It is immediately north of Victoria Park and the area centred on Victoria Park Road and Lauriston Road. Sometimes known as Victoria Park Village, particularly by estate agents, to distinguish the residential area from the rest of Hackney.
In Tudor times, South Hackney consisted of two small settlements. One around the modern Grove and Lauriston Roads; the other where Grove Street and Well Street meet. There were two moated houses, the one on the north side of Well Street belonging to the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, the Knights Hospitaller, in 1416. The house survived into the 18th century, but by then it was in decline and the tenants included chimney sweeps. This was commemorated by the name of the Two Black Boys public house. which stood on the site now occupied by Bernie Grant House in Well Street.
In Church Crescent, near the church are six almshouses, created by a bequest from William Monger in 1669, and funded by land on Hackney Marshes. This land subsequently came into the control of Sir John Cass. The almshouses were rebuilt in 1849, with funds from Sir John Cass's Foundation. A second almshouse was founded in 1857 in memory of South Hackney's first rector, Henry Handley Norris (1771–1850). Norris was a leading member of the Hackney Phalanx, a group of early nineteenth-century Anglican High Churchmen. His portrait hangs in the parish church.
Victoria Park was laid out between 1842–46, the large Victorian villas that characterise this area were built soon after. South Hackney originally had a chapel of ease in Well Street, but became an independent parish in 1825, with the parish church of St John of Jerusalem erected in 1848 near Well Street Common.
The Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy on the corner of Victoria Park Road and Lammas Walk utilises the buildings of the former French Hospital (La Providence), a home for elderly Huguenots. The French Hospital was built in the 1860s in the style of a French-Flemish chateau, designed by Robert Lewis Roumieu.
The area is well served by shops, restaurants and public houses.
Transport and locale
There are no London Underground stations in the district, but nearby Bethnal Green tube station is on the Central line and Mile End tube station, a mile to the south, is served by the Hammersmith & City, District and Central lines.
- Tudor Hackney at the National Archives Archived 9 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 31 October 2006
- Hackney: Charities for the Poor, A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 166-72 Date accessed: 31 October 2006.
- Hackney in 1878 accessed 30 October 2006