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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Two houses on the North side of Cavendish Road have been badly damaged by the collapse of the old Victorian sewer running under the Harringay Passage. One is being repaired; the other, irreparably damaged, has almost competely collapsed and is in the process of being torn down.

The passage owes its existence to the sewer and was built to provide easier access to the sewer for maintenance.

Tags for Forum Posts: cavendish road, collapse, ladder, property

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Before the Ladder was developed In the 19c sewage from Hornsey village and Muswell Hill was drained, via the river Moselle, through Tottenham, to the river Lea. This cost the Hornsey Vestry money as a fee had to be paid to Tottenham for the export of the waste. So, in the 1870s, Hornsey built the Hornsey Outfall Sewer across the parkland of the old Harringay House to link up with London’s Northern High level Sewer, south of Finsbury Park. When the parkland was sold off and Harringay House pulled down the ladder streets were laid out in their place, but houses could not be built above the outfall sewer. Thus a footpath appeared between the houses as they were built and Haringey Passage was born. (Note the spelling of Haringey Passage on the old street signs, still high up on some walls)
Thanks for that additional insight John. I'm an addict for these little snippets of history. I'd love to ferret out a few more from you. Any chance? Perhaps an occasional posting of a snippet on the local history group?
Has the heavy goods traffic added to the problem? Has this meant a shift in the old pipework?

I feel really sorry for those that are left to pick up the pieces of what must seems to most of us a completely unimaginable nightmare.

The next question is have other people on the ladder roads in a similar position had their foundations checked? Might be worth asking the surveyors dealing with this to check at least 2 roads either side of Cavendish just in case.
Also curious about the effect this is going to have on the insurance premiums for other houses bordering the passage, when their policies come up for renewal. Went to have a look at it today and it is quite breathtaking seeing the mess it has left (it has been almost fully demolished). Also the house next to the demolished house seems to have suffered severe subsidence. I wonder if there is any way of finding out if this was a one off, or if it could happen along the passage again.

Out of purely ponderous interest and of no use really, I do wonder if it was one of those head-height service sewers that you see in horror movies quite frequently - if so then the scale of the damage does make sense.

On the general subject of subsidence, there is the point that the drier weather this year could cause increased slippage on hilly roads such as the Ladder roads and that one should, apparently, be a little more rigorous in checking for tell-tale cracking. Comfort may be had in the thought that we will all slide together, the Ladder being as it is! See http://www.rics.org/Builtenvironment/Buildingpathology/Subsidence/
I see in the Hornsey Journal story that Thames Water denied it was anything to do with the sewer.

"Rumours that the incident was due to a collapsed Victorian sewer running underneath the footpath were quashed by Thames Water, which said it had not received any calls to that location or complaints."

Are they correct or mistaken?
Mmm, I saw that too and was sceptical. I was told by one of the builders working on the site that it was the sewer. My scepticism comes from the thought that perhaps Thames Water are trying to avoid a raft of claims and the admission of liability.

The fact that two unconnected houses were affected either side of the where the sewer runs makes me think that a connection with the sewer is likely.

But the truth is that this is all conjecture. I don't know for sure either way.
The Hornsey Journal story seemed to be very wide of the mark. Whatever the reason for the condition of the houses, they have been like they are now since the summer - I was walking my grandchildren past them after school in July. There seems to be no reason to belive there was further subsidence on 4 November. If the reason was related to the sewer then I would have expected some investigation of it to have taken place; to my knowledge the paving in the passage has not been lifted recently.
I can't really imagine what you are talking about here. Were people hurt?

Are there any photos about?


House collapses

Hornsey & Crouch End Journal, 14 November 2007

This is all that remains of a house that collapsed last week while work was being carried out to prevent it subsiding.

The Victorian end-of-terrace, on the north side of Cavendish Road on the Harringay Ladder, collapsed on Sunday, November 4.

Harringay ward councillor Karen Alexander (Liberal Democrat) told the Journal: "One of the houses has completely collapsed and the house on the other side of the passage is being held up by scaffolding. The house is almost entirely demolished. It is quite a shocking sight. I was quite astounded when I saw it."

The Journal understands that underpinning work was being carried out on the property and the property on the other side of the Harringay Passage, which are both said to be suffering from subsidence.

Rumours that the incident was due to a collapsed Victorian sewer running underneath the footpath were quashed by Thames Water, which said it had not received any calls to that location or complaints.



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