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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Lalla Rookh Stood on the lower slopes of Muswell Hill, just to the west of the junction with Park Road and Priory Road.

For six months in 1817, Lalla Rookh was home to the poet Thomas Moore. Wikipedia shares the followig:

The name Lalla Rookh or Lala-Rukh (Persian), means "tulip-cheeked" and is an endearment frequently used in Persian poetry.....(Moore's poem, Lalla Rookh) was completed in 1817 while Moore was living in a house in the countryside of Hornsey, Middlesex, and the house was renamed, possibly by Moore himself, after the poem.

For a photo of the pond in the grounds of the house see this photo.

For more on the eminent local photographer, George Scammel, see this post.

Both photos are copyright the V&A Museum and published here under a non-commercial use. Thanks to Ken Stevens for pointing me in their direction.

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Albums: Historical Images of Hornsey | 2 of 2

Comment by Desmond Cass on November 12, 2021 at 7:07

Wonderful name,very interesting.

Comment by Sean Boyle on November 12, 2021 at 8:25

The house is named after a poem by Irish writer and lyricist Thomas Moore(1779-1852). It tells the story of Lalla Rookh, daughter of a Mughal emperor who is betrothed to the King of Bukhara but falls in love with a poet. Moore lived in the house for a short time. I’m not sure whether it was Moore who named the house, or a subsequent occupier cashing in on the popularity of the poem. Moore was a great celebrity in his day, friend of Byron and cultivator of a ‘radical chic’ image. I’d say he is now forgotten by younger generations, but until recently his songs were part of the stock repertoire of concert hall recitals and parlour singers. All of his five children died young, one of them in this house and is buried in Hornsey churchyard.

The house has a surprisingly ‘modern’ look. It must have been built in the late 18th / early 19th century, but it could pass for late victorian / early Edwardian.

Comment by Ken Stevens on June 13, 2022 at 15:07

The site of Lalla Rookh was at the first property on the left, entering Etheldene Avenue from Park Road - an apartment block named Dale Court, with a plaque on its wall to that effect.

Comment by Hugh on June 13, 2022 at 15:19

Thanks, Ken; you’ve done us proud with your Lalla Rookh finds. 

Comment by Sean Boyle on June 14, 2022 at 0:55

There is indeed a plaque on Dale Court commemorating the house, but it wasn't on this exact spot. Overlaying old maps onto a modern one shows that Lalla Rookh was further into the current Rookfield estate, on the rear gardens of Etheldene Ave and Cranmore Way.

I wonder which came first, Lalla Rookh or the adjacent Rookfield House? Is it possible that Rookfield took its name from Lalla Rookh?

Comment by Straw Cat on June 14, 2022 at 1:35

Moore's daughter Barbara died while he was living there, and she's buried somewhee in Hornsey churchyard.

I  wouldn't say Moore was quite forgotten. His beautiful song The Minstrel Boy, for instance, is still popular and a version was done by The Clash.

Comment by Hugh on February 26, 2023 at 11:14

I just came across this article whilst looking for something else. It seems to tell us something about the fate of the house. The style of the architecture currently standing in Rookfield Close and roads nearby looks very much like it was built in the years following this sale. So, I'm assuming that the successful bidder was a developer. 

Hornsey Finsbury Park Journal, 22 March 1912

Comment by Ken Stevens on February 26, 2023 at 11:26


Your sale advert then raised the question of where was Token-house Yard. Having googled, the further Question is where there was room for a mart in a narrow alley!


Comment by Hugh on February 26, 2023 at 13:53

Good question. You can get a better sene looking at the 1947 map and an image from 1867 (a few years after it was built). It was at 19 Tokenhouse Yard, which you can see marked on the map (The marking of building numbers on that map why I often opt for it).

I assume that teh building behind 19 Tokenhouse Yard apparently connected by a walkway, was the auction room itself. (Apparently "CW" on an OS map means either 'Causeway' or 'Centre of Wall'.)

To its left was the Venetian Gothic 7 Lothbury. Pictured below, it is still standing today.

Comment by Ken Stevens on February 26, 2023 at 14:11

Thank you!

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