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New Exhibitions

All of our exhibitions are free. Exhibitions at Islington Museum and Local History Centre are listed below.

Our events and children's events are listed separately and the Islington events diary also provides details of all council events.  

Beastly Islington - animals in the borough since the 17th century

Friday 20 June – Tuesday 30 September 2014

Venue: Islington Museum
Admission: Free

Islington Museum is hosting an exhibition exploring the experiences of animals in the borough from the 17th century to the present day. 'Beastly Islington' combines artefacts, first-hand accounts and images to bring to life the smells and sounds of an area of north London, where circuses came to town and animal baiting was rife.

Islington has always attracted crowds for leisure pursuits with its theatres, exhibitions and sporting events. Animal performances at Sadler’s Wells Theatre were once a highlight, while bloodthirsty entertainment could be found nearby at the infamous bull and bear baiting venue 'Hockley in the Hole' in Clerkenwell.

The fate of animals on their way to Smithfield and Metropolitan Cattle markets will be explored, as well as the varied livestock enterprises in the area.  

The fascinating papers of the Islington Literary and Scientific Society will highlight the importance of animals in scientific discovery and learning.

A collection of unusual and unique items will be on display ranging from prizes for Crufts dog show to colourful posters enticing audiences to the exotic animal shows at the Royal Agricultural Hall. One of the exhibits is a charming chimpanzee skeleton from the Horniman Museum collections.

A recurring theme is the exploitation of animals due to early religious principles, financial gain and ignorance of their needs. Campaigns and legislation for animal rights will also feature. 

Visit 'Beastly Islington' and city life will never seem the same again! 

A series of evening talks and family activities will accompany the exhibition.