About us About St Luke's History of the area History of the area St Luke's is an area in the London Borough of Islington, just north of the City of London near the Barbican and Shoreditch. It takes its name from the church of St Luke's, on Old Street. The area extends north of the church to City Road and south to Finsbury Square and Whitecross Street. The name is rarely used today. Before the seventeenth century the district which became known as St. Luke's, was an area of fen and marshland outside the city walls. After the area was drained and improved some of it was laid out as gardens and orchards. Just a few wealthy City Merchants, including the renowned Dick Whittington, built their country houses and cottages in the district. Following the Plague and the Great Fire in the second half of the seventeenth century, poorer people moved out of the overcrowded city. The civil and ecclesiastical parish of St Luke's was created on the construction of the church in 1733, from the part of the existing parish of St Giles Cripplegate outside the City of London. Being outside the City boundaries, the parish had a large non-conformist population. John Wesley's house and Wesleyan Chapel are in City Road, as is Bunhill Fields burial ground. In 1751, St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, an asylum, was founded. In 1917, the site was sold to the Bank of England for St Luke's Printing Works producing banknotes and which was relocated in 1958 to Debden in Essex. The civil parish became officially known as "St Luke's Middlesex". The parish was historically in the county of Middlesex, and was included in the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. From 1889 it was part of the County of London. The Grade II Listed Ironmonger Row Baths were built as a public wash house in 1931. Turkish baths were added in 1938. Now refurbished and reopened in 2012. The vestry administered local government in the area until the civil parish became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury in 1899. In 1965, this borough was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Islington to form the London Borough of Islington. The eponymous parish church is now home to a concert hall and rehearsal space used by the London Symphony Orchestra. The parish has been reabsorbed by St Giles-without-Cripplegate, since the closure of the church.