Moselle River - Muswell Hill

Moselle River
The Moselle rises from a number of sources in this area. Both St. James Brook and Cranley Gardens Brook rise here and flow eastwards.

Post to the north Muswell Hill
Post to the south Highgate
Post to the east Hornsey
Post to the west East Finchley

Alexandra Gardens
Laid out when the station opened
29 On the front of the house is "VILLAGE CLUB” on a terracotta plaque. To be used by local residents as a social centre.

Avenue Mews
Stable buildings and other service facilities - when Muswell Hill was built up horse-drawn traffic was the norm. There are granite setts in the entrance.

Burlington Road
Houses built on the site of Muswell Lodge.  The murder in 1886 of the Lodge's occupant drew attention to Muswell Hill.
Blanche Neville School. Secondary department of school for deaf children.

Church Crescent
Built by developer Collins on land from Upton Farm purchased from the railway company.
At the east end trees of Parkland Walk provide a spectacular backdrop
Friends Meeting House. This was built in 1923 by F. Rowntree.  It is on a slope with the meeting room above a classroom. There is an extension with a house built in 1982 by John Marsh.

Cranley Gardens
The Cranley Gardens stream rises in this area and flows east between here and Woodland Rise.

Dukes Avenue
This was called Station Avenue. Development of the road was by Edmondson.
26 -28 passageways made by the developer, Edmondson, to allow people to reach the railway station easily. They now lead to a school on the old station site.
15 Mediterranean-style gravel front garden
Baptist Church. Designed by Baines and opened in 1901. It has two foundation stones - one of which was laid by Mrs Edmondson. Edmondson had given the site for this. It includes two halls and other facilities

Elms Avenue
This is named for a house which once stood fronting Muswell Hill, called The Elms, bought up by Edmondson for development in the late 19th, although it remained undemolished for several years. The houses built here are smaller than some built by his company in surrounding roads.

Firs Avenue
This is named for The Firs, a house bought up by Collins for development. It stood at the top of this road.
Coach House.  Garages at the back of Birchwood Mansions were once coach houses and stables with hay lofts and tethering rings. They date from 1907 and are by the same architect as the Mansions, in Arts and Crafts style. There is a brick boundary wall around a courtyard which leads to a building with a tall chimney stack, below which was the coachman’s house. An arch leads to the stable block itself which is paved with the original blue brick tiles.
Modern houses opposite here were built on the site of a Second World War bomb

Fortis Green
This is an old track way passing along on a ridge of hard clay.
Site of St. James School. The school was built in 1850 on a site given by the Bishop of London. The architect wads local resident Anthony Salvin 1799-1881 at a time when it would have been on a country road. It was intended for infants to prevent small children having to walk to Hornsey but it was soon extended. It was demolished in 1969 but some of the wall remains.
170, Charles Clore Home ‘Spring Lane’, brick block of flats and nursing home built on the site of St James School.
Fortis Green Clinic. Building on the site of the former fire station
The Manor Health and Leisure Club – in a half-timbered building of a former clinic
Fairport. A large steeply gabled, tile hung block on the east side of Fortismere Avenue, used for a doctor’s practice.  The house gave its name to Fairport Convention because guitarist Simon Nicol’s father was the doctor who used the surgery below and gave the group rehearsal space.
1-18 The Gables, another Herbert and William Collins building of 1907 and Similar to Birchwood Mansions.  It is brick with terracotta decorative features
Leaside Mansions, built 1907 by Collins. Firemen's helmets and axes are depicted on shields above the doors thus they have been called ‘Firemen’s flats’
Long Ridges 1930, Neo-Georgian flats with demure Regency balconies built by W.J.Collins's younger son W.B.Collins on land owned by the Collins family.
Twyford Court.  1933.  Neo-Georgian flats with demure Regency balconies by William Collins
Gardens – on each side of Midhurst Avenue were a gift of the executors of W.J.Collins on behalf of Ada Cunningham. A flying bomb fell here in the Second World War and the gardens were extended over some of the site and six remembrance seats placed there. Two benches were dedicated to a street cleaner who was fatally injured in 1961. The benches now appear to have been removed.
Medical centre and Ambulance Sstation. Medical centre and ambulance station included a fire station till 1963 when a new central fire station opened in Priory Road, Hornsey.

Fortis Green Road
This was once a track across Hornsey Common where a village developed following the 1813 Hornsey Enclosure Act. The western side of the road was the boundary of the Fortismere and Firs estates developed after 1900.
Queen’s Mansions – at the start of the shopping area. It has ground level shops with flats above. On the corner is an octagonal cupola with a copper clad dome
Open space at the junction with Princes Avenue. On this plot was a large Cedar tree retained by agreement with the original developer.  It was felled in 1918 and has recently been replaced.
St James's Parade, 22 to 120 are the remains of this terrace. It is thought to be more informal and arty because this ‘is the cultural end of Muswell Hill’.
Sainsbury’s. Built in the 1960s before the conservation area existed. It is on the site of the building called the Athenaeum and provided by developer Edmundson.
Athenaeum Place went to stable yard.
The Atheneum. This was an impressive building provided for the local community by the developer, Edmundson. It had five Doric Columns which supported a pediment, flanked on each side by a tower. Inside were two halls where films were shown in what was called the Athenaeum Picture Playhouse which ran until 1937. It was also used as a Synagogue 1920’s - 1963. It was demolished in 1966.
171 Birchwood Centre including the St. James Church Memorial Hall. This is at the junction of Birchwood Avenue. It was designed by Grey Wornum in 1925, with two adjoining red brick halls connected by a link section with a porch. It is also used as a community base and offices.
Firs Parade shops built by developer Collins. Their estate offices are now incorporated agency
John Baird. Built in 1959 on a bomb site. One of the earliest pubs named after the invention of the TV and recalls the link with early TV broadcasts at Alexandra Palace. The developers did not provide pubs on their estates.
Fortis Court flats, 1925 Built by developer Collins.
Birchwood Mansions the design is thought to have been influenced by developer Collins’ sons. These flats are in particularly inventive Arts and Crafts style. It is a long range of four storey flats in in brick. There is a half timbered ‘Tudor gatehouse’ in the centre and much else

Fortismere Avenue
Named for a local ‘big house’

Grand Avenue
The main spine road of the estate laid out by Collins in early 1900s.
Telephone Exchange – with Mercury’s insignia on the rainwater heads. This was for the TUDor telephone exchange. Built on the site of Highfield School, a private school run by a Frederick Newcombe.
Tetherdown Primary School. This had begun as the preparatory school of Fortismere School. It moved away from that site in 1958 swapping buildings Tollington High School for Girls which was in Grand Avenue

Hillfield Park
Blue Plaque to Vivian Stanshall

King's Avenue
Laid out 1896 by developer Pappin. 

Methuen Park
Named after Lord Methuen 1845-1932, famous in 1900, when the road was built, as a Boer War General.

Midhurst Avenue
Built by W.J.Collins in the 1900s on the line of the avenue leading to a house called Midhurst

Muswell Hill
The name means ‘hill by a mossy spring'. The road and its continuation up into Colney Hatch lane is an old main route out of London to the north. The land alongside the road was taken over 1946 by Hornsey Borough Council and the trees maintained.
Mattysons – this was a mansion house in the area which, in the 17th was home to Sir Julius Caesar's, then Master of the Rolls.
The Hill – changed name for the Green Man Pub. An inn of this name has been here for centuries, the name relating to the surrounding forest. It is also the site of Bath House where Earl Ferrars murdered his steward for which he was hanged. In the early 20th a hotel building was added to the original.
Muswell Hill station.  This closed station was opened in   1873 having been built by the Great Northern Railway.  It was on the north side of Muswell Hill plus an entrance in Duke's Avenue.  Trains ran to Colney Hatch and Southgate, and it was a connecting station to Finchley and Southgate. There was a brick booking hall, two side platforms, an office set back from the main road, a forecourt And a lattice footbridge, connecting the platforms. Muswell Hill was the busiest station on the line and had a passimeter booking office in 1927.    It closed in 1951-1952, and finally in 1954 after which the buildings were demolished and the bridge over the road was filled in so that double decker buses could use it.  In the 1990s the site was used for Muswell Hill Infant and Junior School. A section of railway wall survives behind the school on the up side.
Electricity sub-station, unused. This was built as part of the New Works plan and never used. Demolished with the station
Sidings and rail lines – in the 1900s a network of light railway lines surrounded the station servicing numerous building sites. Later there was a two road coal yard on the up side
Muswell Hill Infant and Junior School, which occupies the site of the railway line at this point.
Office block on Ritz site. This was built in the 1980s on the site of the Ritz (ABC from 1962) cinema, which opened in 1936 and was demolished in 1977. There are Squash courts and a community centre behind it. The cinema was Built by and operated by Associated British Cinemas during its existence. It was designed by ABC’s in-house architect William R. Glen in typical Art Deco styling.

Muswell Hill Broadway
The continuation of the old main road from Muswell Hill up into Colney Hatch Lane
Village Pond this was at the junction with Colney Hatch Lane. It was removed in 1858 and replaced by a tap and pump.
Prince's Parade shops. Parades built in 1897 by Edmundson.
3 Princes Parade. Clock outside what was E.W. Langton's jewellers in 1899 on their watch and clock-making shop. Initially, the mechanism was wound by hand, but in the 1950's it was changed to electric operation. When Langton's left the premises, the clock stopped working and the original mechanical movement was sold
O’Neills. This is an old United Reformed Church built in 1902 by George & R P Baines with walls are of rough white flint rubble with black pointing and red brick and terracotta dressings. There is also a tower. Converted to offices in 1985 following a public enquiry and into a pub in 1996 and, disgracefully, called Wesleys. (As if turning a church into a pub wasn’t bad enough)
Church hall behind, built in 1898 to designs by Arthur Breeds. Converted into flats.
Letter box with VR cypher
Queen's Parade shops Parades built in 1897 by Edmundson. Above the second door behind the corner shop, can be seen the date, '1897'. This shopping parade was the first to be built and called   Queen's   Parade
135 Martyn's Traditional grocery. One of the original shops with its original internal fittings including proper coffee grinders, etc
140 -142 brick building built at the junction with Summerland Gardens for Lloyds Bank in 1927 to a design by Edward Maufe.
192-202 Dome on corner building & octagonal wooden balcony
219-353 this stretch resumes its previous name of Colney Hatch Lane. Past the shopping parades, it was part of the area known as Clerkenwell Detached
258 -260 Built as a restaurant for Express Dairy, which had its depot behind – the ‘Express’ tea room was behind a paved area. It is dated ‘1900’ with a Swiss chalet design. It has been converted to a wine bar and the dairy stopped using the depot in 1985.
262 one of the earliest buildings remaining in the area and the survival of the hamlet near the Green Man and is probably 18th. .
500-516 Palace Mansions with shops in Baroque style
Castle Villas Some single-storey shops which once had gardens instead of shops in front of them
Muswell Hill Post Office. With sorting office behind built on the site of a house called Wellfield. The Post Office was rebuilt in 1936; see date and GVR cypher above the main window

Muswell Hill Place
Laid out when the station opened by and noticeably more humble

Muswell Hill Road
Previously known as Southwood Lane. A name it still retains at its continuation in Highgate
Odeon.  This was built in 1935 on the site of some houses, and was one of the original cinemas in the Oscar Deutsch owned Odeon chain. There was opposition to the site because it was opposite a church but it actually opened in 1936 three months before its, now demolished rival. It was George Coles’ fifth cinema and thought to be his best work demonstrating the influence of German expressionism.  Its exterior is faced in cream and black faience and it is linked to a shopping parade.  Inside is streamlined decoration, with a central lighting feature which looks like a strip of film – and this interior is said to have been the creator of the ‘Odeon style’. It was converted to three screens in 1974.
Cranley Gardens station. Opened in 1902 by the Great Northern railway as an extra station on the now defunct line – its goods yard was opened earlier. Passenger access was by means of a small street level building on the west side of Muswell Hill Road, whilst a supplementary exit was provided, which led from the down platform to the corner of Woodside Avenue. There was a wooden booking office on the bridge, Footbridge and ticket collectors box.  It was closed with the rest of the line in the 1950s and then was left derelict until the 1960s when it was burnt out. Haringey Council built maisonettes and old people’s home on the station site in the 1970s.  The Rail line is now the Parkland Walk.
Goods yard. This was in use from 1897 and it is now the site of the school.
Platelayers' hut south of the station.
The signal box was west of the station, on the down side, and controlled the three road yard, which lay to the south of the line. 
Parkland Walk. A tarmac footpath leads to the old railway line and slopes down sharply onto the old formation. Underneath the road is the line of the railway tracked. The remains of a cast iron trespass board stood nearby to the right but it was not possible to determine its original provenance. There were concrete cable bridges in the wood,

Muswell Road
Above 40 Muswell Road narrows slightly and the houses on the right pre-date the Edwardian development.
36 Letter box 'VR' Cypher.

Prince's Avenue
Laid out 1900 on the line of the drive to Fortis House. Development in by Edmonsons in brick
38 may be surviving portion of Fortis House

Queen's Avenue
Built by Edumundson as a main residential road in 1897/1914.  It is on the site of the Limes Estate, which was owned by C.E Mudie 1818-1890 of the circulating library. The Limes was bought for development in 1865 by the ‘London and Country Land Building Company’ but bought up by the Soames family, who lived at Fortismere. It was sold again later to Edmundson.
3 & 13 Stones from demolished mansion in front garden walls.
9 Library.  Built in 1931 on the site of the old fire station by W.H. Adams, Borough Architect in red brick. It has murals of local events on the stairs, painted by members of the Hornsey School of Art in 1937-8. The Hornsey Borough arms and the date - 1931 – stands over the front door
Granite water trough. This used to be in the roundabout where it was installed In memory of David Kidd of Leyton.
Barclays Bank on a corner site where it was built by Edmondson for the London and Provincial Bank.
Fire hydrant manhole 1887 and marked 'HLB Hornsey'.
Queen's Mansions houses locally listed and dated 1901.

Built in 1912 and joins Queens Avenue to Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill Broadway, and Dukes Avenue. In the centre until 1858 was a pond. Is later became a bus terminus with public conveniences from, 1912 when   motor   bus   services   were Established
Memorial to PC Blakelock moved here from the closed police station Fortis Green

Spring Lane
Jubilee Court. Built in the early 1990s on the site of the former council depot.
1 - 7 Fireman’s Cottages, cottages which provided accommodation for the fire station that once occupied the site of the clinic.

St.James Lane
An area at the lower end of the land was originally cottages built after the common was enclosed. The land here was once Muswell Hill Common which was enclosed following the 1816 Hornsey Enclosure Award.
St.James Church.  Built 337 ft. above sea level. An Anglican church was established here in 1842 and land donated by Henry Warner A modest white brick church was built by S Angell but replaced by the current building designed by J S Alder although it was extended in 1874 because it was too small. It was completed by 1910 in Ancaster and Bath stone and incorporating the original church clock. Gutted during the Second World War it was restored in 1952 by Caröe & Partners who also built the adjoining church hall in 1994-5.
St.James Brook rises to the rear of the church and follows the gradient downill
Railway Viaduct for the defunct Alexandra Palace line. The trackbed runs over the seventeen arc viaduct, and crosses above the lane. On the line old sleepers are used as fencing. 
Fire hydrant.  Manhole older fire hydrant cover marked ‘1884 LBH; outside St James' Church. Hornsey Council used to put dates on the hydrant covers.
73 The Famous Royal Oak pub. Until 1965 this was a tiny weather-boarded public house
Valette Court 1934 built on the site of 26 cottages
Housing on the site of Muswell Hill Infants and Junior School, established here in 1913 in temporary premises. It was known as the Tin School and survived until the mid 1960s when a new school building was opened on Muswell Hill.

Summerland Gardens
Summerlands Garage. Flats on the site of the Summerland Garage. This was previously the site of the Summerlands Electric Theatre opened before 1913. It was in Summerland Gardens, and outdoor music was played. It was re-named Muswell Hill Electric Theatre, and by 1937, was re-named Summerland Cinema. It was burnt down in 1938. The car park for the estate was originally part of the gardens.

This was once called Tatterdown Lane and it skirted the eastern edge of the common, which stretched westwards towards Coldfall Wood and East Finchley.
United Reformed Church, Built between 1897 & 1900 on the junction with Fortis Green, it was designed by P Morley Horder with Vestries, lecture hall and parlour behind. It was originally a Congregational Church on a site given by Edmondson.
Tetherdown Hall.  With 1926 foundation stone on the south side.
10 blue plaque to Peter Sellers
80 Nayland Rock Hotel. There is a plaque under the window recording the residence here of the writer W.E.Henley in 1896-98. The building was an uncompleted public house to be known as Stanley Lodge.
31 Muswell Hill United Synagogue with foundation stone laid in 1965.
Fortismere - Tollington School.  A gateway leads to school buildings and playing fields. The site was that of Tollington School, which was taken over by Middlesex County Council in 1919 and continued by them as a boys' grammar school. In 1958 new block was built on part of Tetherdown playing fields and became a mixed grammar school. The building near the gate was the school baths, given in 1933 – and this was recorded on a plaque.  In 1967 the school was amalgamated with William Grimshaw mixed secondary school on the north side of the site and formed Creighton comprehensive. In 1983 this was amalgamated with Alexandra Park Comprehensive and renamed Fortismere. 
Thorntons. Victorian house used as the original school when it moved here from Tollington Park in Islington. Now on the school site. It has been used since for various educational purposes. Housed in the hall is a cast iron boundary marker inscribed "Parish of Clerkenwell 1893" which was one of many erected round the "Clerkenwell Detached" area of Muswell Hill.
Woodside flats 1921 on the corner with Fortis Green, built on an estate called Woodside which was close to the extensive Coldfall Woods
Cottage. This is in a courtyard accessed from Tetherdown with a two storey mews Cottage in the middle of the quadrangle. It is brick with a central arched recess containing a stone plaque on the first floor. On the ground floor are four pairs of timber garage doors. Adjoining blocks of garages are in matching style. There was also here an early petrol pump, disused.

Twyford Avenue
Late garden suburb which was laid out 1935.

Woodside Avenue
Imperial Property Investments Co. sold off plots which were built on here in 1920s   some 1970s houses but on some of the open land to the south here which belonged to the Thames Water Authority.
Reservoirs. Two covered reservoirs were built here in 1908 and in 1953 a new contact tank was added.
Fortis Green Pumping station. This is at the end of the 42 inch pumping main from Kempton Park It was to fill Hampstead & Highgate reservoirs and Hornsey Lane in emergencies.. In 1908 it had diesel ram pump blast injection engines by Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day which have now been removed. These were the first diesels to be installed by the Metropolitan Water Board.
St.Luke’s Hospital in three large Victorian villas. Adapted in 1928-30; pleasant Neo-Georgian centre. Much enlarged since. St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics had originated in 1751 in the old Foundry, in Moorfields, leased from the City of London taking its name from new parish in which it was based. They moved soon after to another larger facility but from the late 19th there was a view of selling up this valuable site and moving. Meanwhile the hospital bought a number of other sites. Then in 1915 the building was bombed and then sold to the Bank of England. After various other sites were used In 1928 the money from the sale of Old Street was used to buy three houses in Woodside Avenue -Norton Lees, Roseneath and Lea Wood .The site was converted into a 50-bedded hospital for nervous diseases plus amenity buildings. It opened in 1930 as the Woodside Nerve Hospital. In the Second World War it became part of the Emergency Medical Service, and was renamed the St Luke's Woodside Hospital for Functional Nervous Disorders and began to expand again. In 1948, on joining the NHS, the Hospital became the St Luke's-Woodside Hospital, the in-patient branch of the Department of Psychological Medicine of the Middlesex Hospital.  In 1964 the Noel Harris Wing - for acutely disturbed psychiatric patients - opened and, in 1968, the Simmons House, for adolescent patients with drug dependency. Since 2002 the Hospital was administered by the Camden and Islington Mental Health NHS  Foundation Trust.  The Hospital closed in 2010.The Administration Block of St Luke’s-Woodside Hospital, built in 1928 is a listed building.


Pinching and Dell. Haringey’s Hidden Streams revealed.
Walk around Muswell hill,
Clunn. The Face of London
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Primrose Hill to Euston Road Camden Hist Soc.
Cosh History of Clerkenwell
Smyth Citywildspace,
O’Connor Forgotten Stations of London
Blake. Northern Wastes
Metropolitan Water Board. London’s Water Supply
Cinema Theatre Association newsletter
Middlesex Churches
Field. London Place Names,
Webster. Great North Road,
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Stevenson, Middlesex
Walford . Highgate to the Lea
Barton, Lost Rivers of London
London Borough of Haringey web site
Muswell Hill Baptist Church web site
Whitehead. The Growth of Muswell Hill
Cinema Treasures web site
Disused stations web site
London Railway Record
Lost Hospitals of London web site
Fortismere School web site


Your members may be interested in a new walking map just being published by the Friends of Haringey Parks -
Joyce Batten said…
This looks like a fascinating site into which a lot of effort has been put, but there seems to be no index or search function so it is impossible to find out if information is held on a particlar area. Am I mistaken?

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