Sunday, 23 April 2017

Barnes Common

Post to the west Barnes Common
Post to the north Barnes
Poist to the east Putney Boathouses

Barnes Common
Barnes Common. This is common land - one of the largest such areas in London , It has been owned by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral since 925 and today they act through the Church Commissioners, while the Common is managed by the London Borough of Richmond. There is also a local Friends of Barnes Common organisation.  Sometimes called 'The Waste' it has been common land for over than a thousand years and was traditionally used for rough grazing and providing 'furze' which Commoners could cut for firewood. The boundary was fixed in the 1590’s following disputes with Putney residents over grazing rights. There have been enclosures of common land over the centuries – that at Mill Hill, and more for the workhouse in 1778, and later for the Barnes Old Cemetery. It is now bisected by the railway, as well as by several road
Nature Reserve. The Common is designated as Metropolitan Open Land and as a Conservation Area as well as a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Nature Conservation Importance. It is sandy with hawthorn scrub and lots of birds.  Its importance is due to the acid grassland close to Mill Hill which has survived draining and the planting of rows of standard trees.  Without management it would be invaded by bracken, bramble, gorse and tree saplings and revert to poor quality woodland. It is now managed by the Friends of Barnes Common who have got the funding for a reed bed and two new ponds as well as plans for a new wildflower meadow and another scheme to restore an old pond. Non-native trees are replaced by natives like oak and ash and creating glades for butterflies and birds. Standing dead wood is left as a refuge for beetles and other invertebrates. The cover provided by bramble and bracken are the basis of a mixed habitat away from the sports pitches. The Common is the only known site in Greater London for the burnet rose.
Thames Aqueducts.  The Thames Water Ring main passes under the Common,

Dover House Road
Dover House Estate. London County Council estate. This was built in the 1920s and inspired by the garden city movement and built under the 'Homes fit for heroes' policies. It was planned with houses in short terraces with vistas over green space. The first tenants were civil servants, teachers and bus drivers. And until the 1950w no changes were allowed to the outside of the property. Gradually change crept in and private ownership damaged the integrity of the design. In 1978 a management strategy put in place and Conservation area status inaugurated,

Dyers Lane
Dyers Lane forms the boundary between Barnes and Putney
Railway Bridge. A footbridge crosses the railway from the north end of the road to Beauchamp Terrace on the other side. Historically this was Dyers Lane on both sides of the railway and the bridge marks the line of the old right of way.
Until the 1970s the road ended at the railway, and at the end on the west side was a large furniture depository. In 1978 the road was extended onto this site and houses built here, and on the west side of the road, for Richmond Council
Garage. In 1901 this was the Eclectic Manufacturing Company which appears to have been bankrupt in the same year. They were probably involved in an electro plating process.  In succeeding years this garage, at the southern end of the road specialised in expensive sports cars.

Fairdale Gardens
On site of Putney Squash and Tennis Club. This was replaced by houses in the 1960s.

Halcyon Close
Blocks of posh flats with ‘Royal’ names gated off from the rest of the world. They appear to have been built on an old coal yard area connected to an extensive area of railway sidings.

Lower Richmond Road
Putney Lower Common Cemetery.  In 1855 land was bought by the local Burial Board from Earl Spencer, Lord of the Manor, for a cemetery. It has ornate railings and gates on Lower Richmond Road, and is bounded by brick wall, with some other railings. The ragstone chapels and lodge were designed by Barnett and Birch in 1855. The cemetery is closed for burials. There are a variety of trees including yew and has been designated as a site of ecological importance. The cemetery is wooded where the boundary wall meets Barnes Common.
Putney Cricket Club. This was founded in 1870. It was then called St John’s and had been set up by the church choir. Initially they had a site on the Lower Common, close their present site. As other clubs failed they changed their name to Putney Cricket Club. Their pavilion dates from 1959.

Mill Hill Road
Tollhouse at the Putney/Barnes Common boundary. It is a single-storey early 19th building. This was not actually a toll house but a house for the gatekeeper at a boundary gate used to control straying livestock.
Mediaeval ditch. This runs across Common between the Parish boundaries and kept grazing animals from straying. It is overgrown, but still marks the eastern boundary.

Newnes Path
This was development was built in the 1970s over the northern allotments of the Dover House Estate. It was the first major change to the estate layout and challenge to its integrity.

Putney Park Lane
This lane was laid out by the early 18th as a formal tree-lined drive and became the access to a number of grand houses built here. It also connects as a through route to Gypsy Lane to the north. It now runs south as far as Putney Heath and remains a footpath for most of its length

Queen's Ride
Tree where rock star Mark Bolan was killed in a car crash. the site is a place of pilgrimage to Bolan fans. In1997, the Performing Rights Society set up a bronze bust memorial facing Gipsy Lane.  In 1999 the T-Rex Action Group were granted an in perpetuity lease on the site and built steps up to the tree and the Memorial. In 2005, memorial plaques were fitted to the steps to other members of T-Rex who have since died.
Barnes Workhouse. This was built in 1778 on the triangle of land which now lies at the apex of the junction of Queen’s Ride and the Upper Richmond Road. It closed in 1836 and the site became a market garden and housing and later the Manor House Hotel., The site is now Roehampton Court flats on the footprint of the Manor House Hotel. The money raised by the sale of the site is still managed by the Barnes Workhouse Trust.
Cattle trough.  The inscription says “METROPOLITAN DRINKING FOUNTAIN & CATTLE TROUGH ASSOCIATION”  It is a trough in granolithic apparently given by the Misses Hughes of Leytonstone in 1934.

Railway Line
Barnes Junction. The original line through Barnes from Waterloo opened in 27 1846 as part of the line to Richmond. the first section of the Hounslow Loop Line  opened in 1849 with the division of line slightly to the west of Barnes Station. It thus became a junction station. On the London side of the station there are four tracks; one pair of which is for the Loop Line.

Rocks Lane
This was a cart track until the late 19th.

Roehampton Lane
This square covers the east side only where in the 19th and early 20th a number of grand houses stood. They are now replaced, mainly, by up market housing.
Roehampton Lodge
Ellenborough House
Subiaco Lodge

Station Road
Barnes Station.  This opened in 1846 and now lies between Putney and Mortlake on one line and Bridge on the other, - both on South Western Trains. It has very tall chimneys. It is surrounded by woodland and apparently little changed since it was built. It is believed to have been designed by Sir William Tite.
Goods yard. There was an extensive goods yard with a coal yard and several sidings to the east of the station and south of the line. Much of this remains and appears to be semi derlict, although the coal yard is now posh flats.
Cricket Ground. Barnes Common cricket ground is next to the station. It is the oldest cricket pitch in Barnes, dating from 1893.

The Pleasaunce
Open space in the Dover House Estate – with trees, grass and seats, It is on the site of a green area which had been part of mediaeval and later estates here and it retains its woodland appearance.  It is now an open green which supports trees and birdlife.  There is a small ‘natural’ play area is at one end.
St Margaret’s Court. Care home area in The Pleasaunce

Upper Richmond road
This is now the South Circular Road A205.  This stretch goes in a ‘reasonably straight line.’ It is tree lined and almost entirely lined with up market blocks of flats.
408 Northumberland Arms. This is now a small supermarket. It closed on Christmas Eve 2013. It had also been called the West Putney Tavern and also Jim Thompson's and Captain Cook.
Presbyterian Church. This stood on the corner with Briar Walk  and replaced an earlier church in Putney Park Lane in 1897. It was bombed and rebuilt in 1946. The last service to be held took place in February 1996 and it has now been replaced with flats.
Lodge. This is at the entrance to Putney Park Lane
Milestone. This is an 18th Portland stone milestone which previously stood in Rocks Lane, The inscription says that Hyde Park Corner is less than 6 miles distant,
Red Rover, This pub was originally called The Railway Arms or The Railway Tavern and also The Market Gardener,  the Corner Pin and Cafe More. It had closed by 2008 and is now flats.

Woodborough Road
Falcons School for Girls. This fee paying private ‘preparatory’ school moved here from Ealing in 2014. It is part of a commercial schools group.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Enable. Web site
Falcons School. Web site.
Friends of Barnes Common. Web site
London Borough of Richmond. Web site
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
London Parks and Gardens. Web site//
Municipal Dreams. Web site
MDFCTA, Web site
Parks and Gardens UK. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Putney Cricket Club. Web site
SABRE.. Web site
Smyth. Citywildspace
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
What Pub?? CAMRA. Web site

Saturday, 22 April 2017


Barnehurst Road
The Red Barn. This red brick pub of 1936 is the home of British jazz. It provided the inspiration for the British postwar revival of New Orleans jazz.  This was largely due to the enthusiasm of pianist George Webb considered by many as the father of the traditional jazz movement in Britain. Aided by Owen Bryce, George Webb's Dixielanders, played regularly here from the early 1940s. Among the musicians who played with them were Humphrey Lyttelton and Wally Fawkes the clarinettist and cartoonist. This is commemorated by a plaque unveiled in 1985 which is on an outside balcony overlooking the garden.

Bexley Road
322 The Duke. This was once called the Duke of Northumberland.

Colyers Lane
Woodside School. This is a special needs school set up in 2012 on what had been the site of Colyers Primary School.
Colyers’ Lane Clay Pit. Small pit worked by Furner.

Hornbeam Lane
Car Park. This is on the old station goods area. The goods yard had been extended in 1932. siding. There was a single siding with an end loading dock which was on a gradient and closed in 1964.

Merewood Road
Denehole. This was found at the rear of a property in the road which had been used to take surface water from the road. It was a basic double trefoil denehole which had been extended and probably dated from the 18th.

Northall Road
Denehole. This was identified because the owner of the house had built a soak away and heavy rains had caused a dene hole to collapse. The chamber went under the next-door garden and there had been a collapse some 50 years earlier following which the whole house had been underpinned.

Old Manor Way
This road was once a path leading from May Place up into woods and fields.

Station Approach
When the station was built the road was called ‘Hills and Holes’.
Barnehurst Station. This opened in 1895 and lies between Dartford and Bexleyheath on South Eastern Trains. It was built on the Bexleyheath Railway Line between Dartford and London Bridge at the point at which line starts its descent to a marshy area, the Cray, the Darent and Dartford. The site of the station was a wood called Court Lees Bottom which was owned by Colonel Frederick Barne, Chairman of the Bexleyheath Railway and he had insisted it was built. He was a local landowner with family links over 150 years to the May Place Estate to the south.  When the station was built there were only 15 people lived within a half mile radius and it was thirty years before the numerous housing estates were built. It was ten years before a first class ticket was sold here. The station is in a cutting and at first there were wooden buildings at right angles to the tracks and some parts of these remain in ancilliary buildings. There is an original iron footbridge but the main booking office area and frontage have been rebuilt.
Signal box, This was east of the station and closed in 1970.
Railway Electricity Sub Station. This is east of the station on the south side of the line. It is a tall brick building with three arched windows on each side wall. It was built to house two rotary converters driven by 3,300V ac power from Deptford Power Station supplying 660V dc power to the conductor rail. It was built here by the Southern Railway when the line was electrified in 1926.

Three Corners
Close named after a a local wood. This was developed in 1933

Barr-Hamilton & Reilly. From Country to Suburb
Carr. The spot that is called Crayford
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Dover Kent. Web site
Field. London Place Names,  
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford

Friday, 21 April 2017

Penge - Beckenham

Post to the west Anerley
Post to the south Birkbeck
Post to the east Beckenham

Arrol Road
Allotments. These are on the site of the Crystal Palace Brickworks, extant in the 1870s

Ash Grove
Houses on the south east side of the road were called Boundary Terrace in the 1870s when this was the Parliamentary Boundary for the Camberwell Constituency.

Avenue Road
3 Cator Masonic hall. Founded 1922
Pool River. The River crosses the road slightly to the north of the Ravenscroft Road junction. It is completely underground but one end of an old bridge exists between nose 68 and 66,
86-90 Aldous and Stamp, water treatment engineers. Plus Aldous Court, housing. In 1910 this was a Fire Station for this part of Beckenham
Avenue Baptist Church. The building was extant in the 1870s shown as a mission hall. The Baptist Church is still extant here.
127-129 Dixon Glass. Dealer in laboratory glass.
Avenue Road tram stop. This opened in 1998 between Beckenham Road and Birkbeck on Croydon Tramlink. The tram here connects central Croydon with Beckenham and the line is built alongside the main line Southern Railway between Beckenham and Crystal Palace.  The tram stop is therefore on a passing loop within the otherwise single track.  There are platforms on each side of the two tracks of the loop and the main line trains pass to the north.

Birkbeck Road
The Birkbeck Estate dates from 1870-1910. The Birkbeck Freehold land Society was so called to commemorate the work of Dr George Birkbeck, physician, philanthropist, and pioneer in adult education, who was co-founder of Birkbeck College, University of London, in 1823.

Carlys Close
On the site of Churchfields School

This was previously called Arthur Road.
Churchfields School. In 1889 the Churchfields Charity sold some of Bellrope Field to Beckenham School Board. The resulting school was called Arthur Road School – later changed to Churchfields. Eventually the children moved out and it became an adult art centre and later demolished and the site developed for housing.
Churchfields Primary School. This was built in 1989 by the allotments and the refuse tip.
St.Augustine’s Court. St.Augustine’s was built as a mission church in 1886 and a church and hall in 1910 and consecrated in 1946. The building has now been converted to housing.
Council Depot. This is now the Bromley Council recycling centre operated by Veolia
Churchfields Recreation Ground. The land belonged to the Churchfields Charity and the condition of sale was that it kept the name. It opened in 1907. In 1900 Beckenham Borough had opened a power station on this site fuelled by rubbish and cooled with water from the Chaffinch Brook.

Croydon Road
Holy Trinity Anglican Church stood on the corner with Anerley Roads and opened in 1872. It was destroyed by wartime bombing and replaced by flats. Services were transferred to nearby Christ Church and later a church hall was built on the site. The site is now housing.
Christ church. This was on the corner with Franklin Road and had been built in the 1880s. When Holy Trinity Church was bombed the church became Christ Church with Holy Trinity. Later it was demolished and replaced by housing for old people. There is a new church in Anerley Road on the corner with Maple Road.
59 Conservative Club. Drinking club with some sports facilities – bowling green, etc.
59-61 Nissan dealer in a multi-story garage and office block that includes a Travelodge.  This was built about 1970 at and opened in 1971.
59-61 Dashwood Engineering Ltd, Empire WorKS.. Agricultural machinery factory. This was extant in the 1950s and made lawnmowers among other items for agriculturalists
101 Robin Hood. Pub which closed in 2002 and now demolished. It dated from the 1860s

Elmers End Road
Dexter Works. Roller Skate factory.  This was here in the 1950s

Franklin Road
Site of Penge UDC Depot before the Great War and their fire engine station
Miracle Mills.  This company made heavy milling and pulverising machinery and moved to Penge in 1972 from Chelsea. In 1986 it was taken over by Christy Turner and moved to Ipswich.
Royston School. This primary school was based here but in the 1980s moved to the Kentmere School site in the High Street/Kent House Road
Royston Field.  Recreation Ground. This is now to the rear of Sainsburys supermarket and is a site for community events including Penge Day.

Garden Road
Penge Green Gym - Winsford Gardens. These were once the gardens of Winsford House and include a rose garden and other features from that time. It has more recently become Penge Green Gym, originally set up by the Friends of Winsford Gardens.  They have installed a children’s playground as well as a wildflower meadows, a ring of seating, a sensory garden, insect and stag beetle hotels and turned a derelict pond into a Bog Garden.

Genoa Road
St Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church. This is a church of 1925-27 by F. A. Walters, whose son was the parish priest at the time. It predecessor was built in 1898 is still standing beside it, and had the school and chapel. Originally, after fundraising by Canon Bethell, a small iron church was built on a site near the Maple Road corner in 1878. In the 1890s Fr Miller bought another site and built a two storey school with a chapel on the upper floor. In 1925 work began by James Smith & Sons on another building and this is now the present church.

Hartfield Grove
Although this small close has modern housing, it can be found on maps from the mid 19th.

Hawthorne Grove
The Anchor. This pub dated from before 1866 and was on the corner of Hartfield Grove. It was probably part of the Anerley estate development of 1851. For many years it was an off licence and eventually converted to flats. It does not appear to be there any longer, but a rectangle of grass is railed off on the requisite corner.

High Street
162 Odeon Cinema.  This was built for Odeon Theatres Ltd. and opened in 1937. It was designed by architect Andrew Mather with a glass fronted facade and illuminated glass towers either side of the entrance. It closed in 1976 and became a bingo club which closed in 1990 and the building was demolished in 1994.
164 - 166 The Moon and Stars. This is a purpose built Wetherspoon's pub which opened in 1994.
Penge Congregational Church. This was built in 1912 to designs by P. Morley Harder under its minister, Barson of Penge, and is a landmark on Penge High Street. Barson, from Hackney was “theological liberalism’s South London Congregational standard bearer”.
The Kings Hall Electric Theatre. This opened as a cinema by 1910, in what had been a public hall. It was taken over by the Hyams Brother’s circuit in 1920 and rebuilt by Cecil Masey for them. It had a 1Manual Hill, Norman & Beard pipe organ from 1925. It was taken over by Denman/Gaumont British Theatres in 1929 and re-named Kings Hall.  It was eventually named the Gaumont in 1955, and closed in 1958. It was demolished and the site is now flats and shops.
Pool River. The road crosses Pool River although there is not much sign of it.  It appears to flow under Tesco’s car park and then down a widened side alley to houses. It is the boundary between Penge High Street and Beckenham Road.

Howard Road
Although the road had been laid out by the 1870s a large site on the north side was a brick field. Later laid out with houses it remained residential until after the Second World War.
Londex Electrical Engineering works. The main Londex site was in Anerley, and this Howard Road site was eventually moved to a site in Oakfield Road. Londex of 207 Anerley Road, London. Dating from the early 1960s they made c specialized electrical control equipment; and were taken over by Elliott Automation and then GEX.  In 1974 they designed, and installed a continuous counting machine to monitor printing presses for the Daily Mirror

Kent House Road
Harris Primary Academy. This opened in 2013. The site was that of Beckenham and Penge Grammar School. This had evolved from Beckenham Technical Institute of 1901 and had moved to new buildings here in 1931. In 1969 it moved away and became Langley Park School. Meanwhile what had been Oakfield Road Boys' School moved into the former Grammar School buildings and was renamed Kentwood School. This closed in 1987.  It then became Royston Primary School which had previously been in Croydon Road and this has now become the commercial ‘Harris Academy’. It had also previously been an Adult Education College.

Maple Road
54 Maple Tree.  Has previously been called the William IV and the Crown. It is a privately-owned free house, but normally only serves Wells & Young’s beers.
Button Factory. This was started in 1931 by Italian Mr Belometti and Mr Speroni using buildings which had been a van delivery business.  They brought ten Italians to teach workers here. In the Second World War the founders were interned and later died. There was a fire in the derelict buildings in 1969. There is now housing on the site.
61 Golden Lion.  The Golden Lion was the badge of the Lion of Flanders. The pub dates from the 1870
101 Pizza restaurant with picture of pizza man over the door. This was previously the Lord Palmerston pub

Melvin Road
Melvin Hall. This was a hall for to Holy Trinity C hurch. When the church was destroyed the hall was bought by Penge Council. It became a centre which provided a hot meal and a meals on wheels service as well as social contacts for elderly people and others. In 2016 Bromley Council said it was surplus to requirements so and residents applied for it to be an Asset of Community Value. It re-opened as a Community Hall later that year.
Melvin Road National School. Dated from 1870. It later became Penge Secondary School for Girls.

Oak Grove Road
Depot for the South Metropolitan Electric Tramways behind the houses in the area now called Tramway Close. Built in 1906 and closed 1936.  It could house 15 vehicles. Tram tracks still in road surface and buildings were still extant in the 1980s

Pool River
The Stream, also known as the River Wilmore or the Shire Ditch, marked the boundary not only between Beckenham and Penge, but also between Kent and Surrey or London, whichever county Penge was in at the time. Its source is believed to be in South Norwood Lake. The stream winds across this area, largely underground and crossing roads unseen

Ravenscroft Road
St.Michael & All Angels. Neo-Byzantine ‘of all things’. 1955-6. by W. H. Hobday & F. J. Maynard. St.Michael and All Angels begun in 1899, but it was not opened until 1906. After being destroyed by a Second World War fire a new church was built facing Ravenscroft Road, and was consecrated in 1956.

Royston Road
85 The Royston Halls. Penge and District Trade Union and Social Club – club with Ballroom and other facilities.
Frank and Peggy Spencer. This was the home of the ballroom dancing school of Frank and Peggy Spencer. They ran this for many years and Peggy was also a regular TV dance commentator as well as a leading coach for competitive Latin dancers, and was influential in both Ballroom and Latin American work. For 40 years, her teams appeared in the Come Dancing TV programme,

Snowdown Close
The Hub. This building was a Citizens Advice Bureau and later used as a community hall operated by Christ Church.

Beckenham Anthology
Binfield. East Midlands Call
Cator Masonic Lodge. Facebook Page
Closed Pubs. Web site
Bygone Kent 
Field. London Place Names 
Ideal Homes. Web site
Inman and Tonkin. Beckenham.
Kent County Council. History of Kent County Council
London Borough of Bromley. Web site
Melvin Hall. Web site
National Archives. Web site
Penge Green Gym. Web site
Penge SE20. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner. West Kent 
Pub History. Web site
South East London Industrial Archaeology
St.Anthony of Padua. Web site
Thorne. Old and New South London
Virtual Norwood. Web site
Wikipedia as appropriate

Monday, 17 April 2017


Post to the north Ashtead
Post to the west Lower Ashtead

Barnett Wood Lane
Ashtead Recreation Ground. This is the only public recreation ground in Ashtead and is surrounded by houses. It is an area of open amenity grassland with two full size football pitches, skate park, Multi Use Games Area, tennis courts, pavilions and a play area. There is a wind-up shelter with Bluetooth that allows users to play music from their phones through speakers in the roof.
Ashstead Football Club.  This dates from 1898 when they played on the cricket club ground. They now play on a variety of pitches including Ashtead Recreation Ground.
Village Pond

Cradddocks Avenue
The parade of shops on the south corner of the road are on the site of Woodfield Farm with the farmhouse on the site of the garage.  The farmer was John Craddock.  This was the last working farm in Ashtead surviving into the 1920s.

Dene Road
St.Giles Church of England Infants School. This church school dates from 1852  when it was called Ashtead Schools and presumably took pupils of all ages.
Sydney Simmons Homes. They provide homes for elderly people in need.

Epsom Road
A24 This is the main road through the village and was the turnpike road between Leatherhead and Epsom.
Memorial fountain. This dates from 1880 and commemorates the Mary Greville Howard. It is in the form of a medieval cross. The inscription says:  “This cross & fountain are erected in memory of the Honourable  Mrs Mary Greville Howard by the Parishioners of  Ashtead and many of her relations and friends. She was beloved and honoured during a long life spent in doing good and mourned by all when taken to rest on Oct. 19 1877 at Ashtead Park aged 92. Her works do follow her.”
Pound and stocks. These stood immediately behind the current site of the memorial and were still there in the late 19th.

Greville Park Road
Peto and Radford. In the 1890s this company developed their accumulator business here. They were responsible for many of the advances in accumulators from the earliest days and exhibited at every show of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.   One accumulator was named ‘Ashstead’. By 1919 they had amalgamated with Pritchett and Gold Electric Power Storage Co

Grove Road
Ashtead Centreless Grinding. These worked for the aircraft industry in the 1970s.  The site is now a motor repair business.

Purcell Close
Built in 1926-7 as workers’ housing for Sir Lawrence Weaver and his wife Lady Kathleen Purcell who founded Ashtead Potters to employ disabled war veterans. Some bomb damage here destroyed records and mementos of the company.
Commemorative lamp standard on the green

Greville Primary School. This opened in 1958 and was extended in 1996, 2004 and 2005. There are twenty-two classrooms, and a large hall. There are also extensive grounds including a Woodland Walk.

The Street
Lime Tree Court.  Sheltered housing block. This was previously the Victoria Works.
Victoria Works. This is on the site of the works of W. Galloway who was a Tyneside based screw manufacturer. He had a licence to build American Stanley Steam cars here and set this up as his overhaul workshop. The business closed in 1916 as wartime conditions and the demise of steam road vehicles coincided. Later this was Ashstead Potters
Crawshay Williams,Ltd. The Ashtead Motor works, which was either here or further along the Street. In 1907 they exhibited at the motor show the chassis of a Valveless motor car and are said to have made two models.
Ashstead Potters. Founded by Lady Kathleen Purcell to employ disabled war veterans. Sir Lawrence Purcell was president of the Design and Industries Association in the 1920s and he inspired Ashtead designers to produce progressive pieces. It had support from Clough Williams-Ellis and Stafford Cripps. The company began with four untrained workers with no moulds or designs. It closed following the death of Sir Laurence. The pottery produced art deco items and figures such as Winnie the Pooh milk jugs. They also specialised in advertising wares for Genozo toothpaste and Guinness,
9 Ashcroft House. This building has also been known as Herriot House. It appears to date from the 1970s – and a previous building on site is described as ‘Research Laboratories’.  The present building was used soon after by Sunbeam Electric which is assumed to be a subsidiary of the US Sunbeam company producing both pharmaceuticals and small electrical items.  It later became Rowenta UK described as a ‘the newly formed division of Sunbeam Electric Ltd’ – although Rowenta were originally a German small electrical manufacturer – now French. Rowenta remained in the building but by the 1990s it was used solely by a construction company, bankrupted in 2008. It has now been converted into flats.
13 Royal Mail Sorting and delivery office. This is now a osteopathy clinic.
Telephone Exchange. This remains to the rear of the old sorting office
15 Brewery Inn. In 1839 there was a beer shop on the site of what is now The Brewery which started brewing its own beer in 1871.
Ashtead Brewery. This was owned by George Sayer and is said to have been at the bottom of Woodfield Lane. It is not really clear if this was separate from the pub of the same name.
Leg of Mutton and Cauliflower. The earliest reference to this pub is apparently 1769.
104 Ashstead Village Club. This is a members club affiliated to the Clubs and Institutes Union.
Almshouses. Feilding House, These were founded by a legacy from Lady Diana Feilding in 1733 for six needy widows.  More almshouses were added to the rear in 1975

Woodfield Lane
Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall. This is a local community hall and centre. It was set up after a committee was formed in 1919 at the end of the Great War to build a village hall as a permanent memorial to the Armistice. The land was donated and funds raised, the new facility was finally opened in 1924.
Ashstead Cricket Club. In 1875 Ashtead had no cricket club, but games were played on the Common. A club became established, with the Dene field as its headquarters. In 1886 Mr Lucas leand east of Woodfield Lane  and in 1887 the club was set up.
Library . This dates from 1967 and shares its building with the clinic
St.Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. Up until the Second World War there was no Catholic Church here and people had to go to Leatherhead.  St Michael's Church started in a large garage of a private house, Mawmead Shaw which had been bought by them in 1944. It was pulled down and the current building opened in 1967. A house, called Rushmere to the rear was demolished to make the church hall
Ashtead Station.  This dates from 1859 and lies between Epsom and Leatherhead on Southern Rail and South Western Rail. It was originally a joint station between the London and South Western Railway and the London Brighton and Chatham Railway. The current buildings date from 1967/8 and there is a ticket office, and a shelter and waiting room. There is a level crossing whch was once controlled from a signal box which was closed in 1978 and demolished in 1979. There were goods sidings were on the down side which are now the car park.

Ashtead and Leatherhead Local. Web site
Ashstead Cricket Club. Web site
Ashtead Football Club. Web site
Ashtead Potters. Web site
Ashtead Village Club. Web site
Fields in Trust. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Greville Primary School. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Knowles. Surrey and the Motor
Pevsner. Surrey.
St.Giles School Ashtead. Web site
St.Michael’s Church. Web site

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Finsbury Park

Post to the north Finsbury Park

Avenell Road
Highbury Stadium. This is on the high ground in what were the grounds of Highbury House.   Arsenal Football Club was originally founded in 1886 by Scottish workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich and the club moved to Highbury in 1913. The ground which was leased to the club had belonged to the Church of England College and was laid out for football by Archibald Leitch in 1913. The main building was in the International Fascist style with an Art Deco curtain walled front.  There were grandstands on the east and west sides. This was developed in the 1930s, when Herbert Chapman was manager he recognised the entertainment value of football.  After 2010 the Stadium was redeveloped into flats. The North Bank and Clock End stands were demolished. The exteriors of the listed Art Deco East Stand and the matching West Stand became part of the new developments and the pitch became a communal garden.
West Stand. Designed and built in 1931-2 by Claude Waterlow Ferrier with seats for 4,000 and standing room for 1,700.  There were also three flats and a restaurant.
East Stand. Built in 1936 by William Binnie. It had five storeys, with seating for 8,000 in two tiers and seats for another 5,500 were added in 1969 by A. D. Consultants with more bars and restaurants. Inside the marble hall has a bust of Herbert Chapman by Epstein and a stylish staircase leading to a panelled boardroom.
North Stand. This was built in 1992-3 by the Lobb Partnership project. It had a brick street front with curved ends which, echoes the earlier Art Deco styling. It seats 12,830.

Biggerstaff Street
This was previously Paddington Street and renamed for the Vestry Clerk in 1938

Blackstock Road
This is on tine of Ermine Street. Part of the road used to be known as Highbury Vale and also part was Dane bottom Lane. It is an ancient public right which was the subject of an 18th-court action. The northern section is now the border between the London Boroughs of Islington and Hackney.
Alexandra Buildings.  This is on the corner with Seven Sisters Road.  It is ‘expensively built’ in fissured sandstone and brick  -some recently covered in stucco  - with an oriental theme and a structure on the corner roof called a Chatri – a sort of Indian pavilion. It is said a large metal pipe in the basement is on the line of the New River and contains one of their mains.  It was Lockwood and Bradley Ltd, They were tailors in the 1920s-30s.  Their sign said 'London's Leading Tailors – Direct from the Mills to the Millions'. They were Leeds based and their last shop closed in 1939. They usually took over defunct chain stores.
School building. The Centre for Life Long Learning is built on the site of a 19th school. This was built in 1888 by the London School Board.  It was originally Blackstock Road Board School for Boys and Girls. In 1932 it was reorganised as Finsbury Park Secondary Boys and Girls School and in 1947 Finsbury Park Secondary Modern School while the primary school closed in 1960 and joined Ambler primary. The Secondary School closed in 1964 and it became Edward Seguin Special School. Seguin was a 19th French physician who worked with children with cognitive impairment. In 1975 the school became the Jack Ashley School for the Deaf and Islington Adult Education Institute. Ashley was a Member of Parliament with total hearing loss. In 1981 it became Isledon Teachers' Centre and Islington Adult Education Institute and from 1992 the City and Islington College: Finsbury Park Centre
Islington College. Centre for Life Long Learning. The origins the college are in the London County Council and the Inner London Education Authority where schools, further education colleges and adult education were separate which could cause problems. There was demand for further education for young people and thus new colleges were created. In Islington a new type of sixth form centre was pioneered and after the abolition of ILEA a tertial college was created called Islington Federal College made up of existing facilities including adult education. These were consolidated into a small number of sites and a new building erected in Blackstock Road. Islington Library is included in the college buildings.
41 Mural of a skeleton looking at a mobile phone on the side wall. This is by Sao Paulo based Street Artist Mauro Golin, aka Muretz. Another mural on an adjacent wall shows a human cup and saucer
51 H J Bloom's ironmongers shop which dates from the 1950s. The front decorated with numerous drawings of keys and other items for sale.
48 this was Park Hall used by Brethren from 1885 until 1901. It was used by Christadelphians from 1932.
52 Richard Peace, pianoforte manufacturer. 1882-1909.   later it was Fairfield Factory occupied by Willmott, Son and Phillips Ltd machinists, overlookers and pressers. Since demolished.
102 Islington and Shoreditch housing association. The site at the back of here and the Mews was a branch of Pickford Removal and Furniture Depository Business,
New Times Bus. Private bus company running on London routes, including 29, in the early 1930s. Their sole bus was garaged by Mellhuish next door to the Pickford's Company. They also had a filling station and taxi business
Blackstock Mews. Flats built in 2007 in what was an industrial site.
126 Kings Head Pub. Dates from the 1880s.
131 This is a wine bar and restaurant previously called the Halfway House. It opened in 2011
132 This is now a bar to which they have kept the shop frontage. T Bird's 1930s style shop was for elderly ladies to drop in for a chat and not buy anything. It was founded in the 1880s and one of the reasons for its closure was a large increase in rent
Ambler Primary School. This opened in 1898 as Ambler Road Board School. In 1900 it had a centre for handicapped children.  In the 1930s a nursery block was added.
175 Arsenal Tavern. This is now a back packers’ hostel.  It is said to be the 'old sluice house' and the rear is where the New River actually crossed the Hackney Brook. There is no evidence of this. It was renamed as the Arsenal Tavern before 1944. It was originally a Courage House but has since been run by Enterprise Inns and by Unique Inns
Primitive Methodist Mission Hall corner of Hurlock Street 1870,
204 The Gunners. The pub is apparently full of Arsenal football memorabilia.  The name relates to the club’s nickname which was relevant when it was in Woolwich and was something to do with guns. The building dates from the 1870s.
211 Police Station. Built 1903 by John Dixon Butler in brick and stone. This has now closed and has been sold.
Police Station – the site is part of a terrace which until the late 19th stood in front of a curved road running parallel to the east of it.  It seems likely that this followed the line of the Hackney Brook
Methodist Chapel. This is also shown on 19th maps as fronting Blackstock Road (then Highbury Vale) but within this curve.
215 Woodbine pub. This probably dates to the 1890s.
218-224 This stretch of road was Highbury Vale, also called Dane Bottom. It had been a separate road but became part of the Blackstock Road when the shopping parade was built in the 1880s. It is said to be the scene of a battle and a Danish settlement – more recently it was the fields of Cream Hall Farm.
219 H. & G Hopton The oldest established firm of Press Tool Makers in London. Plants fitted complete for tin box making for all trades. Precision Work of all description”. This site is now redeveloped as flats.
226 Bank of Friendship pub. This pub had this name in 1852. It has been claimed this is because people used to wave to each other across the Hackney Brook.

Clifton Terrace
11 The Park Theatre. This is a conversion of a former office building by David Hughes Architects. The idea for The Theatre came from Jez and Melli Bond. It opened in 2013 has two theatre spaces and includes a bar and cafe. Flats on the upper floors will provide some funding.

Conewood Street
14 Conewood Street Children’s Centre. This offers full and part-time childcare as well as the full range of children's centre services including stay and play sessions, health and family support services. This is in a building which was once a local authority children’s home and later used as Martineau Community Nursery,
St.John's Highbury Vale Church of England School. Rebuilt national school of 1864. Stock brick with stripe polychrome heads to the windows. This opened in 1836 as Highbury Vale School with a Parliamentary grant, by the ladies who had founded the chapel. The school was enlarged and rebuilt in 1864. It then took boys, girls and infants and became Christ Church National School. It was financed by voluntary contributions, and grants. It was handed to the new church of St. John's in 1883. The London County Council required thorough repairs in 1908. A playground was added in 1934 and in 1947 it was reorganised as a voluntary aided Church of England Primary School.
St. John’s Highbury Parish Hall. This is now part of the school
22 E.R. Duke. They made Duke’s Nut Food in the 1930s
19-21 Bell Brush Co. They were present in the 1950s. It seems likely that they made artists brushes – there is now a Bell Brush Co. in Enfield but they provide janitorial supplies.
Ace Works. Aluminium Equipment Co. This was a sheet metal plant which closed in 1973. They had been there since at least the 1930s

Elphinstone Street
Named after James Elphinstone who was the uncle of George Strachan, Vicar of Islington. Elphinstone lived in Islington, was a friend of Dr.Johnson and his dates are 1721-1809.

Finsbury Park
This square covers only a tiny end portion of this large urban park,
Finsbury Gate. Designed by Frederick Manable, Superintending Architect to the Metropolitan Board of Works.
Gymnasium. This was an original feature of the park and lay to the west just inside the Finsbury Gate entrance.
Furtherfield Art Gallery. This is on the site where the original gymnasium in the park was sited. They hope to exhibit contemporary work in art, technology and social change for local residents and users of the park.

Finsbury Park Road
This residential side street actually goes up to meet the gates of Finsbury Park at Seven Sisters Road. Hence the name.
New River Co. a plate showing the course of the main laid on the wayleave created by the course of the New River was recorded on the east side of the road.

Finsbury Park Station,
Finsbury Park Station. The station originally opened in 1867 and is now on several lines – both rail and underground - and also on others which are now disused.  It lies in a hollow at what was the Seven Sisters Road/Stroud Green Road crossroads and thus the railway itself is on an embankment above the road. There are also two bus stations. It was preceded by Seven Sisters Halt built in 1861 by the Great Northern Railway. This was on the corner of Stroud Green Road and part of the line to Edgware. In 1867 it was given a waiting shed and a bridge and in 1869 it was renamed ‘Finsbury Park’. By 1874 it was a major interchange with platform buildings. In 1955 there was intended to build a new booking hall and an imposing façade. Under the station were girders to support this. 1972 the facade was demolished and these girders removed. Spaces for shops were provided and a temporary booking office which was there until 1983, There was also  a stairway to nowhere with designs of duelling pistols and balloons – said to be because designers had confused Finsbury Park with Finsbury Fields on the City borders, where such activities took place. – Or maybe to remind us of nearby Hornsey Wood.  Currently the station is managed by the Great Northern; there are separate ticket offices for the Rail services and the Underground station. There are currently six platforms but only five tracks. The two underground lines, although 'deep-level' tube, are only 6 metres below street level and there are now no lifts or escalators. However the last hydraulically-operated lifts on London Transport were here. In 2015 ticket barriers were installed and operated on all the entrances to the station.
Great Northern Railway.  This opened in 1861 on the East Coast Main Line from King's Cross to the north of England and Scotland. Tracks were laid through Finsbury Park in 1850 and a halt opened in 1861 here.
Edgware Branch. This was built in 1867 by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway and operated by the Great Northern Railway. Northern Heights. In 1935 London Underground planned a New Works Programme. This included plans to take over the lines from Finsbury Park to Edgware. This programme was cancelled due to the Second World War and never completed. The line to Alexandra Palace was closed to passengers in 1954 but continued to carry freight to Edgware and access Highgate Depot until 1971 when the  tracks and platforms were removed and replaced by a pedestrian access on the east side.  The line itself is now a footpath – the Parkland Walk.
Great Northern & City Railway. This opened in 1904 as underground railway to Moorgate in the City. The tunnels were built to take main line trains but were not connected to the Great Northern platforms. The service operated as a shuttle between to Moorgate. The service ended when the installation of the Victoria Line removed the platforms but in 1976 the unfinished surface connection from Drayton Park, which had been part of the never finished Northern Heights scheme, was completed so trains could be run to Moorgate and to the north.
Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway. This opened in 1906 and is now the Piccadilly Line. From 1901 this was operated by a consortium led by Charles Yerkes who cancelled plans to go north of Finsbury Park. It was built with the small diameter tube tunnels and platforms were constructed beneath the main line station. When opened, with services to Hammersmith, it was then the longest tube railway. In 1932 the line was extended to Arnos Grove and then Cockfosters with financial support from the government.
Victoria Line. This was planned in the early 1960s to provide the maximum number of interchanges with other Underground and rail lines as possible. The station was changed so that both Piccadilly and Victoria lines used to then disused Moorgate line platforms and connecting tunnels were built. The first section of the Victoria line  Walthamstow Central and Highbury and Islington opened in 1968.
Bus Stations. There are two bus stations with a total of six bus stands. At Wells Terrace to the north and Station Place, to the east

Fonthill Road
This is a mid 19th road now dominated since the 1960s by wholesale garment outlets
Saturday market. The wholesale garment district here opens its doors to the public every Saturday. The rest of the week it is professional buyers
20 William Butler Yeats. This was originally called the Duke of Edinburgh and has also since been known as Fonthill and Red Rita. It opened in 1871 and is owned by Rosgoff Taverns but was previously Ind Coope and then Taylor Walker
111 George Hotel. This dated from 1874 and seems to have closed before the Great War. Later it was the Finsbury Park Railway Working Men's Club and Institute. It is now a clothing shop.
99 Taylor.  Laundry engineers and sundries suppliers, early 20th
127 St James Tavern this is now closed and was originally the Fonthill Tavern opened in 1874. It closed in 1986 and is now a dress shop.
133 Hunnings Printers. Ltd. They had on site a hand printing machine by J.Smith of Soho called ‘Improved Hercules Press’
143 Whitton and Whitton. Piano factory and showroom. The company was here from the 1880s and had previously been at a number of addresses in the Islington area

Gillespie Park
Gillespie Park. This is a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It includes the Islington Ecology Centre, which provides environmental education for schools and organises walks and talks for adults. It is owned and managed by Islington Council. It has meadow and woodland areas with several ponds, and there are 244 species of plants, 94 of birds and 24 of butterflies. It has a number of plants which are rare in Central London, including the narrow-leaved bird's-foot-trefoil, grass vetchling and pyramidal orchid. In 1990 it was the site of the first recorded breeding of the long-tailed blue butterfly. Clinker forms a substrata from the sidings there are herbs, pond, etc.
Gillespie Park.   It is on the site of a British Rail depot - East Goods Yard. . The original agricultural land was purchased in 1866 by the Great Northern Railway and developed into goods and marshalling yards. The Yard was operational from 1877 until 1960.  (see below) In 1981 some of the site was leased to London Borough of Islington for ten years for an Ecological Park. In 1986 British Rail announced sale of the land for housing but a local campaign led to Department of the Environment funding for an Ecology Centre which opened in 1993.  A wall of Stephens Ink factory forms the entrance to the park.

Gillespie Road
93 Mayfield Sanitary Laundry. This dated from the 1880s and employed about 200 people. The building lay right behind the north side of the Arsenal Football Pitch. In 1941 it was bombed and canvas camp beds stored there were set on fire – it was back in use eventually but shut down in 1966.
Kay’s Photographic Laboratories. This replaced the laundry in the 1960s -1980s. This was the laboratory for the, then Soho based, film processing company which dates from at least 1917.   Metrocolor, which was a name associated with Kay’s took over the factory in the 1980s but closed down in 2001.
117-119 Stadium Mews. Football ground gate. This was formed by the demolition of two houses in Gillespie Road to allow access to the ground.
Arsenal Station.  This opened in 1906 and lies between Finsbury Park and Holloway Road stations on the Piccadilly Line. The station is in a narrow residential street and so was squeezed between houses on each side. In 1913 the football stadium was built and the station was renamed Arsenal (Highbury Hill) in 1932 and the front of the station was altered to look more modern – this is a concrete panel stuck on the original front with nothing behind it but struts keeping it upright.. The name ‘Arsenal’ dates from the 1960s.  The station was designed by Leslie Green and had one of his standard tiled frontages. The platform walls have ‘Gillespie Road’ spelt out in large tiled letters and there is decorative tiling by Wolliscroft & Sons although much was in poor condition and has been replaced. A wooden clock has survived on the platform. The platforms are accessed by a sloping passageway and there are measures to control football crowds. There is a tunnel to platform level from the main access passage and a "tidal" system with a section divided from the main passageway by a full-height fence.
5a Gillespie Road Wesleyan Mission. This is said to have been built above the Hackney Brook as a branch of the Wilberforce Road Mission. The Hall was in use from 1878-1932 and is now housing.
Gillespie Road primary school. This started in the Wesleyan hall in 1878, and was officially opened as a school by the Rev J Rodgers in 1879.  This is an E.R. Robson building for the London School Board. It is three-storey in yellow stock brick and with a fifteen bay frontage. The main entrance, - for staff and visitors - has a frieze and date stone 'Ao Di 1878' with floral decoration. There are ornamental iron railings and gates and stone entrance lintels read 'BOYS' and 'GIRLS' with sunflower heads. In the playground is a 19th open-sided play shed with an iron roof and there were separate boys and girls playgrounds. Inside staircases were also separated into boys and girls. Classrooms can be divided or opened up and have original partitions and glazing. There are also original grades with the School Board for London monogram.
Caretaker’s house, Designed by Robson for the London School Board.
The Gillespie Picture Hall, this is thought to have been a shop conversion used as a cinema in 1910-1911.
Stephens ink factory.  Henry Stephens was the inventor in 1832 of an indelible "blue-black writing fluid" which became as Stephens' Ink and to form the foundation of a successful worldwide company for over 150 years. He was based in Finchley where there is a small museum to his memory and achievement. He inherited management of the family staining and ink factory in Aldersgate. In 1872 the factory and offices were moved to Holloway Road and in 1892 the factory moved to Gillespie Road, The Stephens' Ink Company was innovative and profitable and Henry Stephens was a very wealthy man. The Gillespie Road factory was designed by his son, Michael, and built in the form of a Venetian palazzo and had an illuminated chimney.  It produced ink, office utensils, carbon papers and gum - the raw materials being delivered by rail from London Docks. It was closed in the 1960’s and a council estate built on the site in 1972. By which time only one wall of this factory was left standing which form an entrance to the ecology park

Gloucester Drive
2a this is the current vicarage for St.John’s Church. The original vicarage is assumed to be now the site of new housing
Housing adjacent to the church, was presumably built on the site of the original church
St. Johns Church Hall. Finsbury Park Housing Project drop in centre

Goodwin Street
4 -5 Postal Sorting office. This is early 20th and designed by Jasper Wenger with an elaborate single storey façade fronting a utilitarian shed.  It is no longer in use.
Food depot at the end facing Goodwin Street. This is a concrete framed building originally constructed as a distribution depot
Railway Mission Hall. This was on the site now taken by the depot at the end of the street. The mission was part of a national organisation founded in 1881 as a successor to the Railway Boys Mission and aimed to provided meetings and services for Railwaymen who could not attend Church Services because of their unsocial hours.  Their declared aims were: 1.Evangalistic and Temperance Works, 2.Circulation of pure literature. 3. Care of the injured
11 House and offices used by Campaign Against the Arms Trade. The building is owned by Peace News Trustees, and has been used in the past by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, support organisations for Palestinians, Oromos and Kurds, local neighbourhood groups and an organisation to aid street drinkers. In the hallway was an ingenious system of pulleys and hangers that allowed bikes to be hauled upwards above the tallest visitors.

Hackney Brook
Hackney Brook is detailed in many works once it has reached Hackney but its upper reaches in the Blackstock Road area are much vaguer. .One branch comes from the north and rises somewhere to the west of Finsbury Par Station and then flows south in the direction of the Holloway and Hornsey Roads.  The stream appears to cross the complex of railways and ex-railway sidings west of Gillespie Road flows north of the road and the tube station and through the ecology park. Arsenal’s old stadium sits on a meadow called Long Mead which lay south of the stream. The stream crossed the Blackstock Road at the dogleg where the Arsenal Tavern stands which is obviously at the foot of a valley slope. And then along Mountgrove Road and into Clissold Park.

Highbury Stadium Square
Flats built within the grounds of the former Highbury Stadium, including the preserved facades of the East & West Stands.  The pitch has become landscaped gardens and the Concierge is situated in the
Marble Hall.

Hurlock Street
This was previously Myrtle Street
2 A Congregational mission opened in Myrtle Street as Highbury Vale mission in 1937. It was used by other Christians from 1948.  It is now Elizabeth House, a Community Centre for children and young people. They run After School Clubs and a youth club. They also do fitness classes, and a garden project. They also provide spaces for other groups

Isledon Road
A suburban back road paralleling the railway lines between Seven Sisters Road and Hornsey Road. The name relates to one of the early names for Islington. It is crossed by Hackney Brook which is running underground, it was originally called Clarence Road – hence the Clarence Goods Yard in this area.
76-89 Iseldon Resource Centre. Mental health and other NHS support for Islington residents.
185 Travellodge London Finsbury Park Hotel. Built in 2016 on the site of an earlier hotel – the Maryland Hotel in a conversion from housing
Airshaft. This stands back from the road in a storage yard for Tubelines and is for the Victoria Line
201 Pure Highbury Student Housing. Huge corner block on the site of a trading estate itself on the site of terraced housing.
Isledon Village Housing is a housing development by Benjamin Derbyshire of Hunt Thompson, 1991-4; it fills former industrial space between the railway and the roads.
Gardens. The sloping ground is laid out as compact little park with a sports area, a couple of slides for smaller children and a formal walled area with benches, flower beds and a complex of steps and balconies.

Lennox Road
27-29 Lennox Hall.   This is an old Congregational mission hall made up of two terrace houses and with a hall behind. They were built in 1884 to designs by Searle and Hayes for the New Court Congregational Church. They were used by Elim Pentecostalists in 1951-77 and are now flats and offices.
6-10 New Life Church. Seventh Day Adventist Church and church centre. This appears to the same building as the YMCA Club, shown on maps from the late 1960s and now part of the City YMCA and housing a youth arts project.

Medina Road
52-53 Employment Exchange. It is Neo-Georgian with 'Employers’ originally written over the central door.  It was built in 1933 replacing shop premises nearby used by the Islington Exchange which was one of the earliest ever set up.

Monsell Road
This was originally called Kings Road and laid out in the 1840s.
St. Thomas’s Church. In 1888 there was a church of England Mission Church where first in a small brick building, then in a large temporary iron church. When St Matthew, Friday Street was demolished the proceeds of the site sale were used to fund a new permanent church here designed by Ewan Christian. It was in the then new Anglo-Catholic tradition with social work staff, protests at social conditions, many clubs, and in particular no pew rents. There are three memorials in the church to the dead of the Great War – there are red poppies on a screen, and 95 names listed on a brass plaque and one individual memorial. The church is now well looked after and has had support and grant funding.

Morris Place
The Arts Place. John Jones, picture frame maker. This was established in the 1960s, and is family-owned and run. Frames and artist surfaces are hand-made at premises in Hertfordshire, which includes a mill, welding studio, special finishes and gilding department.

Mountgrove Road
This was once a bridle way called Gipsy Lane
New River. This is the where between 1619 and 1870 the Boarded River crossed the valley of the Hackney Brook, and then crossed the brook itself at the back of the Arsenal Tavern, from whence it ran due south
Hackney Brook. The brook here ran west/east parallel and probably north of the road.

Myddleton Avenue
This is modern housing built on the site of filter beds for the New River Company’s Stoke Newington Water Works. These were built between 1855 and 1883 and used the Lancashire process of slow filtration. After the Great War a fast filtration process was introduced

New River
New River. The New River provided fresh water to London from springs near Hertford and was opened in 1613.  Originally it was built along the 100 ft contour so that it gradually flowed onward but this necessitated long circuitous loops.  The first such loop to be bypassed was as early as 1619 when a 17 ft high timber lead-lined wooden trough was built to carry the stream over the Hackney Brook here, on the junction of today’s Mountgrove and Blackstock Roads. This was known as the ‘Boarded River’. The line of the original river is and that in squares to the east, west and south.  The river itself was cut short in 1870 at the pumping station in Green Lanes (in the square to the east)
The Boarded River. In 1618 -19  the long westward loop to Ring Cross and back was shortened by an embankment built across the valley of the Hackney Brook., 462 feet long and 6 feet wide. This ran from today’s Princess Crescent area parallel to today’s Blackstock Road until it reached what is now the Arsenal Tavern, where it met and crossed the Hackney Brook and then turned due east to reach the original course near today’s Green Lanes. Leaks were frequent and expensive and in 1776 Robert Mylne replaced it with a clay-lined embankment called Highbury Bank, through which the Hackney Brook ran under a brick arch.  This whole stretch went out of use in 1870.

Playford Road
Until 1911 this was Palmerston Road. The road is now in two halves divided by the council owned area which includes Clifton Court.
Clifton Court.  This is an Islington Council 20 storey block built in 1966 as part of Haden Court.

Plimsoll Road
In the 1950s some bus routes terminated here and a canteen was provided for staff, initially on a truck but later in a permanent building,

Pooles Park
St Anne’s Church. This was set up with an Iron church in Durham Road from 1866 – 1870 which included a National School. A church was built in 1870 of multicoloured brick designed by A. D. Gough after the Second World War it beamed derelict and was used as a hall.  It was demolished in 1965.
Church. This was next to St Anne and was by Romilly Craze and consecrated in 1960. It was demolished before 1970.
Pooles Park Tavern. Closed and demolished in 1961. It was a Charrington House opened in 1874
YMCA Red Triangle Club. Put there to tame the youths of Campbell Bunk. This was on the corner of Bickerstaff Road.

Prah Road
Conservative Club. The property, said to have a ‘sober, 1950s interior’ opened as a members’ club in 1886.  It was sold in 2015

Princess Crescent
New River. In the car park of St. John’s House cast iron posts were placed to mark the line of the pumping main to the west part of Islington on the New River.  On either side of gate onto the grass a pair of iron posts was recorded which were 15' apart with 'Track MBW' on them'.
New River.  In the path of St, John’s flats near the Crescent a metal plate was recorded with 'T MWB' on it.
Finsbury Park Synagogue. This was founded as an independent synagogue in 1884 and was initially affiliated with the Federation of Synagogues, before becoming a District Synagogue of the United Synagogue in 1934. It was first on Portland Road, then Princess Crescent, before moving to Green Lanes about 1962. There are now flats on the Princess Crescent site.

Queen's Drive.
St. John the Evangelist. The original building resulted from popular requests for a church and was consecrated in 1874. It had been built to design by F. Wallen and delayed by the builder's bankruptcy. Extensive repairs were needed in 1920 and under-pinning from 1928 and this was followed by severe war damage. Some of the original churchyard wall remains. The church was rebuilt in 1995 to a design by Tom Hornby recently described as a semi circular “flying saucer” and now features  a Kids Cafe and a Soup Kitchen
Housing adjacent to the church, and presumably built on the site of the original church bears a plaque saying  "This stone unveiled by David Curry M P Minister for Housing 5 December 1994 St John’s Housing Project”
Parkwood Primary and Nursery School. The school dates from 1969 and was opened by the London County Council in what was then part of Stoke Newington.
New River. On the line of the water  main laid along the wayleave created by the course of the New River a row of metal studs was recorded across the corner of the school playground.

Quill Street
Newish housing built alongside the railway and on old railway lands.
Gillespie Park entrance gate.

The area covered by this square is bisected by a complicated network of rail lines mainly heading for Kings Cross Station in one direction, and northern England in the other. There was an associated network of goods yards here. Finsbury Park Station (above) dates from the 1860s and the line to Edgware (above) from 1867.  The railways were accelerated here by the introduction of a line up from the North London Line – described as the Canonbury Curve. This fed into the lines going into Finsbury Park Station at the southernmost edge of this square from 1874.
East Goods Yard. This is the current site of Gillespie Park (see above). It opened around 1875 and was a marshalling yard for up traffic.
Clarence Yard. This was a marshalling yard for down traffic and opened in 1875.
Clarence Yard Goods. This was for public goods traffic and coal. Opened in 1875. A western section originally used for coal was used for diesel after 1960.
Western Carriage sidings. These lay between the East Goods Yard and Clarence Yard and included a long cleaning shed built in 1885.
Finsbury Park Goods Yard. This was in two sections either side of Wells Terrace. The older section to the south of the road. The northern dating from 1879. Coal Depot area to the north of Wells Terrace Railway sidings. The earliest four sidings here were to the west of the station and shown on 1864 maps as the original goods depot.
Highbury Vale Yard. Now the site of Gillespie Park.

Riversdale Road
New River. The 'boarded river' flowed to meet the this road probably around the area of Digby Road and then turned eastwards

Rixon Road
Housing on the site of what was Clarence Yard.

Rock Street
This was once called Grange Road.  In the 1920s it was used as a bus stand to ease congestion in Station Place
Belisha. A pair of combined Belisha beacons have been set up outside no 23. In the dark the white portions are seen as illuminated columns and they are more visible.

Seven Sisters Road
This was a main turnpike road. The road was authorised in 1829 and constructed in 1833 by the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust. In 1841 the toll gate was moved to what was then called ‘Strand Green Lane” junction with what was then called Hem Lane and Sluice House Lane.   Hem or Heame Lane ran from Hornsey Road to Stroud Green Road and became part of Seven Sisters Road.
New River. The original line probably crossed Seven Sisters Road near where Finsbury Park Station is now – but on a generally east/west line. This was abandoned when the Boarded River was built in 1619
330 Alexandra National Hotel. This was a ten storey block opened in 1966 by Lord Geddes. Chair of the British Travel Association.  It later became studio flats and bedsits with some offices including a small community centre, and a community launderette,  It was demolished around 2008 to be replaced by a housing scheme called Finsbury Park Place.
326-328 Pembury Hotel
324 Queens Hotel.. In the 1950s this was the Greater London Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.
314 Finsbury Park Wesleyan Methodist church. This opened in 1871 in an iron building on land bought by Sir Francis Lycett. A permanent church was built in 1875. It was probably demolished in the early 1970's, there is now a BP garage on the site.
296 High up on the east side of the building overlooking Finsbury Park Road is a cement sign. This had letters recessed into the concrete which now appear to have been painted over or erased. It said 'Marshall, importer of Segars, wholesale & retail and at Islington'. Below and to the rear of the building are what appear to be the remains of stables.
284 The Blackstock. Originally this was The Blackstock Hotel but was also called at one time The Park Hotel. This dates from at least the 1860s.
Stroud Green Farm. This once stood on the corner with Stroud Green Lane, and in the late 19th also operated a Tea Garden.
269 Pyke’s Cinematograph Theatre. This was opened by Montague Pyke in 1909. It had originally been the entrance to a horse drawn tram depot \n it was then decorated with an auditorium behind. It closed as a cinema in 1915. In 1920 it was incorporated into the Rink Cinema round the corner and became the foyer of what was then called the Finsbury Park Cinema. It later became the Rink Cinema again was operated by Associated Picture Houses, The new foyer then became a large cafe/restaurant and the cinema continued. After the cinema, which was by then a bingo club closed in 1984. The original Cinematograph Theatre was demolished in 1999. In 2006 it a supermarket was built on the site.
North Metropolitan Tramways. Finsbury Park Depot. This was opened in 1885 by the North London Tramways and from 1891 was the North Metropolitan. They added stables here in 1898. Latterly it belonged to the London County Council.
263 The Twelve Pins - this current name refers to a range of Irish mountains. It was originally called the Finsbury Park Tavern. It dates from at least the 1890s.
Railway bridges – seven rail lines cross the road accessing Finsbury Park Station.  In 2016 artwork placards devised with artists and local people were put on walls beneath the bridges saying “Finsbury Park” and “Together” as a way of lightening a gloomy space and branding the area.
Rail bridge. The earliest signal box in this area was built in 1855 and lay south of the bridge. It controlled the line going to the then new Holloway Coal Depot to the south.
Cattle sheds. The frontage east of Fonthill Road on the north side of the road was, when the station and goods sheds were first built, a cattle shed and what appears to be a tree lined field.
240 The Clarence, This pub dated from at least the 1860s and has now been demolished. The name was changed to The Sir George Robey in the 1960s and it became a popular music venue in the 1980s but was empty from 2004. It was hoped it would become a local arts venue and efforts were made to prevent demolition. Sir George Robey was an English comedian, singer and actor in musical theatre and considered one of the greatest music hall performers of the late 19th and early 20th.
238 The Astoria Theatre. This opened in 1930 as the fourth of the Astoria Theatres built by Arthur Segal for Paramount on what had been the site of a postal sorting office. The outside by Edward A. Stone is in plain faience. Inside it was decorated in a Spanish Moorish/Atmospheric style by Marc-Henri and G. Laverdet as Art Deco with a Moorish foyer and auditorium like an Andalucian village at night. It had a twin console Compton 3manual/13Rank theatre organ. It has a 35 feet deep stage, 12 dressing rooms, a cafe and a fountain containing goldfish. It was Taken over by Paramount Pictures in 1930, and hen by Odeon Theatres Ltd. in 1939. In the 1960s it became a site for pop music gigs. It was re-named Odeon in 1970, it was closed by the Rank Organisation n 1971 and then It was converted into the Rainbow Theatre. It became a music venue for pop and rock and some relevant films. It closed in 1981 and was then unused until 1995 when the Brazilian based United Church of the Kingdom of God restored it and now use it as their main base in the UK
233 Muslin Welfare House. Halal House. Social, educational and community centre seeking to support local communities. 228 Electric Vaudeville Theatre, This opened in 1909 as a shop conversion, designed by Lovegrove & Papworth. Robert Hawkins, the operator, sold the cinema to Selig & Isaacs in 1915 and it closed in 1916. It became a shop and having been derelict it now a sauna and a restaurant.
201 The Seven Sisters Road Congregational Church. This was founded in 1864 and was replaced in 1885 by the Finsbury Park Congregational church at the corner with Playford Roads. There was a lecture hall behind the church. The church closed in 1939 but is still shown as extant in the 1960s.  It now appears to be a small private car park for businesses in Playford Road.
165 The Durham Castle, This pub dated from at least the 1860s. It is now closed and is a Turkish delicatessen shop.

Somerfield Road
New River.  Originally the New River crossed the valley on an embankment some 600 yards long, its north end approximately just west of the junction with Queens Drive.  The water company retains the wayleaves created by the line of the river and the New River Company marked the line of its main along it with cast iron plates. One here was marked by a cast iron plate marked ‘NRC pipe track’ on the wall on the corner with Queens Drive.  The line of the main is said to run diagonally from here north west between gaps in buildings as far as Seven Sisters Road.  On the site of the road there is a patch of granite setts which might indicate some previous use by the New River Company.

St.Thomas's Road
Vaudeville Court. Flats on the site of Finsbury Park Empire.
2 Finsbury Park Empire. This was designed Frank Matcham in a similar style to his Shepherd’s Bush theatre and built for Moss Empires Ltd. It opened in 1910 with a variety show. Moss considered it their No2 theatre and shows came here after the London Palladium and before going nationwide. Films were shown as part of the show and included a newsreel. It closed in 1960. It then became a scenery store for Moss Empire Theatres and also used as a rehearsal space. It was compulsorily purchased by London Borough of Islington in 1964, and was soon after.
St Thomas' Church. This was built in 1888 By Ewan Christian; additions 1901 and 1904, by Edward Street. Red brick inside and outside. Chancel with its brickwork painted is screened by a low wall iron screen by Wippells, 1920; a similar one to the apsidal isle.  The Chancel rood is by Burnes & is dated 1922. Original Font and cover. Stained glass window by C.E. Kempe; six in the chapel and five in the baptistery by Clayton & Bell.
Vicarage.  Hall and Vestry 1901
15 Moslem Welfare Centre. North London Central Mosque. The main building was opened in 1994 in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles.
52 The Auld Triangle. This was previously called the Plimsoll Arms dating from 1890 and an Ind Coope House.

Station Place
This has also been called Station Road and Station Street.  It is now largely a bus station but buses have used this as a stand from the start. The road opened in 1874 when the railway layouts here were changed in order to take in trains from the North London line. The road was part of the rebuilding of the station.
5 Zelman Drinks. Also called The Silver Bullet.  Muldoons, Gaslight, etc.

Stroud Green Road
The road formed the boundary between Hornsey and Islington.  .
10 this was a horse drawn tram depot which was converted into a roller skating rink but never opened. In 1909 it became the Rink Cinema converted by Fair, Mayer & Marshall.  An organ was installed in 1915. In 1920 it took over the Cinematograph Theatre round the corner and it became the main entrance, foyer and restaurant for the larger cinema. The Rink Cinema’s entrance became a secondary entrance for the front stall. It became known as the Finsbury Park Cinema and rhea went back to being the Rink Cinema and was operated by Associated Picture Houses, later Provincial Cinematograph Theatres. In 1923 it was the first cinema in Britain to have the De Forest Phonofilms ‘sound on film’ system, later Fox ‘Movietone’. In 1926 a Model ‘F’ Wurlitzer theatre organ with 2Manuals/8Ranks was installed and removed during the Second World War. In 1929 it was taken over by Gaumont British Theatres and named Gaumont in 1950. In 1958 and was converted into the Majestic Ballroom. In the early-1960’s it became a Top Rank Bingo Club which closed in 1984. The original Rink Cinema became a snooker club and later a Ten Pin Bowl known as Rowan’s.
9-15 Scala Cinema. This opened in 1914 with the entrance to the north and the auditorium parallel to Stroud Green Road – the rake of the seating followed the fall of the land. It was designed by H.W.Horsley and built as part of a parade of shops with the railway coal depot behind.  In 1920 it was taken over in 1920 by Alahamson and Landan who renamed it New Scala Cinema. It closed in 1924 and became a billiard hall. It was later “Park Whist Hall’, then Irish dancing and then Peter Phillips clothing factory. It was demolished in 2007 and by 2014 there were flats and a supermarket had been built on site
Entrance to the park which includes a store where bicycles can be kept locked while owners are on the train
Railway bridge.   The bridge carries the East Coast main line towards Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland. There are measures here to deal with vehicles which are too high to pass beneath the bridge . The bus stations handling traffic to Finsbury Park Station are arranged to prevent double deckers passing under the bridge

Wells Terrace
British Transport Police. They have a police station by the Wells Terrace entrance.
11 Railway Hotel. This opened in 1874 and was a Taylor Walker House, later owned by Punch Taverns. It closed in 2013 and is now a cafe.
Finsbury Park Goods Yard (see above).   The section south of the road is the original and that to the north dates from 1879.The sidings are now the. City North redevelopment site.  This lies between this road and the railway in a rough triangle with a spur reaching Fonthill Road and another along the end of Goodwin Street. Buildings were constructed from the 1950s onwards on land previously occupied by railway sidings and were used by Mac Fisheries, a large fish distributor. There was also some oil storage. From the 1970s the site was used as a shop fitters warehouse and production facility, including metalworking and joinery and converted into mixed use units in 2005

Whadcoat Street
This was previously called Campbell Road – “Campbell Bunk. Worst street in London”.

Wilberforce Road
1 Finsbury Park Methodist Church. This replaced the larger building which was adjacent to it but fronting onto Seven Sisters Road.
New River. This is the approximate site of the Highbury Sluice House which stood north of the New River at the point at which it turned south to become the Boarded River. Drawings show the house as a pub alongside a bridge crossing the stream,
New River. The line of the wayleave on the old course of the New River passes a house which was once Luesleys Hotel on the east side. A cast iron plate was recorded here with 'New River Co. Pipe Track' plus arrows on the wall which marked the limits of New River Co. land.  The Central Park Hotel is on the west side opposite what was Luesleys. The line of the wayleave as having been marked with two cast iron plates with 'New River Co. Pipe Track'.  There are also said to be two MWB pipes in the car park

Woodfall Road
Woodfall Park, small park with attached playground.

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Arthur Lloyd. Web site
Bowes and Bounds. Web site
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