Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I’ve always know it as Highgate Ridge, any other names known ?

Here’s a link explaining the engineering work to stop it moving East.  
Highgate Ridge I thought was formed by historic glacial heave ?


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The stretch that has Mountview Road run along its crest from Quernmore Rd to Crouch Hill

Since about the middle of the nineteenth, it’s been known as the Hog’s Back. As far as I can establish, the name doesn’t go much further back than that, and it seems very likely that it took its name from the better known Hog’s Back in Surrey.  When researching it earlier in the year, the earliest reference I found to the feature, was in a newspaper of 1871 which suggested that it arose at some point not long before the journalist was writing. Yet even before it bore its current name, it formed much older manorial boundaries. 

You can see the original cutting and shape of the ridge as it tapers off to the east in a watercolour I added to one of my Wikipedia articles on Harringay about 15 years ago (original in Bruce castle Museum). Harringay House, as seems always to have been the case in illustration is hidden by the tress to the right (east) of the railway. If at first you don't recgnise the curve, you can see it today on Google Maps Street View here

Interesting link, Matt. Thanks.

In a Victorian history of North London it is described as the Northern Hog's back - not the least because of the shape of the hill itself, albeit rather obscured by later building.  It would stretch estate agent speak a bit to describe it as the Highgate Ridge.

Makes me think of Swine’s Lane name change to a more gentile Swain’s Lane.

Like Harringaywick or NoHa & SoHa ! :)

I think it’s great to discuss our local natural features to bring awareness, and navigate some interesting walks, cycles within view.  

Matthew is right in mentioning the role of glaciers.

I live on Uplands Road - a steep hill that rises form Weston Park and crests on Ridge/Mountview Roads. It then falls away as another hill (Oakfield Road) to the south. Uplands is the extreme easter end of a series of terminal moraines created during the last Ice Age. Massive glaciers edged their way down from the north and, just just outside my front door, eventually stopped. As they moved south, they pushed in front of them enormous volumes of debris - soil, stones, rocks. 

When the melt came, the glaciers disappeared leaving the long mound of debris. If you look on a geological map, the system extends through Tregaron Avenue, Haslemere Road, , Hornsey Lane, hampstead lane ... all the way to Finchley Road - characterized by steep hills up form the north sides to steep hills down on the south side.

The embankment retaining work featured is a legacy of when the GNR was build in the first half of the nineteenth century: the engineers, rather than building a tunnel through the moraine, simply sliced off the eastern end.

That’s wonderful, thank you.

Interesting - had been following this work from the train.

So the last ice age was halted at Hornsey and Harringay. Hooray!

Fun fact: Ally Pally is built on another bit of the moraine. Its road is also subject to slippage. I heard somewhere that there is no higher ground due east between it and the Urals in Russia.

Looking at a map, this might actually be true...

I’m not sure that strictly speaking it’s accurate to say the glacier reached Hornsey. The furthest south that any of the glaciers reached was during the Anglian ice age 450,000 years ago. That glacial sheet is thought to have finished at Finchley and Muswell Hill. I think that whilst the hills of Hornsey may well result from glacial action, the sheet itself, didn’t extend quite this far south.

Wow that is something, and love the concept of the moraine. I think you could have a piece in #Nationalgeographic 

A ridge exists, good to note where it begins and where it ends, it’s a good landmark to traverse East West to Highgate, about a 17 minute cycle from Harringayw Wick 



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