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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

idling away at a few old maps and Google Earth the other day (as history nerds are wont too often to do), I noticed a buiding that was slightly out of alignment with all the others around it - only slightly, but enough to raise a metaphorcial eyebrow. It's that wee little building, just beyond the Church at the bottom of Alison Road, behind the Turkish Bank.

Looking at my 1869 map, I saw that the building was close to where a pair of gatehouses for Harringay House used to stand (and yes they've spelt 'Haringey' House the Council way. No idea why. All other mentions and maps in this period used our spelling). 

Next I took an 1893 map that's been overlaid on Google Maps. The overlay shows how very accurate the old map was. Where old buildings have survived, there's almost an exact match between the 1893 map and Google Earth.

The 1893 map seems to show the northern gatehouse surviving and what I assume are the gates and gateposts next to it. The southern gatehouse doesn't appear, but the little building I noted on Google Earth appears to be in the exact same place as the gatehouse would have been. Its slight misalignmemt then makes sense as it would have aligned with the older structures.

So the small building that still stands today is in the exact same postion as the southern gatehouse would have been, but it wasn't shown on the 1893 map - the one that had been drawn with such care and accuracy. Does that mean there's no chance that the gatehouse could have survived?  Could a late 18th Century gatehouse from Harringay House really have survived? I couldn't believe it.

Even if the structure itself wasn't the eighteenth century one, it seems at the very least to have been built on the footprint of the gatehouse and so gives us pinpoint accuracy of where the old entrance to Harringay House was.  Walk in though the passageway to Cafe Ora, and when you reach the end of the passage you're about at the gates to the old house.

I wanted more than just a ghost however. So, I popped down today to have a mosey around. A big thank you to Rev'd Adedayo Ige who was enormmously helpful in enabling me to get a look around the outside of, let's call it the "gatehouse" building. I was also able to get a view of it from Cafe Ora.

My initial thoughts were that what is there now is Victorian, but I'd like to be convinced otherwise. There's clearly an older building, the "gatehouse" and joined to it to the north is another building. The bricks of the "gatehouse" building are finer than the one attached to it and it looks like they've either been painted or rendered at some point in their past. Here are the iPhone snaps I took.

The eastern face of the "gatehouse" building from Ora. Has that entire central section been replaced with yellow stock?

The northern face of the northern building from Cafe Ora.

Where the "gatehouse" building to the right, joins a second building to the left. If a utility building had been erected during the Victorian development of the suburb, woudn't they just have thrown it up? Would it really have been built in two halves? Notice the creamier brick to the right vs. the coarser London Stock to the left.

The coarser London stock brick used for the building to the north of the "gatehouse".

The "gatehouse" bricks have been painted or rendered at some point in their past. Would anyone have bothered to paint or render an old outhouse?

So, nothing here that enables me to claim a eureka moment. I'm still highly sceptical, but you can also hear me grasping at what may be straws, but I don't want to discount what may be a posiibility. 

I also wonderd at the fact that the building was two-storey. When I think of a Georgian gatehouse, I think of single-storey buidlings a bit more like these:

But then I looked around and saw that they came in all shapes and sizes. In fact the shape of the gable ends on this one look very simillar to what's shown in Picture 2 of the "gatehouse":

Ach, I don't know. It would be fun if, but the chances seem slim........ At the very least, now when I walk past Ora, I can look up to where the big house was up there at the top of the hill between Hewitt and Allison roads and, through the exceptionally fine gardens, just make out the classical facade and wonder whether any of the oranges, peaches or pineapples growing in the glasshouses are ripe.

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Good idea, Tris. I'm guessing that the one you're thinking of is the map that covers the southern half of the estate. The only sale plan I have covering the whole estate is from 1880. That one shows both gatehouses, but since it predates the Ordnance Survey map, I'm not sure it helps. 

The 1883 plan covering the sale of the central section also shows both gatehouses, but the 1893 map still trumps it for recency. 

By the way you can see a copy of the 1880 plan in Anthony Pepe. I've had a few requests to do a second print run. Although the original has gone to Bruce Castle, I still have a digitised copy. At some point when I get enough requests I'll get another run done. 

A really nice idea, but I’m afraid I don’t agree with you about the alignment. I judge that the little building is actually placed perfectly in the north-western corner of the plot marked out on the 1893 map now occupied by the Turkish Bank. So I’m sure it’s only a bog standard ancillary building from the time the area was built up after all. I noticed that the 1893 overlay is roughly 3 metres west of where it should be and also the google image, being taken at a slight angle (from the North) makes it very hard to judge boundaries precisely where buildings vary in height.  Unfortunately, the gatehouse must already have been demolished by 1893, just as that (very precise) map shows. 

We can agree to differ about the alignment, but either way, as I said, it's very slight. Other than that, as I'm sure you'll have gathered from what I wrote, I think we're headed, albeit reluctantly in my case, towards simillar conclusions. I'd like to check inside that buiding before bringing the hammer down though.

The consolation prize for me is that I now have a present day reference point for exactly where the driveway to the house was. 

Fascinating find, gatehouses came in all shapes and sizes, one example being the small round building to the north of Woodside Park bordering Palmers Green. It is possible that because the gatehouses were often tenanted (usually by ex-employees of the main house), they just built around them thus saving them from demolition.

For the sake of complteness, here are some text references to the gate houses which I'd forgotten I had:

There is now an excellent mansion on the summit of the knoll, surrounded by masses of apparently full-grown woods, gardens, and pleasure grounds, and approached by a graceful carriage-way entering from the London road, between two neat lodges (1824)

The house is a handsome and commodious residence seated on the summit of a conical hill and is surrounded on three sides by the New River. The broad open entrances to the gates, with an appropriate lodge at each side produces a first impression favourable to, and in character with, the interior scenes. (1850)

I remember Harringay House in the late 1870s and early ‘80s. A stolid-looking place of pseudo-Italian architecture....(1940)

If we take all three together, we can surmsie that there were a pair of "neat" and "appropriate" "lodges" which were "in character" with "pseudo-italian" architecture. It's as I feared; I think it's very unlikley that the building I looked at yesterday matches this description. The term lodge and the suggested match with the pseudo-italian style of the house suggests, that the lodges were like what I said yesterday I would have expected. To my mind, the floorplan suggested by the 1883 sale plan (in my comment above) supports that. So, I think the gate lodges would have been something like this (though without the arch):

As far as it matching the house is concerned, there is no known picture of Harringay House (though one must be out there somewhere). The best shot we have is to look at the house built by his rather less wealthy brother in Southgate at exactly the same time. The building survives today and is now the Priory clinic - much beloved detox haunt of the stars. There's a rather bad picture of it here.

Hugh, if we consider Grovelands as a 'sister' mansion, you can google earth the gatehouse on the corner of The Bourne and Queeen Elizabeth's Drive, it has ornate corner stones but not the opulence of the main building. The same scenario could be true of the Harringay House lodge (without the corner stones). 

Thanks, yes I had a look at that yesterday. It's of what I'd call the lodge variety. It's a shame the Harringay building is behind a bank. They're going to have the strictest rules about access. Nonetheless, I'll see if I can wangle entry. I'm not hopeful, but if it can't be in, I should at least rule it out.

That all sounds very sensible, well thought through and underpinned by some good sound knowledge, Tris. I think the faint wisp-like strands of gate lodge wraith I was graspng at are just about dissipated by it. A shame, but some good learning along the way.

Now if you can use that logical research bent to turn up an image of Harringay House, you'll get my Harringay Hero of the year award. I just cant believe that there isn't a photo and painting somewhere. It's almost certain that they exist in a family album or on a family wall somewhere. I asked Gray's descendant who posted a picture of his ancestor's portrait some while back, but he didn't seem to know. 

Also, Gray is supposed to have had an extensive collection of paintings. He MUST have commissioned one of the house.


He wasn't supposed to have had a collection, John. His amazing collection and its exact contents are well documented. I've collected together a handful at http://www.harringayonline.com/photo/albums/edward-grays-fantastic

Sorry Hugh. Slipshod writing on my part. I didn't mean to cast doubt on the existence of the collection.

Slipshod writing? You'll be losing your Meldrews at this rate, John.



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