Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Great Eastern Railway to Chingford. Hackney Downs

Great Eastern Railway to Chingford
The Great Eastern line to Chingford running north from Hackney Downs station and having diverged from the line to Enfield continues northwards

Post to the south Hackney
Post to the north Upper Clapton

This post covers only the north east corner of this square

Clarence Road
185 Cricketers Pub. This is now a wine bar called Verden. This was a Watney’s house dating from the mid 19th. In the early 20th it was the HQ of the Cricketers Cricket Club.  In the 1990s it was called Shamps but reverted to the Cricketers in 2001.  In 2008, the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group raised concerns about the licence and it was closed following a police raid in 2009.
Robert Owen Lodge. Homely sheltered housing in groups backing on to a communal garden.  Built on the site of Powell House, which had been dour council flats of 1937 by Joseph. This itself replaced the Home for the Deaf and Dumb which fronted onto to Lower Clapton Road.

Cricketfield Road
New Testament Church of God. This was originally the Clapton Presbyterian Chapel. It was built by the Presbyterian Church in 1876 that moved here from an iron church in Shrubland Road. It is built of Kentish ragstone with tracery on the windows. The Presbyterians moved in 1935, and it became the Lower Clapton Congregational Church. It has been the New Testament Church of God since 1964.
Downs Park Road
75 Stormont House Industrial School for Blind Boys. This was a residential school for blind boys 1904 - 1911
Stormont House Red Cross Hospital. In 1915 the British Red Cross Society rented the Stormont House School for Little Boys and it was converted into a military hospital. It had 42 beds for enlisted servicemen and was an auxiliary to the City of London Military Hospital in Lower Clapton.  Patients had river trips, drives into the countryside and outings. After the Battle of Delville Wood many South African casualties were admitted. It closed in 1919. 
Stormont House Open Air School. A special day school for children with tuberculosis.  The school was in the garden behind the main building.  It continued until the outbreak of the Second World War when the pupils were evacuated to Norfolk. It appears the site was heavily bombed, so the School did not reopen after the war.
Stormont House School. This dates from the 1960s and was built on the site of Stormont House.  This is a Community Special School for children with special educational needs. A new building has recently been erected on the existing site
Grocers Company School. This was opened in 1876 as grammar school by the Grocers' Company of London on site a bought from the Tyssen Estate.  The school was built in Gothic style 1875-6 by Theophilus Allen.  It was fee paying buy was later offered to the London County Council and renamed Hackney Downs. The playground had been part of Downs themselves.
Hackney Downs School. The Grocers’ Company school was managed by the London County Council from 1907. It was damaged by fire in 1963 and the original school was demolished. A new building intended as a grammar school was opened but there was further building for a comprehensive intake from 1969. The new building was in London County Council style exposed concrete and brick ranges and arranged around the site of what had been the main building. A Gothic lodge and diapered brick boundary wall remained from Grocers school. The school closed in the 1990s.
Mossbourne Community Academy. This opened in 2004 on the site of the former Hackney Downs School.  He site had been purchased by Sir Clive Bourne who founded the school as one of the first 'City Academies' in England. Bourne commissioned the Richard Rogers Partnership to design the new school buildings,

Downs Road
Downsview School. Built in 1969 by the Inner London Education Authority in concrete blockwork.  Cheery mural on the street wall called ‘We are Hackney’ which was undertaken by a group of students from Clapton Girls’ Technology School called Tick4change.  Downsview is a school for children with learning difficulties. It left this site in 2013
75 The Downs Hotel. This pub was built in 1863 to serve visitors to the new Hackney Downs park and closed in 2007. It is now flats. There was once a plaque on the building to commemorate The Pickwick Bicycle Club the oldest surviving cycling club in the world which was founded here in 1870.  Downs Football Club later to become Clapton FC had their HQ here in the 1870s.  It was a Whitbread Brewery pub in the early 1900s and later Ind Coope Taylor Walker.
Queens Road Station. This station was planned by the Great Eastern Railway as an intermediate stop between Hackney Downs and Clapton Stations and to stand in the gap between two tunnels. The name was taken from Queensdown Road which lies opposite the intended site. Although much of the station was built it was never completed and never opened. The platforms were not removed until 1965.
Signal Box. This was intended for Queens Road Station and stood to the east of the line immediately north of Downs Road. It closed in 1935.
Downs Road Methodist Church. The old church had been demolished and h site developed into a new church, with apartments built directly above. Entrance to the church is via the front of the building with access to the flats managed by a housing association located to the rear of the block. The previous church was built in 1870 by Charles Bell with a flat rag stone street front.   The church had originated in Lower Clapton Road in 1865 which closed in 1934. The congregation to a moved to this site which had been built as a Sunday School and lecture hall which was then remodelled as the church. It was damaged in Second World War bombing and not reopened until 1949. It has now been rebuilt in 2013.
109 Clapton Business Centre. This was the building of Runham Brown Bros, building contractors. Herbert Runham Brown was a leading member of left wing circles in Hackney in the first half of the 20th century and a founder of organizations to support conscious objectors during the Great War.

Hackney Downs
This was Hackney Lammas land, on a local high point and surrounded by fields until the 19th. It was called ‘Downe’ 1550 and had been the home of William atte Doune in 1302. There was horse-racing here in the 18th as well as cricket, football and rugby. By the mid 19th building development was replacing the fields. a petition raised by local people in the 1860s to enclose and conserve 180 acres of land in the borough for public use which included The Downs. The Metropolitan Board of Works acquired the Downs from the Lord of the Manor, Mr Tyssen Amherst, under the Metropolitan Commons Supplemental Act 1872. commoners rights were extinguished by an Act of Parliament in 1884. The new park was laid out with radiating paths and plane, lime and ash trees were planted.  There was a bandstand in the middle of the area and it is thought this eventually went for scrap in the Second World War. After the Second World War prefabs were built along the southern edge of the park. .  It was managed by the London County Council and by Hackney Council from 1965. in January 2010 new tennis courts, a multi-use games area, a new play area and various sports pitches, community room and ranger's office were installed. A new meadow has been planted with the help of Hackney Downs User Group and local volunteers as part of the 'Mad About Meadows' hackney Downs won a Green Flag Award in 2010.
The Pavilion. The old ranger’s office was located in the centre of the park and was demolished in 2010. A new pavilion is located nearer to Downs Park Road and provides changing rooms and a referee’s room. It houses the Area Park Manager’s office, a community room and public toilets. It is clad in wood and had solar panels on its green sedum roof.
Toilet block. This was built in the 1930’s and is an eccentric example of a park pavilion building combining toilets with an open shelter and performance space It has a concave rear elevation which links into the play area.
Play and sports areas. The play area was renewed in 2010 and old fixed metal equipment, and fencing was removed. The swings and the yellow corkscrew slide were kept plus a new wooden climbing structure.  There are basketball courts and a multi use games area. The tennis courts have recently been extended from three courts to five. Hackney City Tennis Club was formed in 2001. The bowling green has not been used for over ten years although the bowling pavilion is used as staff accommodation. Two grass football pitches are marked out as are an athletics track and rounder pitches. There is an artificial cricket wicket.
Community Orchard. This was planted in with the Hackney Downs User Group and the Tree Musketeers and has local heritage varieties of pear and apple with a three olive trees.
Great Eastern Railway runs in a tunnel near the eastern side of the park. Queens Road or Hackney Downs Tunnel 445 yards long.
Hackney Brook. The railway marks the line of the brook alongside the Downs. It was diverted underground in the 19th.

Lower Clapton Road
Clapton Ponds. This is now two small garden enclosures divided by Newick Road.   Clapton Pond South. This has a bridged pond probably dug in the 17th or earlier. From 1707/9 it was a water supply reservoir the with water being brought here via wooden conduits from a waterworks at Jeremy's Ferry. plots in High Road aligned with the almshouse chapel held the U shaped pipes of the East London Waterworks. After a period of neglect the pond was restored as a reservoir in 1760 and continued to supply water to the area until 1833 when the Hackney's water supply was re-routed making it redundant as a reservoir. Hackney District Board took it over in 1898 for a public garden. It was re-landscaped in 1977-79 keeping the bridge and trees and replanting shrubs.
Bishop Woods’ Almshouses. These were built in 1665 under the will of Thomas Wood, the Bishop of Lichfield who came from Hackney. The almshouses provided for 10 widows over 60 years old and Wood also provided for a twice-weekly chaplain.. The six almshouses were restored in 1888 and again in 1930; they were requisitioned in the Second World War and re-opened in 1948. The buildings are in a semi circle around a courtyard behind a brick wall and railings. The single storey cottages contain some 17th brickwork but most of the fabric today is from the late 19th.  From the early 20th the charity has been administered by Dr.Spurstowe’s Charity. The charity now finds that the cost of renovation is too great and is looking to sell the cottages and the site and rebuild elsewhere. Chapel. a small Gothic chapel was added to the almshouses during restoration. It seats 10 people and may be Britain's smallest chapel
162 Pond House. A villa of 1800, with semi- circular Doric porch, a basement and tripartite ground-floor windows.  Gate piers, decorated with a Greek key pattern. Two storey three bay house substantial chimney stacks. The entrance is below a semi-circular porch supported.  The rear visible from Mildenhall Road, is built from brown brick, with a large semi-circular bay. There is an inappropriate rear extension and two modern garages facing Mildenhall Road.  There are perimeter walls with stables and inside is an elegant curved staircase. It was built for Benjamin Walsh, a stockbroker, soon after 1800 and it is said that in the early 19th it was the home of the Chair of East London Water Works, Samuel Preston. From the 1880s until 1904 it was a school and then a clothing factory. From 1939 to 2001 it was occupied an ex servicemen’s club, Hackney Volunteers. It is now into flats.
158-160 a pair of early 19th houses form the remaining part of what was  once St James’ Terrace. The Terrace was built about 1825 as four properties, but could be a re-facing of a late 18th group. It was partially demolished in the 1870s as part of the building of Mildenhall Road.
Methodist Chapel.  This was a Wesleyan chapel which stood on the west side of the road a block north of the corner with Downs Road. It was in ragstone with a tall spire. It closed in 1934 and was replaced by a church in the Sunday School in Downs Road to the rear, and was later demolished.
153 The Mothers' Hospital of the Salvation Army. In 1889 the Salvation Army opened a rescue and maternity home in Mare Street but by the beginning of the 20th the accommodation was inadequate and the Salvation Army bought an acre site here to build a maternity hospital for unmarried mothers. The foundation stone was laid in 1912 by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll. The Hospital's consisted of six semi-detached houses built in 1824. They were linked by two arches leading to the ward buildings which were in the gardens of the houses. The central house had a sign saying 'The Salvation Army: The Mothers' Hospital'  Each ward block ha a delivery room, three wards, a kitchen and bathroom and a portrait of General Booth and his wife. Between the buildings there were gardens, with trees, shrubs and flowerbeds. One bungalow was for unmarried mothers, another for poor married women, another for special cases and the other for Jewish mothers. During the Great War the hospital cared for large numbers of widowed pregnant women who were subsequently destitute. After the war all mothers, married or not, were admitted. In 1934 an out-patients department was opened and in 1937 isolation block. During the Second World War, the hospital was evacuated to Derbyshire but some patients stayed in London. An air-raid shelter was built and the walls of the wards were strengthened with steel girders and blast walls erected. Patients were kept active so they could get to the shelters and this turned out to be good for them. Patients always spent the night in the shelter with their babies.  In 1940 the Hospital received a direct hit and two of the ward blocks destroyed. The Hospital became part of the NHS in 1948.  Salvation Army members were still on the staff, and this relationship continued.  All services moved to a new unit at the newly opened Homerton Hospital in 1986 and the buildings were demolished and replaced by a housing complex - Mothers' Square. The white archway leading through to Mothers' Square remains. A plaque confirms an architectural award for Mothers' Square, and another shows its opening by Prince Charles.
179 British Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Females. This was in an early 18th house probably built for James Coram, a timber merchant. He sold it to Markham Eeles, a china merchant, who substantially  rebuilt it and added entrance gates. The Asylum moved here in 1864. It had been established in 1851 when following an incident the plight of deaf and dumb women came to the attention of a Mr. and Mrs. Sutton and so they got together a committee of ladies and gentlemen, a secretary was appointed, and the asylum was opened. It was bought by the Council in 1932 who demolished it. The asylum appears to have survived in other premises into the 1980s.
Byland House. This stood on the west side of Clapton Ponds. It served as a vicarage for the second and third incumbents of St James’ Church. It was sold to the Council in 1932 and demolished for the Powell Estate.
Powell Estate. This replaced the Deaf and Dumb Asylum and other houses. It was replaced itself in the 1970s
211 The Fountain. This pub has been on the site since 1814. It closed in 2006 and is now housing.
144-146 The British United Shoe Machinery Company Ltd ., which moved its warehouse and servicing depot from Bethnal Green Road to Hackney in 1956. They were a very large manufacturing company – said to be the world’s largest supplier of footwear manufacturing equipment and based in Leicester
Temple Works. In the 1950s this was Curtis Wipers, making adjustable windscreen wipers.

Maitland Place
Refers to Maitland House, a mansion which stood nearby

Mothers’ Square
Built in 1987-90 on the site of the Mothers Hospital.  It provides housing plus sheltered flats, day hospital and nursing home.  A central pergola distracts from the parked cars.

Nolan Way
Seaton Point. 22 storey block.  It is the last of what were six tower blocks built on the Nightingale Estate. Nightingale Estate was built in 1968 next to Hackney Downs. Seaton Point had a chimney installed alongside it. During 1998-1999, Seaton Point, which had been saved from demolition, was refurbished and painted white.

Queensdown Road
Was once called Lovers Lane
35 Star Pub. This was the Three Sisters with a painting over the corner door of the sisters.  The address was at one time Sisters Place.
Open Doors. The Downs Baptist Church. William Landells was among the first founders of the London Baptist Union. as the third of its annual church-building projects, he initiated the building of the Downs Chapel together with six Clapton men.The foundation stone of the Chapel was laid in 1868. Notable contributors to the costs were the prosperous men who formed the initial Committee: sums Morton M. Glover was the architect. he chose to utilise a radical, new construction material – cast iron to support the main roof of the Chapel- in the building.  The chapel was successful and prosperous supporting a Band of Hope, temperance organisations and much else and it also supported missions in many parts of the world and there is a memorial plaque to them.  A membeiol to those killed in the Great War is in the main enrance. In the Second World War the manse was requisitioned and in 1942 the building was bombed. The church has since worked with local communities, as they change, and provided space and support as well as work with those in need.The church has a front with Romanesque wheel window flanked by towers ending with decorative iron cresting.  On Downs Road are round-arched windows with patterned iron glazing and this continues onto the Sunday School next door. Inside are galleries with iron balustrades and columns

Rowhill Road
St Andrew's Mansions.  Tall half-timbered and tile-hung mansion flats, the whole street is the same. They are by A. Bedbow & W Andrews of Wood Green.

Tilia Road
Light industrial and trading area.

British History Online. Hackney. Web site
Clarke. Glimpses of Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington,
Clunn. The Face of London
Connor. Liverpool Street to Chingford
East London Record
Field. London Place Names,
GLC. Home Sweet Home
Hackney  Society Newsletter
London Borough of Hackney. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Lost Pubs Project. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
Robinson, Lost Hackney
Skyscraper News. Web site
Walford.  Highgate and Hampstead to the Lea,
Watson. Hackney and Stoke Newington Past

1 comment:

Caterina said...

185 Cricketers Pub - Verden is now closed. It is now occupied by a new pub.