Barging through Islington
200 years of the Regent’s Canal
Dates: Monday 29 July – 26 September 2020
Islington Museum celebrates two centuries of the Regent’s Canal (1820-2020)
'Barging Through Islington: 200 Years of the Regent's Canal' is the new digital exhibition from Islington Museum celebrating the bicentenary of the canal’s opening on 1 August 1820.
Once providing an essential transport route for industry, many Islington businesses relied on the Regent's Canal for the supply of materials for one and a half centuries. Since the 1970's, the canal has transcended its industrial purpose and become a place of leisure and enjoyment. Barging Through Islington highlights the key developments on and around Regent’s Canal over its two-century history.
Islington is no stranger to water, both natural and man-made. For centuries, the River Fleet flowed south through Clerkenwell towards the Thames and the area’s springs have provided drinking water and entertainment; Sadler’s Wells (1683) continues to be living example. The stunning 17th-century engineering feat that is the New River brought fresh drinking water to the City of London from Hertfordshire, via Islington, and still supplies London with much of its water. However, 200 hundred-years-ago a new water feature appeared, the Regent’s Canal, which wound its way from Paddington to the Thames at Limehouse, and through Islington between King’s Cross and Shoreditch.
In 'Barging Through Islington: 200 Years of the Regent's Canal', discover how the canal was built, how the ice industry the canal supported brought ice cream to the masses in London, and how the glitz and glamour of Hollywood arrived by the canal. Compare key points of the Regent’s Canal through historic photographs and take part in an interactive tour and quiz.
Produced in conjunction with Regent’s Canal Heritage.
The full exhibition will be rescheduled for presentation at Islington Museum in 2021.