Freightliners Farm was founded in 1973 on wasteland behind Kings Cross station, in London. Originally the animals were housed in railway goods vans - hence the name. The Farm moved to this site in 1978, and new purpose built farm buildings were erected in 1988.
Islington’s tradition of close links with farming and animals.
The borough of Islington was once an area of major agricultural importance right up to the early part of the 20th century. It is mostly famously renowned for dairying and the largest livestock market in the country. The cattle sold at these markets were driven, over a number of months, from as far away as Scotland and Wales. During the Tudor period, Islington supplied much of London with milk, cream and cheese.
The Farm is next to Paradise Park. Paradise was a term used for a place to rest animals on their way to market.
The Farm recently had the unveiling of an Islington People’s Plaque to commemorate Mary Tealby (1801-1865). Mary was the founder of the ‘Home for Lost and Starving Dogs’ in 1860, on a site now occupied by Freightliner’s Farm. After her death the dogs’ home moved to Battersea in 1871 and was eventually renamed as the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
City farms in Britain owe their origin to the work of Joe Benjamin who, in the 1950’s, combined adventure play with animal keeping. Over time the two aspects have developed side by side with a similar core ethos but a different activity focus, the city farming movement has gone from strength to strength, most recently becoming strong and leading partners in areas such as learning outside the classroom, sustainable development, local food and bridging the rural urban divide.