This weekend I made HoL's latest local history acquisition with the purchase of a set of photos showing the exterior and interior of Northumberland House.
For those who aren't familiar with Northumberland House, it was built as a private mental hospital in about 1830 on the bank of the New River by Green Lanes, opposite Finsbury Park.
It's most famous patient (that I've yet discovered) was T.S. Eliot's first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. It's a sad story. Read more here.
The hospital closed after the Second World. War and the property was demolished in 1955 to make way for the Rowley Gardens estate. HoL Members Ken Hanson and Roy both recall it being a great playground for local children during the fifties.
The photos are in an album which I'm assuming was an Edwardian marketing brochure. Richard Ayres from whom I bought the album told me that he had two relatives working at the hospital in the late nineteenth / early twentieth century. Richard told me:
Emma Matilda Jordan (my grandmother) was matron there and her sister Lucy Annie Jordan was head nurse. They both appear on the 1901 census for Northumberland House and I assume they both resided there, although I don't know for sure. Whether they are on the staff photo is also unknown since there are no names ~ alas!
I apologise for the image versions reproduced below. But, unwatermarked high resolution versions are available if needed.
On this photo, looking through the gateway, you can just see the path leading up the hill from Green Lanes into Finsbury Park. This path is still there today and firmly locates the position of the gateway
This terrace of houses, numbers 344-354 Green Lanes stood to the north of the Finsbury pub. They were demolished along with the hospital in the 1950s. The neighbouring houses at numbers 338-342 which were not connected with the hospital were demolished at the same time. See another photo showing the view up the hill towards this terrace here.
Wonderful pictures. Thank you Hugh.
Wonderful stuff, great job, may be worth mentioning if not already known the poem by Stevie Smith was a near neighbour living in Palmers Green from 1906 to her passing in 1971. The house is still there at 1 Avondale Road Palmers Green, complete with blue plaque.
Thank you, David.