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Our history

The charity’s history dates back to January 1517, when Islington resident Richard Cloudesley wrote his will. In his will, Richard Cloudesley left ‘a parcel of ground called the Stony Fields’ and set out a variety of religious and charitable bequests.

Today, Liverpool Road, Cloudesley Place, Cloudesley Road and Richmond Avenue form the boundary of ‘the Stony Fields’. From 1811, houses were built on the fields and the area became known as the Stonefield or Cloudesley Estate. The charity still owns around 100 properties on the Estate, and income from these properties and from the charity’s investments are used to support the charity.

Islington Local History Centre holds an archive on Richard Cloudesley and the charity Cloudesley. To arrange to see the archive, please email [email protected] or telephone 020 7527 7988.


In 2016/17, the charity commissioned Dr Cathy Ross to research Richard Cloudesley, the history of the charity and the Cloudesley Estate. You can find the full research report here: Cloudesley: 500 years in Islington 1517-2017 
A shorter version of Cathy Ross’s history report has been produced as a booklet, ‘Cloudesley: 500 years in Islington – 1517 – 2017’. You can buy copies of the booklet for £3.00 from the Islington Local History Centre or from Islington Archaeology & History Society.

 Islington Local History Centre 

 Islington Archaeology & History Society 

Earlier research by Alasdair Hawkyard into Richard Cloudesley’s Life and Times can be downloaded here:

Richard Cloudesley’s Life and Times 

500th Anniversary

In 2017/18, the charity celebrated the 500th anniversary of Richard Cloudesley’s legacy in Islington. Cloudesley agreed an additional £1.2 million of grants to mark the anniversary.

The 500th anniversary was also marked by special activities and events:

  • The refurbishment of Richard Cloudesley’s tomb at St Mary’s Church, Islington
  • An anniversary service in commemoration of Richard Cloudesley’s gift, including an address given by the Bishop of Stepney
  • The production of a history booklet and information banners, which toured Islington’s Church of England churches and public libraries
  • Performances of a specially commissioned choral work, ‘The Stony Field’, by local community choir Vox Holloway
  • Guided walks, ‘Cloudesley: Cattle, Churches & Charity’, developed and led by an experienced guide from the Clerkenwell & Islington Guides Association.