Muswell Stream - Bowes Park

Muswell Stream
Muswell Stream flows north east

Residential area lying south of the North Circular Road and north of Wood Green.  The 17th century New River flows through it north:south and so does the main line railway to Enfield on the Hertford Loop line. It has parks and some grand houses, as well as old charitable institutions, churches and pubs in among varied but predominately 19th century housing.

Post to the west Bounds Green
Post to the north Broomfield Park
Post to the east Wood Green
Post to the south Alexandra Palace Starion. Wood Green

Belize Avenue
Site of a pond which was on the line of the old loop on the New River.

Bounds Green Road
Muswell Stream reaches Bounds Green Road by the ambulance station. There was once a pond here.  Note the dip in the road here. At this point the stream is the boundary between the Nightingale Hall Estate and the Bowes Manor Farm Estate. The stream continues through what was the area of Wood Green Farm – sold for development in 1855, the stream being culverted soon after.
Bounds Green Board School. Built in 1894-5 by Charles Wall.  It had originated with infants' classes in Shaftesbury Hall. This was replaced by the new school with juniors and infants in separate buildings. Seniors moved elsewhere in 1939. The school has the usual low infants' building with a two-storey junior buildings.
Madison Apartments – Tower Homes development on the site of St.Gabriel's church. The foundation stone and a commemorative plaque are in the entrance area
St.Gabriel’s Church. The church was built on the south side of the road to replace the mission church, ex-St.Peter on the corner of Brownlow Road. It was a red brick church designed by E. B. Carter. Fittings included 19th items from St. Paul, Great Portland Street, and an ancient Russian processional cross.
Church hall opened on the corner of Durnsford Road, in 1937. The site is now housing.
St Peter – this mission church of St. Peter was established in 1883, on the corner Brownlow roads. It became the church of St. Gabriel and then the parish hall in 1906. The site is now shops and flats  
Springfield Tavern

Bowes Farm Estate
Survived as woodland owned by St Paul’s until the end of the 18th. Then the Ecclesiastical commissioners who then sold plots for building

Bowes Park
Name of a mediaeval manor, which was ‘Bowes’, ‘Park’ being a recent addition. It might derive from John de Arcubus who had land here in 1271.

Earlham Grove
Cypriot Community Centre. This is in the buildings of what was St.Angela’s Providence Convent School
St.Angela’s Providence Convent School. In 1903 the Daughters of Providence came from France and opened a school in Bounds Green in 1905. In 1921 they bought the Brabançonne as a senior school. A new school was built in 1926 on the on the site of the orchard of Brabanconne.  The school had an entrance with St.Joseph and child above the door. The foundation stone has the date of 17th July 1926 laid by the Primate of Normandy and that it was opened three months later by the Archbishop of Westminster. It closed in 1975.
Brabançonne was a big house at the corner with the High Road became. It was used for their senior girls, but later became a convent house for the nuns

Finsbury Cottages
New housing replacing earlier cottages with adjacent allotments

Finsbury Gardens
The gardens were laid out in the late 19th above the New River Tunnel. It had grass, trees, shrubberies, and curving paths. The line of one of the original paths is partly followed by the single path which runs across the site today. Five horse chestnuts on the east boundary that may date from the original planting. At the north end is now hard surfacing and a children's playground.
The Muswell Stream was culverted beneath here in the 1850s and flows above the

New River Tunnel

Finsbury Road
Land here belonged to the Finsbury Building Society from the 1850s.
Top end of the road was once full of small shops built 1864-8
Finsbury Gardens, cover the line of the culverted New River
Horse trough from Metropolitan Drinking and Cattle Trough Association.

Granville Road
New River runs behind the houses

Green Lanes
Bowes Manor stood between the current sites of Kelvin and Melbourne Roads. It was noted for its gardens and its final owner was Thomas Sidney. After his death in 1889 it was leased to the Guardians of the poor of St Mary’s, Islington and in 1899 the estate and farm were laid out for development in 1899 – an area which covered 33 acres in the area between here and Palmerston Road.
Muswell Stream reaches the road from Truro Road at the junction of Sidney Road – where a dip can be seen.  Here it flowed under the New River in a brick arch. From this junction the stream flows north on the west side of the road as far as Lascotts Road in a culvert dating from the 1880s. It then crosses under the road and continues to flow north on the east side in a culvert above which is an alleyway at the back of the buildings.
New River – at the junction with Sidney Road the old course of the river went off along the 100ft contour to the east and it was here originally built to flow above the Muswell Stream. 

High Road
New River - The 100ft contour crosses High Road near the junction with Myddelton Road
New Testament Church of God. In the premises of United Church of Saint James-at-Bowes. Bowes Park Congregational church was a hall and schoolrooms, 1902. The red-brick church dates from 1912. In the 1950s the church united with Saint James's Presbyterian church.  It is now the Cathedral of Praise
Wood Green Spiritualist Church. Founded in 1953
Lodge House to Chitts Hill House. Stood near the junction with Lyndhurst Road. Long since disappeared
Flats on the site of Nightingale Pub, on the corner of Nightingale Road. It was originally the Nightingale Tavern of 1866 changed to Nightingale Hotel.  A music pub where many famous groups played.
Police Station. Corner of Nightingale Road, built in 1908 to replace a small station here from 1866.
Woodside Park. This was once called Town Hall Park. It was laid out 1900 and in time had a bandstand, Bowling Green, and a pavilion for the Bowling Green. The bandstand went in the 1950s but the rest survive. Since 1985 the park has been excavated for a flood relief scheme on the Muswell Stream
Woodside House. This stands on rise in the park. It was previously Westbury House or Earlham Grove House. It was built in 1865 for Thomas William Smith Oakes, an East India Merchant.  Later it became part of the Chitts Hill House estate and home to the Smithies family. In 1893 The Wood Green Local Board bought it plus 11 acres. It was used as Wood Green Town Hall between 1894 and 1958. It was later used by Haringey Social Services. An extension was added in 1913 for a council chamber and police court.
Roundhouse ‘Mushroom’ Lodge.  This was built 1822 for John Overend, Quaker Banker, as the gate house to Chitts Hill House. It is octagonal, with deep eaves, eyebrow dormers with a fish scale slate roof. It was probably originally thatched. It has been used as a park refreshment room, and as a children’s play house.
Sensory garden for the blind with raised beds next to the Lodge

Herbert Road
Shaftesbury Hall. Tin tabernacle once owned by the Order of the Sons of Temperance and now by the Samaritans. It is a 'tin tabernacle‘, a small prefabricated church made of corrugated iron. It dates from 1885 and was built by a Baptist congregation. Bounds Green Board School held lessons here in the 1880s. It was probably supplied as a ‘flat pack’ maybe by William Cooper Ltd of 751, Old Kent Road.

Lascotts Road
This was part of the area of the Bowes Park estate offered for auction in 1880

Marquis Road
This was part of the area of the Bowes Park estate offered for auction in 1880

Myddleton Road
This was part of the area of the Bowes park estate offered for auction in 1880
New River – Entrance to the Wood Green Tunnel. This 1,100-yard tunnel was completed in 1859. It is essentially a brick barrel 12 feet wide, constructed by cut and cover. It made redundant a former loop to Edmonton.  The tunnel is underground, and has no houses above it. The entrance itself is listed and it is a 19th brick arch with a parapet, stone coping and curved abutments which end in square piers.
Bowes Park Community Garden with fancy gateway. The park covers the area of the tunnel enclosing the New River
Victorian shopping centre – has some original shop fronts.
89-97 On the gables is ‘Market Stores, Myddleton Road, Bowes Park” one word per gable.

Nightingale Road
Muswell Stream. The stream flowed across what is now the southern corner of the road
St Leonard’s Almshouses. Two sets of almshouses moved here in 1865 from Hackney Road and Old Street, Shoreditch where they had been set up in 1592.
Porters and Walters almshouses were designed in 1904 by Alfred W.S.Cross to house the United Charities of St.Leonard’s Shoreditch. It is a range of 4 houses, each with 4 flats
St. Leonard’s House. Judge Fuller's Almshouses. Designed 1904 by Alfred W S Cross.  This is a 2 storey symmetrical building decorated with a garland with the date of 1904 and ‘SCT’ and there are bronze plaques on the gables which tell the history of these almshouses. Another plaque records the building of the new houses. It stands behind Art Nouveau railings
Stone in courtyard behind St Leonard's House. This is dated 1821. With the Inscription "ST LEONARD'S SHOREDITCH" on top. A side Inscription commemorates widening of footpath and the raising of railings at the old almshouses in Old Street. And another describes how it was moved here in 1902.
Ventilation plant, for the Piccadilly line. It was equipped with a pair of fans. It is on the corner with Bounds Green Road.
Finsbury Gardens – a park above the underground course of the New River. Under the park the Muswell Stream crosses in a culvert above the New River.

Palmerston Road
Development was extended to this road in the 1880s at the behest of the National Liberal Land Company. Sidney had developed the western border of his estate, laying out the Road in 1870. It had earlier been private road with a gateway at either end and lined with trees. Sidney built 13 houses backing onto the New River in the stretch between Whittington and Bowes Roads.
New River Broad green strip marks passage underground of the New River – cutting off the loop to Tottenham in 1852.
The course of the old loop of the New River went past the church of St.Michael at Bowes across Palmerston Road
St. Michael-at-Bowes.  The current church was consecrated in 1988. The first church stood on the same site and was built on the estate of Alderman Thomas Sidney who provided much of the finance. The foundation stone was laid in 1872, and the building was designed by George Gilbert Scott. It was demolished in 1987 because of structural problems. The foundation stone from the old church was used in the new one, the old bell was re-hung, and many internal fittings also used.

Railway Line
The railway running south from Bowes Park station continues towards Wood Green Station.  Some lines diverge from this to the east into Bounds Green Depot

Russell Road
St. George's chapel has been used by Baptists and Methodists, and then the Brethren in 1934. Now in use since 1955 by Elim Pentecostals

Sidney Avenue
Encouraged by the national Liberal Land Company, development was extended to include Whittington, Palmerston and Sidney Roads. 1880s.
An avenue of elms attached to the manor stood along the line of the avenue. It is called Sidney in respect of the local landowner and occupant of the manor.
14 site of the gateway arch to the manor grounds was situated roughly

Truro Road
First stage of development of Wood Green in 1860s.
New River. Between here and Park Avenue is a strip of land over the New River tunnel owned by Thames Water but leased to Haringey.
New River - Fragment of bridge in the children's playground. This is probably 18th of squared granite rubble with wrought iron reinforcing straps bolted into the stone.
Cameron close – this is on the site of small industrial premises, including at various times a calculating machine factory and a cabinet makers
65 Finsbury Arms. Now housing

Whittington Road
New River in a cutting – it soon disappears behind houses but it can be seen again when it passes under the road
Bowes Park Station. Built in 1880 it lies between Palmers Green and Alexandra Palace stations. It was built by the Great Northern Railway on the Hertford Loop to serve the expanding housing in the area and was very busy from the start.   It had taken several years of pressure from Alderman Sidney and others before the GNR set aside £3,805 for construction of the station. The intention had been to site it in Bounds Green Road but it end up sited between two suburban side streets. This station remains much as was and has its original platform canopies and an island platform. There have been a number of stairways and passages from both sides which have been installed and removed. There was a coal merchant’s office, despite there being no coal yard. a brick booking office was provided in 1975.
Siding. Built in 1880 and did not last long.
Signal box at the north end, abolished in 1942 and demolished in 1948


Walford. Village London,
Pevsner and Cherry, London North
London Encyclopedia
Field. London Place Names
Middlesex churches
Clunn. Face of London
Essex Lopresti.  Discovering the New River
History of Middlesex web site
Bounds Green School web site
Bowes Park Community Association web site
London Railway Record
London Borough of Haringey web site
History of Wood Green web site
Wood Green Spiritualist Church website
New Testament Church of God website
British Listed Buildings web site
Wood Green Parish web site


This week workmen have been digging a trench in Finsbury Gardens - apparently repairing the damaged culvert in which the Muswell Hill Stream now runs.
Have a look at this post and photograph from Local Community Website Bowes and Bounds Connected.

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