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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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Gerry, there were three storeyed houses with bays on the St Mary’s Estate. In an earlier comment I added a link to photos on HOL of that estate. As far as I’m aware, those are the only published images of those streets. 

I am struggling with that being anything but a full face view. I used Google Earth and got this side view: 

The roads look very much like the foot of Muswell Hill but even without all the modern buildings there is no way you get this view.

One possibility: Is it a commercial montage? 

The best head on view I could get today was from Campsbourne Road (not great given the intrusions!) but I noted that the water works has had a lot of new building - could that be the angle?

Anyone fancy a fresh discussion about the house in this image?

Conventional wisdom says that it is an early incarnation of the Priory. Could it actually be Campsbourne viewed from the slopes where Ally Pally now sits? The land under Campsbourne looks to have been owned by the Warners according to the Enclosure Map and the house in the painting is said to have belonged to Warner - the assumption being that it had to be the Priory. But the positon is wrong (even allowing for artisitc licence) for the Priory and the mansion looks to be the eastern-most large house on Hornsey High Street before reaching old St Mary's Church. The painting has to be pre-1832 as the church tower is still squat so the while Campsbourne is a different shape in the 1860s OS map, it could have been a different shape in the late 18th or early 19th century?

Thoughts? Happy to be shot down. 

The painting/engraving was done in 1816 by engraver and watercolourist, John Hassell as an illustration for a book published in 1817. Apparently the majority of the pictures in the second edition were by Daniel Havell after Hassell. (I do not know at this stage if the version on the HHS cover is a Hassell or a Havell after Hassell).

Either way, the work is entitled 'Seat of J Warner Hornsey'. The title doesn't specify which house is portrayed. Its attribution by the HHS as being The Priory is sensible, but we shouldn't automatically assume that it's correct. 

Wholesale City grocer, Jacob Warner bought the estate on which The Priory was eventually built at the very end of the eighteenth century. It is thought that he built a three-storey red-brick house there.

Whilst he also owned Campsbourne (Lodge), I'd always understood that the house further west was his main home. With their great wealth, the family replaced the red-brick house with the much better known gothic confection, called The Priory in the early 1820s. 

I've looked at the Hassell picture before and thought, like Agabus, that it seems strangely close to the church. Until he/she just suggested that the house pictured could be Campsboure and not Warner's red-brick house, I'd never considered it. It might be. However, if it's correct that the red-brick house was Warner's main residence then  the picture's description as the seat of J Warner, makes me lean more towards it being the red-brick house. 

The Land Tax records are difficult to interpret since they only show owners and occupiers. Warner's there, but I can't get any clues about which house is referred to for the record where he is given as both owner and occupier. What we can say is that by far the largest property he was assessed on was the one that he also occupied. I think that is more likley to have been "The Priory" estate rather than Campsbourne. 

Even if the tax records showed house names, that might not help since, apparently, before its 1820's rebuild, what then became "The Priory" was only previously known as “the villa of Jacob Warner” (a fact which incidentally also adds another point in the column that the house in the painting is NOT Campsbourne. It's also why I've been using the term red-brick house above). 

The HHS book was edited by Joan Schwitzer and includes chapters by Peter Barber, Malcom Stokes, Alan Aris and Albert Pinching. You'd think that if all that Hornsey History eminence was happy the the "Priory" attribution, it's more likely to be correct than not.

A bit more on this. Below is a copy of the legend that appeared under the Hassell engraving.

Although it shows "I. Hassell", I assume that it is an old printer's 'J' since I can find no mention of an I. Hassell and the book is certainly by John, who was a well-known artist illustrating this sort of book.

The picture appears in a chapter entitled 'Hornsey And the Seat of Jacob Warner Esq.'. The chapter opens with the following:

The annexed view of Mr Warner’s house is taken from an elevated situation on a spot called Michell’s hills, which commands most extensive views in every direction overlooking a range of rich woody scenery in Essex, where a profusion of picturesque objects traverse in irregular sweeps up to the very horizon.

There is little doubt that the hills are those of Tottenham Wood Farm which is now the site of Ally Pally. The hills almost certainly got their name from Michael Mitchell who bought the estate for £11,400 in 1789. Although Mitchel had died and the estate sold by 1816, it is not difficult to imagine the name sticking for a number of years.  (See the second section, The House that Michael Built in my piece on The Elms.)

Whilst that much is interesting, I'm not sure how much further it gets us. We do know that Hassell claims it is a view; which suggests then that the house is more like to be Campsbourne Lodge than it is Warners red-brick house that preceded The Priory. However, we also know that paintings of this type in this era often weren't accurate depictions of what the artist saw. So, it's almost impossible to be certain what we're looking at.

I think each person needs just take a view on the they think it is. But, in my view, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary (and HHS may well have some), what we can now say is that we can't be confident which house is portrayed in the picture.

PS: Unless the version of the picture done by Havell is identical to Hassell's, then we now also know that the HHS book cover is the Hassell version from the first edition. 

I have that angle now - those houses are still there. In Newlands road (see below). Its a double pair of three storey villas taking advantage of the view across the New River. Ally Pally is off to the right through the tree. By the way i mis identified this as Campsbourne Road in an earlier post. The 'head on' nature of the view must be the result of old long focus bellows cameras.

I came across these houses when walking the dog about a year ago. They now seem very much out of place. 

You surely mean all the new stuff looks out of place? 

Make that four storeys!

I cannot go with the flipped image idea - it puits these houses back to front... as here:

If, when you say “these houses” you mean the ones in Newland Road, it can’t be those houses in the 19th century photo. The houses face the palace: those in the photo don’t. If you’re referring to other houses, I’ve no idea which you mean. 

The picture you are looking at is the one you showed but flipped. In an unflipped image they face half toward the Ally Pall. The houses are the one in Newland Road here:

In this image Ally Pally is beyond the houses,to the right behind the trees and just visible.

Here is the original showing the double pair of four storey semi-detached villas in Newland Road.

I think.



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