"The Angel, Islington"
On the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road, North London, stands the Angel. Most people will know the Angel - the underground station that is - far fewer will know the pub and hotel it is named after. Let's not be confused with the Wetherspoon's Angel next door.
Today the Angel is a Co-Operative Bank but its story goes back to the 17th century and beyond; the 'Angel' is a very old name often given to medieval ecclesiastical inns. This imposing Victorian building was completed in 1903 for the Baker Brothers whose empire included some of London's most prestigious pubs.
"Angels in terracotta"
It was designed in a Flemish Baroque style by prolific pub architects Eedle and Meyers who topped this splendid pub-hotel with an extravagant cupola, a trademark feature of their best pubs. Highly polished Norwegian granite decorates the ground floor, above honey coloured terracotta decorates the upper floors. The detail is extraordinary; Corinthian pilasters, winged angels heads and carved relief friezes skirt the dome.
From 1921-1960 the Angel became a Lyons Corner House where coffee, tea and cakes replaced beer, spirits and pies. Many of London's well known termini took their name from pubs, for example the Elephant and Castle, Manor House and Swiss Cottage. Sadly many of the pubs have been demolished, their connection long forgotten.