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Clapton was from 1339 until the 18th century normally rendered as Clopton, meaning the "farm on the hill". The Old English clop - "lump" or "hill" - presumably denoted the high ground which rises from the River Lea. Clapton grew up as a straggling hamlet along the road subsequently known as Lower and Upper Clapton Road, and as the area became urbanised. The extent of the area called Clapton eventually increased to encompass most of the north-eastern quarter of the Ancient Parish and subsequent Metropolitan Borough of Hackney.

As described, the settlement emerged along the way which in 1745 was called Hackney Lane, part of which ran through Broad (later Clapton) Common. Building spread to meet streets east of the high road and north of Homerton in the 19th century. Manorial courts (the Manor of Lordship) from the early 19th century distinguished the parts north and south of Lea Bridge Road as Upper and Lower Clapton, and those names soon passed into general use. Hackney Lane came to be known as Lower and Upper Clapton roads, until in the late 19th century the stretch through the common to Stamford Hill was named Clapton Common.[2]

The local area was known in the 1990s and early 2000s for drug and gun related crimes, gaining it the nickname "Murder Mile".[3][4] As well as being featured in the film Bullet Boy, Clapton's reputation was highlighted in an episode of Channel 4's satirical TV show Brass Eye in 1997, which claimed that the petrol station was shoplifted every 30 minutes.[5]

The 2011 England riots affected Clapton, with Clarence Road being the epicentre of the rioting in the district. This was the site of Pauline Pearce's Heroine of Hackney speech.[6]

In 2018, parts of Clapton were flooded due to a burst water main on Waterworks Lane off the Lea Bridge Road, with flood water pouring into the River Lea.[7]


Amenities and landmarks
A view of Clapton Pond

Clapton Pond has existed since the 1600s and was re-landscaped for public use in the late 1800s, which largely survives today. In 2004 funds were raised by a neighbourhood action group to install modern improvements to this historic green. As a result of the restoration project, Clapton Pond has become a vibrant and well used community park.[8]

The Springfield Park was formed in 1905 from the grounds of three private houses, one of which still survives as a cafe,[9] and is today a local nature reserve.[10][11]

Clapton Square is a public garden square that is close to Hackney Central. It was laid out in 1816 in the fields of the-then manor of Hackney owned by the Tyssen family. It would be homes for senior merchants, officers and financial brokers as an upmarket residential square.[12] It is a Conservation Area which was designated in 1969 – extended in 1991 and again in 2000.[13]


BSix Sixth Form College is a sixth form college on a site near the Lea Bridge Roundabout.


  1. ^
  2. ^ 'Hackney: Clapton', A History of the County of Middlesex. 10. 1995. pp. 44–51. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  3. ^ Mendick, Robert; Johnson, Andrew (2002-01-06). "Eight men shot dead in two years. Welcome to Britain's Murder Mile". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  4. ^ Thompson, Tony (2001-04-22). "Two more die on 'murder mile'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  5. ^ "Decline", Brass Eye, 1997, Channel4
  6. ^ "Hackney 2011: the year that was". Hackney Citizen. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012. The Pembury Estate in Central Hackney was the epicentre of the pillaging and burning that raged down Clarence Road, Narroway and Mare Street [...]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Springfield Park,, accessed 1 September 2008
  10. ^ "Springfield Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Map of Springfield Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  12. ^ 'Hackney: Clapton', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10, Hackney, ed. T F T Baker (London, 1995), pp. 44-51. British History Online
  13. ^ "Clapton Square Conservation Area" The London Borough of Hackney

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