Monday, 26 May 2014

Gospel Oak to Barking railway. Finsbury Park

The Gospel Oak to Barking Line goes north eastwards to Crouch Hill Station.

Post to the west Crouch Hill
Post to the north Haringey

Albany Road
St Aidan’s Voluntary Controlled Church of England School. In 1887, the Church opened a secondary school for girls here on Church land. It was built by the Church Schools’ Company and became known as Saint Aidan’s. By 1944, St Aidan’s was too small to continue as a secondary school so in 1949 it became a Voluntary Controlled Primary School run by the Local Authority. Ownership of the land and buildings was transferred to them except for the ball court which remains on Church land.  There is a commemorative stone in the playground to a visit from the Queen. The school now has a modern building with a separate nursery but retains the 19th school hall. At the entrance hall is a statue of Saint Aidan who lived in the 7th century on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.


Alroy Road
One of a group of road names relating to novels by Disraeli.
13 Fire Engine Depot with plaque HDC for Hornsey District Council. This depot would have housed one engine.


Athelstane Mews
Backland development next to 72 Stroud Green Road. In the 1920s site of the B&J Wireless Co. and to steam car manufacturers H.E & F. Morriss - probable connection with Morriss of Kings Lynn.

Endymion Road
One of a group of road names relating to novels by Disraeli.
New River – the New River passes under the road
Hornsey and Endymion gates to Finsbury Park.


Finsbury Park
The park is on the site of former Hornsey Wood and the grounds of the Hornsey Wood Tavern. The area is what used to be Brownswood, a sub-manor of the manor of Hornsey and part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex largely owned by the Bishops of London. Hornsey Wood has been bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works and 'marred by ugly wooden railings   only fit for firewood'.  The Park was in the nature of a consolation prize to North London for the loss of the projected park at Highbury Hill some twenty years earlier.  The name dates from 1857 when it was opened by Sir John Thwaites, Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works.  It is designated by statute as for the use of the inhabitants of the old Parliamentary borough of Finsbury – although it is over two miles distant from Finsbury itself.  By the early 20th century, it was a venue for political meetings including pacifist campaigns during the Great War.   In the Second World War it was a site for anti-aircraft guns and one of the gathering points for heavy armour before the D.Day invasions. It was managed by the London County Council and then the Greater London Council.   In 1986 it was passed to the London Borough of Haringey and many additions have been made.
The layout of the park, including five entrances, a Lodge at Manor Gate, the perimeter drive and paths, was designed by Frederick Manable, Superintending Architect to the Metroploitan Board of Works. The areas of formal planting, the American Gardens and the network of curving paths were designed by Alexander Mackenzie, the Board’s landscape designer. The park was originally laid out in zones – with horticultural features to the south-east and east of the lake and in the north-west corner; recreational features, in the centre; and sporting features around the edge. In 1874 it was enclosed to the north by Endymion Road and there were later additions of a bandstand, bowling green and cricket pavilion. Originally there were a great deal of planting here including a Rosery, groups of trees and shrubs, and a conservatory used for chrysanthemum displays. By the late 1940s these buildings had gone and the formal beds reduced although some remained. Much of the layout had been developed from the gardens attached to Hornsey Wood House but the western edge of the park follows the curve of the now defunct rail line to Highgate. It has recently had a Heritage Fund Lottery grant which has funded restoration of the American Garden and Mackenzie's flower gardens.
Copt Hall, was sited south of the lake. By the mid C18th it was replaced by Hornsey Wood House, a Tea House with pleasure gardens and woods plus a bowling green and shooting range. In 1786 it was enlarged and the lake was developed and its grounds were used for pigeon shooting.  . In 1866 Hornsey Wood House was demolished as part of the new park
The Pit. A nature reserve is on the site of an open air theatre, which was itself built in the mid 20th in a semi-circular hollow on the site of an earlier bandstand which had been destroyed by an elephant.
New River – this runs through the north of the park.
Cricket pitch. This was used in 1866 by Islington Albion Cricket Club
Sports facilities include football pitches, a bowling green, an athletics stadium, and tennis and basketball courts. There is an American football field, and diamonds for softball and baseball
Tennis Courts fan shaft. This ventilation shaft for the Piccadilly Line lies slightly north of the tennis courts. During the construction of the Southgate Extension this area was used as a depot.
American Gardens. These were originally laid out with trees and groups of shrubs, mainly rhododendrons and azaleas.
The Boating Lake. This was previously as Hornsey Wood Lake installed by the Tavern and with water pumped up from the nearby New River.  1860s features around the lake included an octagonal pavilion on the island, a boathouse on the southern edge, and a refreshment room with verandas,
Outdoor Gym installed in 2013 opposite the American Garden. There are 14 pieces of equipment that provide 20 exercise stations.
Furtherfield Gallery. This is in the McKenzie Pavilion near the lake, and is London's first gallery for networked media art.
Hornsey Wood reservoirs. These lie under the original tennis courts  and were built in 1867  by the the East London Water Co. to bring water in 1872  from their Hanworth pumping station (later from Kempton Park)  to their Lea Bridge works, via 19 miles of main. The reservoir holds 5m galls and the spoil from its the construction was used to build up the north-east section of the park.


Green Lanes
Drove road into London
The Finsbury. Pub
New River flows under Green Lanes having passed through the park


Oxford Road
The footbridge, which spans the East Coast Main Line, and crosses over to Finsbury Park itself.
Oxford House,, currently this is Gemal College, a private college teaching management.  Other offices and light industry in an art deco block built as a printing works.


Parkland Walk
The line to Highgate from Finsbury Park is now the line of the Parkland Walk. It is now London's longest statutory Local Nature Reserve and tree-lined for most of the way, it has become a haven for wildlife including muntjac and some 250 species of plants. After the line closed it was used by a white-robed Goat Man, who herded his goats along the line.


Perth Road
Faltering Fullback Pub. Previously the Sir Walter Scott


Rail line
Piccadilly Line to Manor House from Finsbury Park. The line falls at a gradient of 1 in 250 towards Manor House, passing the Tennis Courts ventilation plant. A little beyond here came two former working shafts which had been filled in prior to opening. Between the two stations is a diverging tunnel know as the step-plate junction which was used to divert the Piccadilly line to its present southbound platform while the Victoria line was being built.

Scarborough Road
34 Park Studios.  Factory building used as artists’ studios. Previously used by Cardiac Recorders Ltd. Making precision medical equipment.


Seven Sisters Road
The Victoria Line runs underneath the road, where Experimental tunnels were built and later used.  .
Hornsey Wood Tavern. This opened after the park had opened and the original Tavern demolished. It was later renamed the Alexandra Dining Room and closed in 2007. It was subsequently demolished. It is said to have been decorated with Gillray cartoons


Stroud Green Road
The name of ‘Strowde Grene’ means 'marshy land overgrown with brushwood'
Worlds End Pub.  This was previously called The Earl of Essex.
85 estate agents previously Thomas Swan and Company. Traditional gent's outfitters. The windows were equipped with fans for cooling in hot weather
106 This was once the Osborne Tavern, from the 1870s.


Upper Tollington Park
Osborne Grove Nursing Home – on the site of what was Osborne Grove, replacing it inn 1973
Rail bridge which carries the Parkland Walk


Woodstock Road
Stroud Green Primary School.   Stroud Green board school moved to this as a new building in 1894. In 1932 the school was reorganized into a senior mixed or secondary modern school with a junior mixed school and an infants' school. The seniors later moved leaving the board building as a junior and infants' school.


Sources
British History online. Hornsey
Clunn. London Marches on
Clunn. The Face of London
Davies. Rails to the People’s Palace
Day. London Underground
District Dave. Web site
Edmonton Hundred History Society. Papers
Essex-Lopresti. The New River
Faltering Fullback. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter.
London Encyclopedia
London Gardens On line. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Smythe. Citywildspace 
St Aidan’s School. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
Sugden. Highbury
Willatts. The Streets of Islington

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