust, an independent collaborative body that organises education for Hackney's 27,000 pupils in over 70 schools, nurseries and play centres. The trust was set up in response to an OFSTED report that identified failings in the then existing system. Two of London's most successful City Academies are in Hackney with another two in development and plans to rebuild or renovate every other Hackney school by 2016.


Hackney is currently poorly served by London Underground services. Only one station, Manor House is located in the Borough, on its extreme north-westen fringe on the boundary with Haringey. Old Street sits only a few yards south-west of the Borough in Islington.

Transport for London is extending the East London Line northwards through the borough, reusing some of the abandoned line between Dalston Junction and Broad Street, with stations planned at Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton, Haggerston and Dalston Junction. When complete, in June 2010, the line will be handed over to London Overground, who will run services from Hackney to South London. Crossrail 2 would provide a direct Underground line to serve Hackney, Dalston and Homerton although it is now undecided whether this would be operated by the London Underground or as a main line.

The North London Line is operated by TfL, as a part of the London Overground. The Lea Valley Lines also passes through Hackney:

London Overground

North London Line Travelling west to east - London Overground stations are:

  • Dalston Kingsland
  • Hackney Central
  • Homerton
  • Hackney Wick

East London Line (opening June 2010) Travelling north to south - London Overground stations are:

  • Dalston Junction
  • Haggerston
  • Hoxton
  • Shoreditch High Street

Lea Valley Lines

Hackney stations (north to south)

  • Stamford Hill railway station
  • Stoke Newington railway station
  • Rectory Road railway station
  • Clapton railway station
  • Hackney Downs railway station
  • London Fields railway station

Districts and postcodes

The following is a list of places located within the London Borough of Hackney

  • Dalston
  • De Beauvoir Town
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hackney Central
  • Hackney Downs
  • Hackney Marshes
  • Hackney Wick
  • Haggerston
  • Homerton
  • Hoxton
  • Kingsland
  • Lea Bridge
  • London Fields
  • Lower Clapton
  • Manor House
  • Newington Green
  • Shacklewell
  • Shoreditch
  • South Hackney
  • Stamford Hill
  • Stoke Newington
  • Upper Clapton

To find property to rent in all these areas, and across London, please contact Black Katz.

Postcode districts

Postcode districts include EC1, EC2, E1, E2, E5, E8, E9, E10, N1, N4, N15, N16.

Notable residents

Academia and research

  • The Reverend George Collison, first President of Hackney Academy.
  • William Godwin, political philosopher studied at Hoxton.
  • Philip Henry Gosse, naturalist lived in De Beauvoir Town
  • Edmond Halley, astronomer was born in Haggerston.
  • George Loddiges, horticulturalist and scientist lived in Hackney.
  • Richard Price, philosopher, mathematician, and first actuary lived in Hackney.
  • Leonard Woolley, archaeologist and discoverer of Ur.

Arts and entertainment

  • Freema Agyeman, actress, born and raised on the Woodberry Down estate.
  • Jeremy Beadle, television presenter.
  • Steven Berkoff, playwright and actor, was educated at Hackney Downs School.
  • Marc Bolan, musician was born at Homerton, and raised at Stoke Newington Common.
  • Richard 'Abs' Breen, singer and member of pop band Five was born in Hackney.
  • Michael Caine, actor educated at Hackney Downs School.
  • Martin John Callanan, artist.
  • Phil Collen, guitarist with Def Leppard.
  • Pete Doherty, musician.
  • Idris Elba, actor in television, theatre and film, and a hip-hop soul musician.
  • Noel Fielding, comedian, as Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh.
  • Colin Firth, actor, lived at Sutton Place, Homerton.
  • Errol Francis, Ivor Novello Award & BAFTA Award winning Producer/DJ known as Dextrous was born in Stoke Newington.
  • Carol Harrison, actress best known for Louise Raymond in EastEnders lives at Victoria Park, South Hackney.
  • Alfred Hitchcock film director, began his career at the Gainsborough Studios in Shoreditch.
  • Hetty King, male impersonator of the music hall era, was born in Shoreditch.
  • Leona Lewis, singer, songwriter, and first female winner of The X Factor lived in Stamford Hill.
  • Marie Lloyd, entertainer was born in Hoxton and lived her later life in Hackney. Peter Lowe, artist was born at Victoria Park, South Hackney.
  • Nicko McBrain drummer for Iron Maiden.
  • Martine McCutcheon, actress and singer.
  • Tom McRae, singer and songwriter lived in Dalston and Hackney.
  • Syrie Maugham, interior decorator.
  • Bill Meyer (artist), printmaker and artist.
  • Anthony Newley, actor and singer was born in Homerton.
  • Mike Reid, actor and comedian.
  • Helen Shapiro, singer was educated at Clapton Park Girls School.
  • Adrian Smith, guitarist with Iron Maiden.
  • Jessica Tandy, actress, born in Clapton.
  • Douglas Trendle, singer with Bad Manners known as Buster Bloodvessel lived at Stamford Hill.
  • John Simon Ritchie, musician and singer with the Sex Pistols better known as Sid Vicious.
  • Rachel Whiteread, artist lives and works in Dalston.
  • Barbara Windsor, actress was born in Shoreditch and lived in Stoke Newington.
  • Ray Winstone, actor born in Homerton.


Business and finance

  • Sir John Harvey Jones, businessman and television presenter.
  • Moses Montefiore, financier and philanthropist was raised in Stamford Hill.
  • Nathan Meyer Rothschild, financier lived in Stamford Hill.
  • Sir Alan Sugar, businessman and celebrity.


  • Ronald and Reginald Kray, crime gang leaders both born in Hoxton.
  • Dick Turpin, highwayman, plied his trade on Kingsland Road and in Stoke Newington.

Engineering and technology

  • Sir Francis Beaufort, hydrographer, is buried in Saint John's Church Gardens.
  • Joseph Priestley, chemist and philosopher lived in Lower Clapton and preached at the Gravel Pit Meeting, in Homerton.

Journalism and the media

  • Benjamin Cohen, internet entrepreneur and journalist.
  • Mel Calman, cartoonist and writer, born in Stamford Hill.


  • Grace Aguilar, writer.
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld, poet, lived in Stoke Newington and buried in Saint Mary's Church.
  • Alexander Baron was born and raised in Hackney and set his novel 'The Lowlife' in the area.
  • Daniel Defoe, writer and spy was born in Stoke Newington.
  • Siobhan Dowd, author lived at Haggerston.
  • Sir Edmund Gosse, poet, author and critic lived in De Beauvoir Town.
  • Kate Greenaway
  • William Hazlitt, writer studied at Homerton.
  • Mary Howitt, poet and translator, lived for a while next to Clapton Pond.
  • Harold Pinter, playwright and Nobel Prize winner was educated at Hackney Downs School.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, writer educated in Stoke Newington.
  • Michael Rosen, Children's Laureate 2007-2009, lives in Dalston.
  • Iain Sinclair, writer lives in Haggerston.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, reformer and writer, mother of Mary Shelley was born and raised in Hoxton.


  • Edith Cavell, nurse executed in Belgium in 1915 worked at Saint Leonard's Hospital.
  • James Parkinson, physician and researcher famous for identifying Parkinson's Disease lived in Hoxton.

Politics and government

  • Henry Allingham, World War I veteran and supercentenarian.
  • Major John André, soldier, executed as a spy by George Washington lived with his Huguenot family at Clapton.
  • Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, lived at London Fields in the early 1980s.[citation needed]
  • Harry Cohen, Labour Member of Parliament was born in Hackney.
  • William Randal Cremer Liberal MP for Haggerston, pacifist and winner of the 1903 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • John Howard, prison reformer was born and raised in Lower Clapton.
  • John Hunter, governor of New South Wales lived and is buried in Hackney.
  • Samuel Morley (MP), philanthropist and abolitionist was born in Homerton and lived in Stamford Hill.
  • Colonel John Okey, regicide of Charles I lived in Hackney.


  • William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army and is buried in Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington.
  • Isaac Watts, theologian, logician, and hymn writer lived and died at Stoke Newington.


  • Eric Bristow, darts champion.
  • Ron 'Chopper' Harris, footballer for Chelsea F.C. raised in Hackney.
  • Shaka Hislop, goalkeeper for West Ham United and Trinidad and Tobago was born in Hackney.
  • Anne Keothavong, tennis player lives in Hackney.
  • Kevin Lisbie, football player for Charlton Athletic was born in Hackney

If you would like to rent houses, rent flats, or rent apartments in Hackney or across London, contact Black Katz, London's largest lettings only agency. If you are a landlord wishing to rent out your property please contact Black Katz.

Cultural attractions and institutions

  • Arcola Theatre (Theatre performance)
  • Cell Project Space (Studio rental and gallery)
  • Chat's Palace Arts Centre (Community based arts and performance)
  • The Centre of Attention
  • The Circus Space (International circus school and performance space)
  • Clowns' Gallery, Museum and Archive
  • Dalston Culture House (which includes the Vortex Jazz Club)
  • Flowers East (Commercial gallery)
  • The Geffrye Museum (Domestic rooms through the ages, presented in an 18th century Alms House)
  • The Hackney Empire
  • The Hackney Museum (Local history museum)
  • Hackney Archives (Local archives - booking essential)
  • The Hackney Society Hoxton Hall (Community centre & performance space in Victorian Music Hall)
  • INIVA (The Institute for New International Visual Arts)
  • The Lux Cinema (Cinema closed, collection moved to Shacklewell Lane)
  • The Rio Cinema Space Studios (studio space for artists, and exhibitions)
  • Sutton House (Heritage house and museum owned by the National Trust)
  • The Reservoirs Nature Society (TeRNS)
  • Transition Gallery (Commercial gallery)
  • Miro (Commercial gallery)
  • The White Cube (Commercial gallery)


Hackney is twinned with:–

  • The city of Bridgetown, Barbados;
  • The commune of Suresnes, France;
  • Göttingen, Germany;
  • The city of Haifa, Israel;
  • Krasnopresnenskaya, Russia;
  • An informal twinning with the township of Alexandra, South Africa.