Shacklewell, first recorded in 1490, is evidence of the sources of water which attracted early settlers o Hackney and its surrounding areas. Centred around Shacklewell Green, the hamlet gradually stretched along Shacklewell Lane, on a ridge overlooking Dalston.

Shacklewell became the home of Sir John Heron, a senior financial adviser to the first two Tudor monarchs; his house (demolished after 1743) stood north of Shacklewell Green, between today’s Perch, April and Seal Streets. One of a number of the Tudor establishment with a home in Hackney, Heron used his wealth to renovate Hackney’s St. Augustine’s Church, at the behest of his governmental colleague, Christopher Urswick, whose own service to the Tudor dynasty was rewarded with the Rectory of Hackney.

Sir John’s son, Giles, married Thomas More’s daughter Cecily. Like his father-in-law, he lost his head in 1540 for refusing to accept Henry VIII’s religious changes. The family home was sold to the Rowes, who produced two Lord Mayors of London and a regicide. In 1685 it was bought by the Dutch Tyssen family. As they came to own most of Hackney, it was known as the ‘Manor House.’

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