Lost Houses: Brick Place

This month we are starting a 2021 series of articles on Lost Houses of the Hornsey area. We begin with Brick Place, the oldest known substantial house we know of, north-east of Hornsey village. It’s appropriate to start with Brick Place because the position of the moat which surrounded it can be clearly identified on the Hornsey Enclosure Map, 1815. David Frith’s book, The Hornsey Enclosure Act 1813, is a new HHS publication, and the moat can clearly be seen on the map on the front cover!

Hornsey Enclosure Map, 1813, Brick Place and moat are in plots 107 and 108, owned by Mr George Wright'
Hornsey Enclosure Map, 1813, Brick Place and moat are in plots 107 and 108, owned by Mr George Wright’

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Highgate Common and the Development of the Archway Road Community: Part Two

Coleridge Buildings, on the corner of Archway Road and Shepherd's Hill, 1905
Coleridge Buildings, on the corner of Archway Road and Shepherd’s Hill, 1905

The extension of the Great Northern Railway and the opening of Highgate Station in 1867 caused a rush of development and in the next twenty years streets devoured most of the fields. Many local land owners sold out to builders; land that had cost £60-£70 per acre changed hands at £1000. So did the successors of Squire Jackson, for the construction of one of the railway tunnels. Nevertheless, the railway company made part of the site available for cultivation.

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Grove Lodge Gardens

I read with interest David Frith’s story of Grove Lodge in the September Newsletter. In that there is a mention of, ‘the tree-lined strip which is still there and called Grove Lodge Gardens’. I rediscovered this ‘strip’ or path a few years ago.

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Memories of Grove Lodge when occupied by the Red Cross

Mention of Grove Lodge in the last Newsletter brought back memories to me. In 1948 I was a Red Cross Cadet and did voluntary duty there. At that time the Commandant was Mrs Blue when the house was a home for elderly ladies in need of full-time care.

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Memories of Grove Lodge as a Children’s Home

It was quite strange in the late 1980s being uprooted from Cambridge in the middle of the night and being taken to London to go into foster care. I watched from the car and tried not to cry – even in the dark London scared me. But fear gave way to surprise when I saw that we had arrived in an attractive part of London and were passing Alexandra Palace, which to all us teenagers was known as ‘Ally Pally’. The car struggled up the steep hill and turned right into a driveway.

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Grove Lodge, Muswell Hill

There were three large houses on the eastern side of Muswell Hill until the late 19th century – Bath House, The Grove and Grove Lodge. By far the oldest site was the one which still remains, Grove Lodge.

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Is this Charles Darwin? The Park Road Monkey Mystery

External plasterwork monkey figure in Crouch End
External plasterwork monkey figure in Crouch End

HHS member Andrew Whitehead is intrigued with a monkey which appears as external plasterwork on a house on Park Road in Crouch End dating from the early 1880s. Andrew was introduced to this remarkable architectural embellishment by another HHS member, David Winskill. The monkey seems to have a human face – with a beard and bald head. Could this be a lampoon of Charles Darwin, proponent of the theory of evolution, who was often depicted by his detractors as an ape?

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Victorian Thrift: A Local Penny Bank

The virtues of thrift and sobriety were highly prized in Victorian society. Mrs Priscilla Wakefield (1750-1826), born in Tottenham, philanthropist and a Quaker author of children’s books, founded a Penny Bank for children which was to develop into England’s first savings bank. The movement took off in Scotland in 1848 and was rapidly followed by many others in Yorkshire and London. In his 1882 book, Thrift, Samuel Smiles said, ’The penny bank is emphatically the poor man’s purse’.

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Our Changing Language

“I was all knocked up!”, said my 90-year old neighbour. This shocked me at first, but then I realized she meant she was exhausted after a flood of visitors.

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