Monday, 18 June 2012

River Lea - Springfield

River Lea
The Lea continues to flow south. It is joined by the Coppermill stream from the east.

Post to the north Markfield
Post to the east Walthamstow Marshes
Post to the south Upper Clapton

Big Hill
The Anthony Walsh building. Springfield Club for Young People
KAPH. Adventure Playground for Children and Young People
Robin Hood Community Garden. Named after a pub near Big Hill, the gardens - the Robin Hood Tavern. The pub sign was found in the bushes some years ago and was kept by Parks gardener

Cazenove Road
Hadley Court. Private flats of 1937 with 'moderne' features.
Seymour Court. Private flats of 1930s. The windows are a curious mixture of styles. At this time Crittals were making the curved window frames with curved glass to give the characteristic ‘sunshine’ bays. These windows have copied the idea, but with narrow, flat panes, instead of curved ones

Clapton Common
Managed by the local authority. The road itself is a continuation of Upper Clapton Road. 
4 Hope Lodge, This was the Salvation Army Training College, established in 1909. In 1918 they converted it into a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their infants and it was renamed Lorne House I. In 1926 it was renamed Hope Lodge. It closed in 1950, has been demolished and its site is now part of the Fawcett Estate.
26 tall Wrenaissance red-brick building. It was designed by A Rubens Cole, and used from 1933-86 as a home by The British Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Females, founded in 1851. It is now used as a school by the Kollel Congregation Synagogue.
29 In 1898 this was H. Anderton's Priory House School
49-69 built by John Devall of Fitzroy Square who also built S. Thomas’ church.
50. Stamford Hill Beth Hamedrash Synagogue. This dates from before 1930 and is Ashkenazi Orthodox. It is affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues and to the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
73 Swan Public House. This is on the corner of Braydon Road and was originally called The White Swan. A pub had stood here since at least the middle of the 18th and served the passing coaching trade, and also included livery stables. The top floor was removed in 1959. It went into other use in 2012 by the Orthodox Bobov community
96 Stainforth House. Stands between Craven Walk and Overlea Road and is one of the last remaining examples of the villa suburb developed in Upper Clapton by the Tyssen family from 1820 onwards. Richard Foster lived there ‘one of nature’s noblemen’ who funded and founded many local churches. He moved from here to Chislehurst. It was also the home of William Walsham How suffragen bishop for London’s East End who founded The Waifs and Strays Society (now the Children’s Society). It is owned by the Belz Foundation who have consent to demolish it. This is the synagogue of the Chasidey Belz Beth Hemedrash which is Ashkenazi Orthodox dating from the mid 1980s.
98 The Woodlands stands between Craven Walk and Overlea Road and is one of the last remaining examples of the villa suburb developed in Upper Clapton by the Tyssen family from 1820 onwards. It was the first boys’ home for the Waifs and Strays Society set up by William Walsham from next door. It is now owned by the Belz Foundation.
99 Synagogue of Kehal Chareidim Beth Hamedrash. This has a Ashkenazi Orthodox Ritual and dates from about 2005
103 Synagogue of Cheishev Sofer D'Pressburg Beth Hamedrash This has a Ashkenazi Orthodox Ritual and dates from about 1996
113 Synagogue of Sdei Chemed D'Nitra Beth Hamedrash. This has a Ashkenazi Orthodox Ritual and dates from about 2005
117 Synagogue of the Aden Jews Congregation. Founded in the late 1970’s with a Yemenite (Taimani) ritual
121 Synagogue of Chasidey Wiznitz-Monsey Imrei Chaim Beth Hamedrash. This has an Ashkenazi Orthodox Ritual. It was previously used by Beth Hamedrash Atereth Zvi and dates from the 1950s
130 Tower Court. Local authority flats, due for demolition. It was built in 1953, replacing semi detached villas. It was designed by Harry Moncrieff – an associate of Frederick Gibberd. It had two blocks – one at four storeys and the other at nine – the ninth storey added to meet costs.  The folly tower in the car park was a garden structure at Craven House which stood to the east of the current flats.
Buccleuch House flats which replaced Buccleuch Terrace in 1951. This had been built in 1825. Buccleuch House, is a six-storeyed range of ‘self-contained bed-sitting room flats for single women’, opened in 1951. Designed by Messrs Joseph it is due for demolition.
Pond. This is a natural pond, once called Leg of Mutton Pond and later renamed Craven Pond, a fountain has been installed in a bid to aerate the water.
Public conveniences – mock Tudor and derelict
St.Thomas Church.  This began as a proprietary chapel- Stamford Hill chapel - built in 1774 by John Deval, a local developer.  It was eventually purchased by some local residents and eventually became the parish church. The stucco tower was added in 1829 by Joseph Gwilt. The body of the church was rebuilt in 1960 by N F Cachemaille-Day following bomb damage and previously the east wall had been split by the Erith explosion in 1864. Inside is a chamber organ, of 1800, later worked on hydraulic power, and there is also heraldic stained glass by Goddard & Gibbs.

Clapton Terrace
Terrace of 18th houses set back from the main road behind a green.

Coppermill Lane
Coppermill Rail bridge - when the Northern and Eastern Railway opened in 1840 this was provided as a crossing for the hay carts and a cattle-creep under the railway line. Very, very low bridge clearance.
Lee Valley Springfield Marina. This was Radley’s yard, developed as a Marina in 1969 by the Lee Valley Park Authority. Radleys had owned it since the 1960s. It was formed out of 'Horse Shoe Creek' by enlarging Horseshoe Bend.  Silt was removed which was dumped and is now Horseshoe Thicket. 
Radleys had originally been based with a boat repair business at Lea Bridge but by the 1907 were boat builders at Spring Hill. In 1932 following a fire at Middlesex wharf the boat clubs moved to the Springhill site as did the Radley family by 1936. When Sid Radley died the site was sold to the Lee Valley Development Authority
Lee Rowing club –operate from a number of buildings along the river
Second Walthamstow Sea Scouts. This group dates from the 1940s and uses the facilities of Springfield Marina for training in seamanship skills. It is Royal Navy recognised.

Craven Walk
37 Lieger Beth Hamedrash Torath Chaim. This has an Ashkenazi Orthodox ritual, and has been used since the 1950s. It has however been home to other congregations and other names.

Fawcett Estate
Built in the 1930s designed by Messrs Joseph – an architectural practice founded by Nathan Joseph well known for philanthropic housing. Owned by the local authority

Feldman Close
This area is now housing but was previously Oldhill Place, or Clapton Terrace Mews.
25 Oldhill Place Chemical works in the 1930s for John Wyeth & Brother. Petrolager Laboratories which was an American pharmaceutical co. making laxatives among other things.

Filey Avenue
Jubilee Primary School. Large local authority primary school with some terrific history websites.
88 Tayyibah Girls School. An independent day school dating from 1992 to provide education for Muslim girls

Harrington Hill
Harrington Hill Primary School

High Hill Estate
Built by the London County Council in the early 1930s

Lea
Horseshoe Point. In the central area of the marina a small wooded island known was Horseshoe left where there are birds including terns and reed buntings as well as sedge and reed warblers.
Spring Hill footbridge

Mount Pleasant Lane
Woodman Pub. Dated from the early 19th and is now housing.

Oldhill Street
A modest shopping street still with some feel of an old settlement.
11 British Oak Pub, later called Murphy’s Tavern and closed in 1999
Tyssen Primary School

Rookwood Road
Stamford Hill Bus Garage. Built as an electric tram depot in 1907 by London County Council in dark brick with blind arches. It was converted to use by trolleybuses in 1939, and became the last LCC depot to convert to motor bus use, taking 109 RMs. It closed in 1995 but reopened within a year for use by Leaside Travel, and then by Grey Green. It closed again in 2000 and opened again in 2002 for use by Arriva
The Georgian Orthodox Church London Parish of Saint George. Surrealist building with colossal stone beasts at the base of the tower. The former formerly The Ancient Catholic Church, the Agapemonite Church, Ark of the Covenant also known as the Church of the Good Shepherd. Built 1892-5, by Joseph Morris and Sons of Reading for the Agapemonites. It has a tall tower which can be seen from many points around the area and looks very conventional from a distance. There are four corner turrets, bearing the inscription 'GOD IS LOVE', topped with a winged bronze lion, ox, eagle and human. The same figures in stone this time, project from the corner buttresses to the north, west and south trampling underfoot a tiny winged human symbolising the trials of earthly existence: Death, Sorrow, Crying and Pain. The four beasts are from the Book of Revelation. Inside is a great hammer-beam roof supported on stone corbels. There is also a Father Willis organ. An altar has been added since originally there was a throne for John Smyth-Pigott which has been removed. There are windows by Walter Crane, of Old Testament imagery, and symbolic flora in an Art-Nouveau style, with figs, lilies, pomegranates, olives, grapes, corn, roses and other flowers. The west windows owe a debt to the illustrations of William Blake. The central window depicts a sun rising above the seas, complete with aquatic creatures.  Flanking this are windows with figures representing Disease and Death and Sin and Shame.  The Agapemonites, also known as the Community of the Son of Man, date from the 1840s and the followers of Henry Prince, who settled in Spaxton, Somerset, establishing a religious community or 'Agapemone', meaning Abode of Love. Those who joined were encouraged to sell off their possessions and this income allowed the church to be built.  In the 1860s Prince proclaimed himself to be the incarnation of the Holy Spirit while it became clear that the 'spiritual marriages' contracted between him and his female followers had a carnal dimension. After Prince's death in 1899, he was succeeded by John Smyth-Pigott. Smyth-Pigott and the church became the headquarters of the sect and his relations with numerous women caused an outcry. In 1902 he declared himself to be Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, the Second Coming. A mob of several thousand chased his brougham across Clapton Common. He died in 1927, having been defrocked in 1909.

Spring Hill
Spring Hill Recreation Ground. Sports facilities plus allotments and a community orchard.

Spring Lane
This riverside walk was named after a road called Spring Lane ran which ran through the Springfield Estate was re-routed when the Park was laid out.
Rowing Clubs – In the 1860s Spring Hill was the “Henley of the Lea” and at the regattas tradesmen raced from Willow Point for money prizes. Processions of boats marked the opening and close of the season and there were many clubs which came and went over the years.
Tyrrell’s boathouse, also known Vernon’s boat shed as it was owned for over 100 years by the Verdon family. It was originally a boat-building workshop, and was used by The North London Amateur Rowing Association and 7 of the 16 other clubs listed, in 1953. It is now used by Lea Rowing Club who want to demolish it.  The building is the sole survivor of "Henley of the Lea". It was also a Royal Humane Society receiving house,
Leaside Trust. Watersports activities and instruction have been available here since 1971. In 1963, when the Inner London Education Authority and the Central Council for Physical Recreation, established a youth centre with a focus on boating. By the 1990s it was a London-wide centre for many outdoor activities. After ILEA were abolished in 1990 Leaside was passed to the London Borough of Hackney who because of budget cuts were closing such centres.  As the result of a campaign against closure The Leaside Trust was established in 1994.
Horseshoe Bridge. 20th bridge. The original 19th approaches were designed to enable towing horses to cross over river and can still be seen on either bank.
Triton Chemical Works - upriver from Big Hill. Auguste de Wette producing coal tar spirit and medicines.

Springfield
Lea View. This was built in 1939 as a model development by Joseph. It is consists of plain five-storey blocks around a community hall, laundry, tennis courts etc.  It was refurbished by Hunt Thompson Associates in 1980-2 with new lift towers in striped brick.
Springfield Park. The park is on 38 acres of ground sloping from Stamford Hill to the River Lee. In 1902 Springfield Estate, was put up for sale for building, it consisted of 32 acres of wooded land with 5 buildings - three large houses and two cottages. The London County Council bought it to preserve the trees and open spaces. It was named "Springfield Park" and opened in 1905, by the Chairman of the London County Council. Two of the large houses on the estate, 'Springhill House' and 'The Chestnuts' were demolished due to their condition. One mansion - Springfield House – remains and is used as a cafe. Also called White House it is a stuccoed five-bay 19th villa. Near the house is a conservatory which has sometimes been open to the public. There is a pond and ornamental gardens, a children's playground and a bandstand. The park has interesting grasslands varying from neutral to wet and acid.  It is also rich in species associated with meadows and pastures. Towards the River Lee, the area is damper and supports marsh plants. The park has five tennis courts, a bowling green and grounds for rugby, cricket and other sports on the wide flat area by the river.

Stamford Grove East
The remains of an early 19th enclave, with pairs of houses

Stamford Grove West
The remains of an early 19th enclave, with pairs of houses
Grove House

Upper Clapton Road
202 Springfield Synagogue. Ohel Ya'akov Synagogue. Ashkenazi Orthodox ritual, the synagogue has been there since the late 1930s.

Sources

A Second Look at Hackney
British Listed Buildings web site
Clarke. Glimpses of Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington
Clunn. The Face of London
Coppermills Walk leaflet, 
East London History Society.  Record
Glazier. London Transport Bus Garages
Hackney – British History web site
Hackney Society web site
Headley and Meulenkamp. Follies
Jewish Communities and Records web site
Jubilee Primary School. Walks web site
London and Middlesex Archaeology
London Borough of Hackney web site
Lost Hospitals web site
Make the Most of Life in Lee Valley Park. Leaflet
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Sexby. London Parks
Summerson. Georgian London 
Walthamstow Marshes leaflet

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