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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

There is an image on the Alexandra Palace website of the original 1873 building taken of the main front aspect - link/image below. I cannot work out what or where the foreground buildings are. Logically they must be somewhere towards the eastern end of Hornsey High Street if we are looking face on to the palace building but in that area we should be able to see St Mary's Church. Can anyone shed any light on what these buildings are?

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The foreground buildings are on Park Road.

There's a set of historical Ally Pally pictures on this site here.

So that is not the main frontage of the palace but the end where the Phoenix pub is now? 

You know what, you're right. It can't be Park Road. A little like I'd been doing with the 18th century Bewick painting of central Crouch End, I've looked at that photo for years and, without thinking about it too much, I've always just assumed it was Park Road in the foreground. But, a moment's thought would tell me that it can't possibly be!

As to what it actually is, I'm as as bemused as you. I can't think of a road directly to the south of the Palace that snaked like that one is doing, wither in 1873 or today! 

Yes a mystery. Any clue from the mansion on the left of the picture? Also could the picture be backwards? Looks totally different in the foreground if you flip around in Photoshop. It may also be a small section from a very remote location with a huge amount of foreshortening of the houses, meaning that they are miles away, perhaps as far as Tottenham Lane or on the slope of Crouch Hill

Interesting collection of images of central Croich End. Is there an image anywhere of the Roweldge Farm farmhouse that used to stand where the parade of shops on the west of the broadway now stands, ie opposite Lake Villa and Old Crouch Hall? It's interesting that there are many pictures looking east of the Broadway but nothing looking the other way. 

Did you look at the link in my last comment? As I’ve said in that text, the buildings on the left of the Berwick painting are almost certainly Rowledge barns. The chimneys behind the large barn are probably on the farmhouse.

Booth bought the farmhouse to build his wee palace in around 1830. No photos exist as far as I'm aware. But there may be water colours identified in modern collections. With art lessons being part of the curriculum at neighbouring Crouch End Academy, there are probably lots of paintings of various skill levels which go unidentified.

I’ll try the. PS flip later and see what I get.

So I asked Ally Pally Museum. They thought the same as me, it seems


Rectory Gardens area maybe, the Moselle would have snaked a little round there then, and was still above ground?

For ease of reference, Here's a screenshot of the bttom left area of the photo from a bigger version I have. Click to enlarge more).

When you look at the larger version of the photo (click the photo extract above), it looks like there's a wall in front of the Palladian style house. Next to it, is a road running along in front of the house. I recognise neither the road nor the the house.

If the photo wasn't doctored, the only house it could be in the position shown would be Grove House. The only photo I've seen of that house suggests it was significantly smaller than the one in the photo and, style-wise it seemed to echo Albert & Victoria's Osborne:it wasn't Palladian in style.

Next along was the Priory and then the Elms. Neither had the pediment this houses has. Further east was the Rectory and Campsbourne. It's not a match for the Rectory and no images survive of the Campsbourne.

I'm afraid that none of that is much help. 

I have tried flipping the image around as sometimes no-one knows which way round an old glass negatives should be. The more I look at the more I reckon the original was flipped. See the way the road on the left of the flipped image climbs and bears around to the left before pulling back right towards the palace as it does today. Still not sure what the building would be though, but noticed on the enlarged view that the central house with the four windows is still under construction. 

The palladian mansion I don't think can be Campsbourne Lodge as that seems to have been bought and demolished not long after 1866 so would have been gone by then. 

On the Rowledge Farm question I'm sure there are some pictures of farm buildings taken from the back of Crouch Hall's gardens in the book 'Gin and Hellfire: Henry Batchelor's Memoirs of a Working Class Childhood in Crouch End 1823-1837'. Don't know if you have that book. Also the 1873 OS map has something substantial right next to the Broadway (see below). 

You're right, flipped looks probably more likely. 

I think Peter Barber's book uses the Wolstenholme painting of Crouch Hall from the Government Art Collection. You can see in this reproduction of it, Rowledge Farm in the background, apparently off to the left. But, that's it. I haven’t seen any proper pictures of it.

I think the farm house was used by Booth as servant quarters for some years. I'm not sure exactly when it was demolished or what the building is opposite Lake Villa. Going north afer the King's Head, the 1871 census shows Drill Rooms and Drill Hall, Rooms over stables, Crouch Hall and Crouch End Academy. Could your building perhpas have been the drill hall, I wonder? I'm afraid I realy don't know. 

As to Campsbourne, yes, it was sold in 1866, but the first palace was built between 1864-66, but not opened till 1873. This image could be earlier, at any time between 1866 and 1873. 

I have a copy of the 1866 ad for sale for Campsbourne, but it doesn't really describe the exterior appearance of the house, unfortunately.

With the picture flipped the house in the picture would be in about the right place to be Campsbourne. But the 1863/9 OS suggests that it woold have been square to the palace. The building in the photo doesn't look like it is. 

When I look at the houses in the foreground, I keep thinking of Middle Lane or St Mary's and Grove House estates. Could those houses have beeen somewhere in those disappeared roads?

I suggest this postcard image confirms flipping, going by the lone tree position on the "front lawn". The fact that the shot was taken across the reservoir anchors this image correct way round.

Doesn't resolve the mystery building, though!



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