Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Back in 2012, a I organised a group of locals to club together on HoL to buy an old map of part of the Harringay Ladder as the area was being developed. We won the auction on eBay and were able to donate the map to Bruce Castle Museum.

Before giving it away, I had an archival quality copy made by the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). They also printed us some copies on archival quality map paper. A number of the original purchasers got a copy along with a few other locals.

That section covered the southern part of the Ladder. In the ensuing few years I've had a number of people ask if there's a map that covers the other parts of the Ladder. I've been dragging my feet getting it organised, but I now have copies of two more maps and I'm  putting out this feeler to see if there's enough interest to get the LMA to do a print run of either/both of those.

I've now found the the Northern  and central section maps, (Strangely the Northern section os printed with south to the top) runs from Hampden to Effingham. The central section covers from Warham to Beresford.

The LMA did a fantastic job last tiime round. Printing on archival quality paper, they preserved the character and feel of the map and rendered the detail splendidly.

Last time the I did two sizes - a smaller version at 37" x 25" approx and a full size one 54" x 37" approx. The northern section would print out at something like the same sizes and the central section I think would just be at the smaller size. 

Last time the smaller size was £95 and £145 for the full size version (prices are now £105 and £155). If there's sufficient interest in these new maps, I'll need to check for up-to-date pricing with the LMA.My guess is that if there has been a price rise, it won't be very much.

Please drop me a note at hugh@harringayonline and if there's enough interest I'll organise another run.

Tags for Forum Posts: harringay house map

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I suspect you're right about the topography, Joe. As I said, I've read that the river was built to meander to serve a wider population, but you might have put your finger on it as to why it took the particular meander around the 'Harringay Hillock' the way it did. The river was built originally to flow by gravity alone. The original course of the river through Harringay is indisputable; the reason for it is less clear, but it may well be be the one that you have indicated.

That's an interesting point Joe, but perhaps you could clear up something that I don't quite understand. The river today, does indeed run south of what was Harringay House, doesn't it..? My point being, how does it do that now, but couldn't then?

Something else I don't really understand, why was there a small Harbour, bay or 'elbow' as Hugh calls it, to the North West of the House? For me that is an indicator that the course of the river has been changed. Or was it perhaps just caused by increased flow of water, after the short straightening in the 1840s for the railway?

Perhaps the field layout is much older the the 17th Century river, because it does seem to me that the river is overlaid over the fields, rather than being the reason for their shape.  As I said before. Why are all the other fields/parcels of land rectangular, BTW including Finsbury Park, but not Harringay House..?

I don't subscribe to this planned meandering river idea either. I think, as you say, the course had to do with the lay of the land. Water didn't flow uphill then - and still doesn't.

The river today joins the original course just south of Seymour Road. The late 19th century change was to cut out the 'Harringay Hillock' loop and create more readily useable building land. Cutting through the hillock, rather than trying to go over it dealt with the gravity issue. The only way they could affordably do it in the 17th Century was to loop round the hillock. 

The elbow must have been intentionally constructed, but I have no idea why. I wonder if it was either for ornamental reasons or perhaps it somehow aided the flow.

The field boundaries almost certainly predate the 17th century. Their general shape is probably inherited from Roman or Saxon times. Using the maps produced by people as far back as Montagu Sharpe, you can see that the overall shape of the Roman boundaries and trackways in terms of of boundary orientation (as well as in many cases surviving ownership and governance boundaries), shows a striking similarity to those of hundreds of years later. One of Sharpe's London/Middlesex maps, showing old Roman pagi boundaries, is reproduced below.

I've found out that the elbow was in fact referred to as the 'Harringay Park Basin'. 

I also remembered this c1880 watercolour by Harolds H Lawes. The Harringay Park Basin is in the foreground. It was painted on the 'Harringay Hillock', just north of Harringay House.


Believe it or not this bridge/viaduct still exists, buried under the existing railway

Anyone interested can pick up the thread of this subtopic on another thread here

Excellent research and very interesting, especially to know that the bridge in the watercolour still exists (albeit hidden). Did anybody ever find out what the strange brick structure on the river bank on the north side of Wightman was used for?.



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