A local Islington landmark has won £125,000 Heritage Lottery money, bringing it a step closer to opening as a visitor attraction. The Caledonian Park Clock Tower is a Grade II*-listed structure, built over 150 years ago as the centrepiece of a vast cattle market. It has stood mostly empty for 75 years, but plans are afoot to renovate and eventually open it as a visitor centre, telling the history of the area.
The Metropolitan Cattle Market opened in 1855 in Holloway, then on the very fringes of London. The site replaced the ancient Smithfield Cattle Market, whose central location caused frequent problems, with drovers and animals clogging the streets. The seven-storey tower presided over the market until it closed after World War II. The area was later transformed into the Market Estate and Caledonian Park. As well as the tower, three of the four pubs from the corner sites of the market are still standing, with listed status.
The Heritage Lottery funds will now be used to draw up a detailed proposal to renovate the tower and surrounding park. Councillor Rakhia Ismail said, "Residents, enthusiasts and fellow councillors have shared a wish to do this for a very long time – so, I’m absolutely delighted the Cally Clock Tower will take its rightful place in London’s rediscovered history and heritage."
Islington Tribune has more background and history of the site.