Great Northern Railway Tavern, Hornsey
Hornsey shown within Greater London
|Area||1.06 km2 (0.41 sq mi)|
|Population||12,659 (Ward only)|
|– density||11,942/km2 (30,930/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Hornsey and Wood Green|
|London Assembly||Enfield and Haringey|
Hornsey // is a district of north London, England in the London Borough of Haringey. Hornsey has been a much larger ancient parish than the electoral ward of the same name, in turn a smaller entity than the Municipal Borough of Hornsey which co-governed its area with Middlesex County Council from 1889 to 1965, since which time, the name usually refers only to the London neighbourhood at the heart of these former areas to the west of Hornsey railway station. It is an inner-suburban, for the most part residential, area centred 6.2 miles (10 km) north of Charing Cross.
The boundaries of Hornsey neighbourhood today are not clearly defined. Since the Municipal Borough of Hornsey was abolished in 1965, the name most commonly may refer either to the N8 postal district which includes Crouch End and part of Harringay, or to a smaller area centred on Hornsey High Street, called Hornsey Village, at the eastern end of which is the churchyard and tower of the former parish church which used to be the administrative centre of the wider parish of Hornsey. This used to stretch to a long border with Islington and Stoke Newington. It also had two small detached parts immediately beyond and within the latter. In the 1840s the parish had 5,937 residents and had been reduced by the loss of Finsbury Park but comprised 2,362 acres (9.56 km2) taking in besides its own village, the established hamlets of Muswell Hill, Crouch End, and part of Highgate.
North of Hornsey High Street, and immediately to its south, some of the area is public sector housing, surrounded by the late Victorian terraces developed by builders such as John Farrer. Between the western end of the High Street and the bottom of Muswell Hill, the character of the area changes dramatically. Much of this part is the Warner Estate built up with large well-appointed late Victorian houses. To the south west of the High Street is Priory Park, a pleasant urban green space.
The High Street has a range of shops and an increasing number of restaurants. The eastern section retains strong echoes of its rural past and hosts the 13th-century tower which is all that remains of St Mary's Church.
On the north side of the High street is the old public bath and wash house (not to be confused with Hornsey Baths which is 1.5 miles away on the Hornsey Road). Opened in 1932, it had 33,000 users a year in the 1950s. It is now abandoned and sits on a site the future of which is documented here. A small group of local residents suggested to Haringey Council that it should be developed as an arts & crafts studio and gallery for local artists but instead it has been largely demolished, with only the front remaining which is being integrated into a new build.
One electoral ward containing the word "Hornsey" was in use by the London Borough of Haringey in 2011. In 2001 three wards reflected their area's historic identity as part and parcel of Hornsey:
- Hornsey Central
- Hornsey Vale
- South Hornsey
||New Southgate||Alexandra Park||Wood Green|
|Muswell Hill||Turnpike Lane|
|Crouch End||Stroud Green||Harringay|
The name Hornsey originated from a Saxon chieftain named Haering; Haering's Hege was Haering's enclosure. It shares this derivation with Harringay neighbourhood and Haringey borough. The 'Haringey' variant is the oldest recorded form.
Hornsey Village, which was first recorded in 1202 according to the Place Names of Middlesex, was the focus of parish with its church first mentioned in 1291. The village developed along what is now Hornsey High Street, and in the seventeenth century it was bisected by the New River that crossed the village in three places: first at the end of Nightingale Lane, secondly from behind the Three Compasses and lastly, as it does now, at the bottom of Tottenham Lane. The village grew dramatically after about 1860 and eventually merged with the separate settlement at Crouch End (first mentioned in 1465) to form an urban area in the middle of the parish.
Much of Hornsey was built up in Edwardian times, but the tower of the original parish church still stands in its ancient graveyard in Hornsey High Street, at the centre of the old village. Other notable places are the Doragh Gasworks, the former Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End, and Highpoint and Cromwell House in Highgate.
In 1954 the first Lotus Cars factory was established in stables behind the Railway Hotel (now Funky Brownz Bar) on Tottenham Lane. The company was formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd in 1952 by Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, both engineering graduates of University College, London. The Railway Hotel pub was owned by Chapman’s father. In its early days Lotus sold cars aimed at privateer racers and trialists. Its early road cars could be bought as kits, in order to save on purchase tax. Adjacent to the pub was the first Lotus showroom (now part of Jewson's building materials store) where there is now a memorial plaque to Colin Chapman erected by Club Lotus. Recently an application to demolish the building, listed by Haringey Council as an historic building of interest, was turned down following a public campaign by local resident Chris Arnold, son of the former Lotus Sales Director Graham Arnold. The production moved to Cheshunt in 1959, and to Hethel in Norfolk in 1966.
Since 2000 Hornsey's residential developments have been architecturally diverse and overall accommodative of a diverse range of the local community. This has included estates of more than 50 homes with a proportion available under social housing and affordable housing schemes.
- For details of education in Hornsey see the London Borough of Haringey article.
Hornsey in literature, on film and television
In Jonathan Coe's 1987 debut novel The Accidental Woman, the protagonist Maria shares a flat in Hornsey with two other women for several years.
Notable current and former residents
Former residents include poets A.E. Housman and Thomas Moore, publisher Andrew Melrose, eminent theatre architect Frank Matcham, soviet communist apologists William Peyton Coates and Zelda Coates. Actor Bob Hoskins grew up here. The once-famous poet Samuel Rogers, a friend of Byron and Dickens, is buried in Hornsey churchyard, as is Thomas Frye, artist and founder of the Bow porcelain factory. Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars.
Other notable residents are:
- Sway DaSafo
- Richard French
- Jo Frost
- Lilian Harvey
- Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer
- Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars
- Jazzie B, musician
- Paul Eddington, actor
Transport and locale
Nearest tube station
Nearest railway stations
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 5 November 2014
- Baggs, A.P.; Bolton, Diane K.; Hicks, M.A.; Pugh, R.B. (1980). "Ossulstone Hundred". In Baker, T.F.T.; Elrington, C.R. A History of the County of Middlesex 6. Institute of Historical Research. pp. 1–5. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- Lewis, Samuel (1848). "Horndon, East - Horsell". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Denford, Steven (2008). Hornsey Past. Historical Publications.
- "The Wright Stuff Monday 12 November". Channel5.com. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- "Hornsey Town Hall’s Hour in the spotlight". haringey.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Ward search Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2014-11-05
- Etymology Section in Wikipedia History of Harringay Article
- Harringay Online N8's biggest community website - for Harringay, Hornsey & Crouch End
- Local community website for all of N8, i.e. Crouch End and Hornsey
- Hornsey Historical Society
- The Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre - includes a history of Lotus in Hornsey.
Media related to Hornsey at Wikimedia Commons