Many people are puzzled why Highbury Corner has this name, when it is in fact a huge traffic circus with no sign of a corner. We can see from the earlier 1914 map that there was a Corner.
1914 Ordnance Survey map of Highbury Corner
The map shows Highbury and Islington Station before it was bombed
The reason for the change is easy to find. Railway junctions were prime targets during the Second World War and, as the lines were easy to see from the air, they were all attacked. The Bombing map shows widespread damage in nearby streets. Goldsmith Place , one of the cul-de-sacs off Compton Road , and the school itself; suffered blast damage. The end of St Paul 's Road was hit, but the greatest damage happened on the night of 27/28 June, 1944. A V2 rocket fell outside the Post Office, destroying the end of Compton Terrace and the Railway Station. 24 people were killed 116 seriously wounded. The station, was destroyed, leaving only a solitary pilaster which is still to be found in the wall out side the new booking Hall. The end houses in Compton Terrace were destroyed and nearby ones so badly damaged as to be beyond repair.
V2 rockets were almost random weapons, which could not be aimed at particular targets so, despite earlier attempts to destroy the station and disrupt traffic, it was probably just bad luck that this V2 struck just where it did.
The remaining end of Compton Terrace has been preserved and a plague erected on the end wall.
My earlier black and white photocopy of
1970 was long before either colour photocopies or the Internet were available. It shows the major bomb damage, but the different colours did not register on early photocopiers and much damage was not recorded.
The coloured version below shows the degree of damage to each building, from Total Destruction to Blast damage, minor in nature. The colours also show the centre of impact and the radiating circles of lesser damage around it.
Highbury Station and the end houses opposite were damaged beyond repair (Black, Purple and Dark Red) and the next ones were almost beyond any repair. Some buildings immediately to the north of Canonbury School were also beyond repair but the school itself survived.
There is no comparison between the information given by the Black and White photocopies I had to use earlier and the coloured ones.
The Bombing Map of Highbury Corner
Coloured map detail by kind permission of London Metropolitan Archive.
Post War Changes
During the Second World War the school building suffered only minor blast damage, but its surroundings suffered badly. After 1945 it was decided to demolish the bombed houses at the end of Compton Terrace and to convert Highbury Corner into a traffic circus. The trams still ran at that period, so the tracks were re-laid in the new pattern.
The immediate area around Canonbury School had suffered. The houses were old. The fashion for tower blocks led to the demolition of the small cul-de-sacs between the school and St Paul 's Road and the building of Dixon Clark Court .
The Enlarged School Perimeter