Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This is a new one on me. This c1750* map is by far the earliest cartographic mention I've seen made of Harringay. It's true that the mapper opted for a spelling with a single 'r' as opposed to the version we use today. It's also the case that it refers to the wider Hornsey area that encompassed the 'Ladder land' as well as present day Hornsey, but it's still a fascinating link in the chain of our neighbourhood's direct line back to Saxon chieftan Haering. (Both variants  stem from Haerings-hege (pronounced Harings-hey) meaning Haering's enclosure)

Up till now I'd thought that by the eighteenth century, for most purposes the Har(r)ingay derivation had fallen into disuse in favour of the Hornsey one in all but manorial records, where it dominated. However this map offers an alternative perspective. It suggests that perhaps "Harringay" had survived in local parlance as well as the manorial one. It might suggest that when Edward Gray built Harringay House not much more that a half century after this map was published, his adoption of "Harringay" was less a revival, as has been claimed, and more of an adoption of a still living word.

* The map was originally listed on the Government Art Collection website as dating to 1723. That is no longer the case and I have assumed that this constitutes a correction which I have reflected above. 

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Where did you see or get this map? Any more details re publisher, author etc? TIA

I’ll see if I can dig out a reference got you. 

If you download the picture above, you'll see that its filename includes the original url from which I sourced the work back in 2015. It was the old website of the Government Art Collection - www.gac.culture.gov.ukwork.aspxobj14570.

The website has moved to a new address and the Wayback Machine hasn't stored that particular url. The search function of the new GAC website seems very limited but I have been able to locate the new url for the map.

The map snippet is from a map by Richard William Seale (1703 - 1762). The GAC webiste no longer gives a date of 1723, in fact it no longer offers any date. Checking elsewhere for a reliable date, the British Library maps collection appears not to include any Seales. Other references on the web refer to c1750 and a publication date after Seale's death.

I'm a little disappointed about the GAC website information. I'd assumed that the Government Art Collection information would be sound. Apparently, it wasn't. So, I've revised this page to reflect the new information and noted the change in a footnote to the original post.

Thank you. Allen, for asking the question that led to this revision.

I offer a slightly better version of the map snippet below.

Just noticed “StaNford Hill”. A typo or did the name evolve?

I think many names weren't quite fixed in their modern form at this stage. The map also has:

  • Earles Court
  • Stanes
  • Friarn Barnet
  • Hamstead
  • Brumpton

and furthest of all from the modern form

  • "Eling or Yelling"

It's spelt 'Stamford Hill' in the 1619 map, so maybe a typo?

Very unlikely to have been a typo. Although they were getting to the point of having a fixed spelling, place name spellings weren't fully fixed by this point.

Imagine the names being said with the original middlesex accent: whether it's 'n' or 'm' would probably have got even more lost than it does today. 

Look at the list Madge provided for the development of the Harringay/Hornsey name. You'll see that there was still plenty of variation in the 1700s and even into the 1800s.

That's a coincidence.  I remarked just a couple of days ago how I would love to have known of my grandfathers dialect.  He lived in Southgate, born 1877.  Having just listened to the above "original Middlesex Accent" recordings, I felt somewhat disappointed.  I understand it isn't black and white but to me those voices sounded very soft and warm and rather rural.  I just imagined my grandfather to sound more "cockney".  His eldest son (my uncle Charlie) was married to an East End "cockney" girl (Aunt Lil).  And I recall they both sounded "cockney".  So I always presumed grandad sounded same.  I was born in Harringay and have kept my "London accent" despite living in rural Norfolk for 50 years, as of this year.  I remember being surprised when I first heard Kent dialect.  I assumed them to talk "London".   Deviations, as with all things, occur and many influences deliver the goods.

But very interesting Hugh.  As is everything you uncover here.   Happy New Year to every HoL'er.

Thanks for all that!

One thing I find interesting is that it explains why some names gained greater traction in recent times - Ducketts, West Green, Crouch End etc all clearly notable early on. But the optional Hornsey/Haringay I presume is due to the presence of two manors? 

Single manor, 161 recorded spelling variations. All derived from Haering’s Hege



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