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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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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!

Cheers, Ken. It’s more than just the tree though. You cam also see the track I mentioned sloping across MItchell’s Hill on its way to the tace track. The NMPS photo also shows the lie of the land either side of the palace, further confirming the flipping. 

I have a photo from 1875 (rebuilt palace) showing a very similar view (Fig. 10 here). Both the NMPS photo and this one show a clump of trees close to the palace, to its east, which are on about the same level as the palace. There is no such a clump to the west. This will only match the 1866/73 photo if it is flipped. 

With regards to montaging, I have examined the original image Agabus linked to on Twiiter. (Twitter will only allow you to download a large size of this image; original size downloads are disabled. So you should look at the online version). Photomontage at this point in the development of photography was usually pretty crude. I can see no evidence if montage work. 

So, I'm fairly satisfied that the photo is flipped and not the result of montage. In which case that means that what were initially my musings about the Palladian house being Campsbourne Lodge are in fact a distinct possibility. And that would be quite exciting since, I'm pretty sure that there are no other known photos or any images of the house. 

If the old palace was on roughly the same footprint as the present palace and we are looking at the south facade then, in my opinion, the picture has not been flipped - judging by the shape of the hill.  Moreover, shouldn't the old Hornsey loop of the New River lie somewhere in the foreground.  In fact it might be the narrow white line in the right middle ground.  That would place the knot of buildings in the vicinity of where Middle Lane meets Priory Road and Hornsey High Street.  The old church would be out of frame to the right.  Perhaps there was an earlier Hornsey Tavern and the winding street is where Rectory Gardens now stands.  Where was the rectory by the way?  I seem to remember hearing that the river ran westwards along the north side of Hornsey High Street then turned south, passed under the road and turned back eastwards to flow along the south side of the High Street.  I heard that the Three Compasses (or its predecessor) was between the river and the road.

I've written about the fate of the Hornsey Loop of the New River here. You can best see its course in a New River Company plan at Fig. 10. And, Fig. 3 shows the loop behind the old Three Compasses.

As I describe in that piece, the loop was abandoned from about 1860. So, whether this photo was taken in the mid-1860's or early 1870's, the loop would have been mostly or completely filled in by either date. The only vestige of it showing on th 63-69 OS is a small diagonal stretch across the corner of what is now Priory Park, running from Priory Road, opposite Nightinggale Lane, to Middle Lane.

The Rectory was almost bang opposite the northern end of Middle Lane. All the land where Rectory Gardens now is was the Rectory's gardens. The Rectory itself survived into the middle of the twentieth century, but some sort of dead-end roadway on the route of the present-day Rectory Gardens had been laid out before the First World War. It was built up with housing between the wars. You can see maps showing the Rectory in this article

The old Hornsey Tavern was on the same site as the recently demised one, from about 1890. You can just make it on the far left  of Fig. 13 in the article I linked to at the end of the preceding paragraph. I have a very good picture of it in 1906, but I don't think it will add much to this conversation.

As to the issue of flipping, two things lead me to lean in favour of the flipping camp. Firstly. I think the land falls away more sharply to the west than to the east, doesn't it? I have many old pictures of the palace. But the one which is the subject of this discussion is the only one I can find right now that is shot straight on to the building and also clearly shows the land to either side of it. Secondly, as the 1875 plan of the Palace and park shows (see Fig. 9 here), the only road looping across the hill to the south of the building was (and still is) to its west. 

Looking again at the photos of the St Mary's & Grove House estates I linked to yesterday, I noticed that Peter Brooks, who contributed some of the photos. added a further one in a comment. That photo shows a view from his bedroom window across to Ally Pally. It is a very similar view to the mid-nineteenth century one. So, as I said yesterday, I wonder if the houses aren't on the St Mary's Estate? If you look at the map snippet under Peter's photo, you'll see that St Mary's / Westfield Road almost had an 'S' shape to it. It was being built up in the 1860s.

If the photo were a view from St Mary's Road in the mid 1860's, the large stately house would also be in the right position for Campsbourne.

Whilst looking at the photo for this latest review, I noticed a small figure three in the bottom right/left corner. With the photo flipped, it's back to front. So if the photo was flipped, it looks like it was the photographer who flipped it. People may have used his etched number to correctly (or incorrectly) orient the photo ever since. 

There is a much sharper version of the image that someone posted on Twitter:


The big house is much clearer - you can see a greenhouse/conservatory on the front of the house - and ther wall and gates are much sharper. Also it is clearer than the house in the foreground is under construction. 

The object to the right of the large foreground tree now looks like an animal penn/pound/enclosure. 

Had a change of heart about the flipping of the image looking the roadway on the right of the palace. On the 1895 1:1056 map (https://maps.nls.uk/view/101200839) added below there is no road on the left but one the shape of that in the photo is on the right. Unhelpful as the house cannot then be Campsbourne unless the photo was taken from much further to the east.

Ever deeper mystery - perhaps it is a composite image after all.

I disagree with your map analysis. If you look at the British Library's 1875 map I linked to in one of my recent comments. you'll see a roadway sweeping from to the west of the building down in front of it and connecting to the racetrack. This exactly mirrors the roadway in the flipped photo, in which the road is clearly descending as it crosses the slope, as did the road to the race track.

Even though the 1895 map is of the situation some 20 or 30 years after the photo, and so possibily not relevant, the sweeping track is still there.

There is no corresponding roadway to the east (right) of the building in the photo, or in either map.

For ease of reference I have provided marked copied of all three items below.

The corresponding roadway can still be seen in modern Googel Earth images, albeit, rather ghost-like in parts.

Overall, it's  just possible to perceive the lie of the land in this Google Earth 3D image. Whilst it's not very satisfactory to the west of the building because of the tree growth, it's better to the east where you can see a much less steep run of land. 

With regards to the possible conservatory in front of the big house, sadly the 1869 six inch OS didn't identify conservatories. There was a 25 inch 1869-70 version of which I posted an extract at Fig. 3 here,, which did show them. But that map section is the only local section I can find of that map. But we know for the 1866 sale ad that Campsbourne did have a conservatory. We do not know, however, which facade it was on. 

The Fig.Three is the right way round in this image? The better view of the house shows it is NOT the one I found in Newland Road after all. 

Is this Campsbourne House or Lodge on the right on the 1895 map or a later replacement?  

I think you are right about the foreground building being the very early days of the St Mary and Grove House estate. There are piles of bricks scattered around in the left forgeround of the flipped image and the building slightly more distant could be the ones ringed below. 

I don't think anything of Campsbourne (Campsbourne Lodge) survived. Kelly's Directory always used house names where they existed. The 1896 edition shows just seven numbered houses on The Campsbourne, which matches the 1893/5 map: none is named. Victorians tended towards grandiosity. I think any building that chiefly comprised an important old house would very probably have retained the house name. 

The east side of the road was redeveloped in the early twenieth century and the west side, partly so. Much of the west side was taken over by the MAP Laundry.

1915 OS map

I am very impressed by the depth and intensity of the analysis by Agabus and Hugh thus far.

Another (probably inconclusive) line of attack would be to consider the shadows cast by the sun.  As the palace faces almost exactly South East, the sun would appear at first glance to have been either due East (in the unflipped image) or due South (in the flipped image).  Is it more likely that this picture was taken at 6am or at noon and can any inference be drawn from the absence of any people or from the presence of building materials scattered around the scaffolding? Could it have been lunch time or perhaps a Sunday?

I am not so sure that the figure 3 inscribed on the picture signifies much.  It could have been in black on the glass plate but, if so, we don't know on which side it was written or why. If there is an original paper print showing a white painted 3, it would tell what somebody thought was the right way round but not whether this was correct.



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