Mare Street is a street in Hackney. It has existed since the 15th century, when it was one of the first roads at the centre of the parish. It was then known as Merestret. The word mere was either the Old English mǣre meaning a boundary — referring to the boundary with the parish of Stepney — or mere, a large pond which was fed by Hackney Brook.
Mare Street runs north-south through the centre of Hackney. It starts at the junction of Dalston Lane with the Lower Clapton Road and runs south to the Regent's Canal. The northernmost section is a largely traffic-free shopping street, known as The Narroway.
South of the North London Line at Hackney Central railway station, Mare Street follows the A107 to the canal, where it becomes the Cambridge Heath Road.
Mare Street was established by 1593 when the Flying Horse Inn was a staging post for travellers. By 1720, it was the most populous part of Hackney.
In the 18th century, St Thomas’ Hospital was developed on Mare Street, followed by a Congregational chapel. The Great Eastern Railway came to Mare Street in 1872, bringing more residential development, as well as institutions including Morley Hall, later the Electric Cinema, Lady Eleanor Holles School (on the site later used by Cordwainers College) and St Joseph’s hospice.
Next to the Hackney Empire is Hackney Town Hall, a stone-faced 1930s art deco building, set back from Mare Street with a landscaped forecourt.
A drinking trough provided by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association.
- John Wittich (1996), Discovering London Street Names, p. 80, ISBN 0747803099,
Mare Street, E8 A large pond fed by the Hackney Brook caused constant trouble to coaches and their passengers in the eighteenth century. Because of its low-lying nature the area around Mare Street was a marsh and the street is called Mere (marsh) Street on early maps.
- Why Mare Street? A Short Index of Street Names, Hackney Public Libraries, 1967
- David Mander (1989), The London Borough of Hackney in old photographs before 1914, p. 23, ISBN 9780862996772,
The name Mare Street is derived from the Middle English Meare, meaning a boundary and referring to the original settlement...
- T.F.T. Baker (Editor) (1995). "Hackney: Mare Street and London Fields". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney. Institute of Historical Research.
- "Morley Hall". Cinema Treasures.
- T.F.T. Baker (Editor) (1995). "Hackney: Education". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney. Institute of Historical Research.
- "Plaque: Mary Wollstonecraft - E8". Londonremembers.com.
- "History and heritage". London Borough of Hackney.
- "History of the Hackney Empire". Hackney Empire.
- "UAL - London College of Fashion". University of the Arts.
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