Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Found a copy of The Place Names of Middlesex by J.E.B. Glover (1922) in a charity shop yesterday for 50p. Interesting and fairly substantial entry on the origins of the name Harringay and how it somehow in the past morphed into Hornsey

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That's really brilliant - thank you Michael.

I like the Gallic-sounding Haringue. Would make a good name for a French bistro on Green Lanes.

It might at last sort out the Harringay/Haringay/Harringey/Haringey spellings you see all over the place!

Some of the source material is astonishing, like the tax records of Pope Nicolas IV from the 13th century

I haven't heard of this chap. But the go-to guy on this subject is antiquary, topographer and Hornsey Borough Educator Sidney Joseph Madge who spent 30 years researching the origins of the names of Harringay & Hornsey. Yes 30 years!

He wrote and published an authoritative 70 page book in 1936 which is regarded as the seminal work on the subject. You can get hold of a copy in the library or buy a second-hand copy online (The Origin of the Name of Hornsey). It's too complex to detail here, but I did summarise the key points in the toponymy section of one of my Harringay Wikipedia articles. Madge noted when the modern forms were first recorded, which I've given in my Wikipedia piece.

Madge has the earliest form of Harringay in 1195 as Harenhg. He also goes into the original pronunciation of the various forms which apparently didn't sound as different as their spellings suggest.

The main reason for the two variants of Harringay/Hornsey emerging is that spellings were generally variable until the last few hundred years. During the period of lexical instability, the Harringay spelling got attached to the manor through custom and usage and the Hornsey  one to the place. 

Fascinating stuff Hugh - many thanks

Haringue, Hornsey, Harnessy ..... so good they named it fifty ways.

As Kipling wrote: "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays / And every single one of them is right."

A Haringey Leader has something to learn from this. Just wait another millennium and Black Boy Lane will evolve as satisfactorily as Harenhg, Haerengheye or Wightman Road.

Here endeth my Harangue.

Dear OAE, that is a very good last word, you made me larf and thanks to other contribitors  too 

At the time of the formation of the 'new' Greater London Borough of Haringey a professor of history was appointed to settle the 'original' spelling argument. I recall reporting his findings that the one r and an e version is the best attested old version. Sadly that is all I recall. Who he was and what became of his research I know not. 

If he had any sense he’d have just consulted Madge whose well supported and referenced research found 40 years earlier that Haringey was the earliest recorded written form. (And maybe he did!)

Bet he would have been cheaper too!

Brilliant, and a hundred years later we can enjoy all versions and the confusion of newcomers.



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