About the Hornsey Historical Society

Founded in 1971, Hornsey Historical Society now has over 400 members, including some living as far afield as Canada and New Zealand. We warmly welcome new members wherever you might be.

Local areas

The Society was originally formed to research, preserve and promote the history of the parish of Hornsey, and from 1983 included the area covered by the parliamentary constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green.

Local areas falling within the Society’s catchment include:

and other areas historically in Hornsey parish/borough.

Our home

Since 1981 the focal point for our activities has been the Old Schoolhouse, 136 Tottenham Lane N8 7EL where we have our office, shop and archive.


Our archive  is stored at the Old Schoolhouse. There are 27,305 items recorded on the catalogue which can be downloaded as an Excel file (7 MB). A wide variety of material has been donated over time, such as articles, books, documents & manuscripts, local newspapers, maps, plans, photographs and postcards.

A volunteer archive team is at the Old Schoolhouse every Friday from 10.00am to 2.00pm. They answer telephone and email enquiries and retrieve items from the archive room for researchers. The schoolroom is small and visitors wishing to undertake research are urged to book a place ahead of time.

Please be aware that we are not a family history society, although we can help you with ideas for researching your family.


Hornsey Historical Society is very proud of the number and high quality of the books it has published, many written by our members. We sell a wide range of titles related to the history of our area, including  a  popular, pocket-sized Walks series.

Some books are the only current ones on their subject. For example, Ken Gay’s Palace on the Hill, the history of Alexandra Palace, and Bridget Cherry’s book, Civic Pride, the history of Hornsey Town Hall.

We also sell other publishers’ books about the area.


Each year the Society publishes an annual journal of articles called the Bulletin. This is part of the membership subscription but is sold to non-members in the shop and by post. We consider it the flagship of our Society and it has won local history awards.

Bulletins in recent years have included articles on aspects of Hornsey during the First World War, Heath Robinson and North London, Suffragette activity in the area and the 400th anniversary of the New River.

The editor welcomes contributions from interested authors. Articles are scrutinised and accepted by the Publications Committee.

Talks and Workshops

From September through to June we hold a series of talks on the second Wednesday of each month at the Union Church Hall, (corner of Ferme Park Road/Weston Park) N8 9BX. Doors open at 7.30pm for the sale of refreshments and talks begin at 8.00pm. A donation of £2 is requested from non-members who are welcome to attend.

Talks cover a wide range of topics relating to the history of the local area and to London. For more details see the talks section of our  What’s On page. We are increasingly keen to add to the number and topics of talks we can give to outside groups.

We also have a few workshops we can offer to other groups. Please contact the Secretary if you would like to know more.


The Society participates in the annual Open House London event held on the third weekend in September. A walk of Muswell Hill, led by our Chair Keith Fawkes, is an annual fixture, starting at 2.00pm beside the library and ending at North Bank, Pages Lane.

Other walks are arranged with individual groups or walks led by members.  Details of future walks will be posted on the What’s On page.

HHS publishes self-guided walks on East Finchley to Alexandra Palace, Highgate, Hornsey Village, Hornsey Church Tower & Churchyard, Crouch End, Kenwood’s boundaries, Muswell Hill, Stroud Green and Wood Green.


The Events/Outings Manager arranges a highly successful programme. Full details are published in each HHS Newsletter and can be found on the What’s On page. Priority is given to members, but there are often places available for non-members who are warmly invited to join us.


We welcome members from all walks of life, wherever you may work or live and whatever your age. Membership benefits include quarterly newsletters, the annual award-winning Bulletin,  free entry to monthly lectures and priority booking on events and outings.

You can find details of how to join the Hornsey Historical Society on the membership page.