It has often been said that London is not so much a large city as a vast coagulation of small villages. Fierce regional loyalties centre on the district’s soccer club or local pub. Many of London’s Underground stations, and therefore the area in general, are named after the ancient village inn that once, and sometimes still does, stand there.
Such an area is The Angel in Islington, North London. The Angel was a 17th century coaching inn, which stood at the important crossroads of City Road and Islington High Street. This was the London end of the Great Road north to Scotland. Tom Paine, author of The Rights of Man, is said to have lodged here and “The Angel Inn” is featured in Charles Dickens’ OliverTwist.
Although The Angel Inn no longer stands, local pubs of note include The Old Queen’s Head, which dates from Elizabethan times. The original Elizabethan chimneypiece has been preserved and can be seen in the bar today.