Originally called Chalk Road on account of the local soil it was changed to its present name to mark the Caledonian Asylum built in 1815 as an orphanage founded to care for the children of Scottish soldiers killed in the Napoleonic Wars. The road was constructed by the Battle Bridge and Holloway Road Company, sometime around 1826 as a toll road to link the New Road with Holloway Road (which is part of the Great North Road) and provide a new link to the West End from the north. The name changed in 1853. The Asylum has since been demolished and the Caledonian Estate, local authority housing, was built in its place between 1900 and 1907.
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