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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Picture of Harringay House - or Part of it

A while ago Bruce Castle Museum contacted me to tell me about the discovery of a picture entitled "Harangay House". I was sworn not to publish until they'd sent it out as part of today's news letter.

I've looked at it a bit and I think there’s little doubt in concluding that it’s Harringay House, or a small part of it.

The picture isn't dated, but going by the series of which it is a part, it could be from just before 1870. The house was still occupied until 1882. Alternatively, it could be after the house was sold, but before it was demolished, so up to 1885. During this period, the public seem to have been allowed free range for a while. This might explain the figures at leisure.

Working out the orientation and exactly what is pictured isn't straightforward. But I'm pretty sure this was the large outbuilding near to but separate from the main house, just to its north. The embankment in the background is the railway.

In the house sale in 1838/9, the following description was included in the description of the Outbuildings:

on the north side, Laundry, with Ironing Room above; Dairy; small Dairy and Wash-house; Stabling, with Loft; Coachman’s Room; Coach-house and Brew-house,

It can be seen on the 1880 plan below, beneath the word 'House'. (we can forgive the plan maker for his misspelling of Harringay (oddly it was correctly spelt in the plan title)

The small structure just behind the fence is almost certainly the dovecote shown here. That was where the top of Allison Road is today.

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Tags (All lower case. Use " " for multiple word tags): harringay house
Albums: Old Harringay, before 1885

Comment by Richard Woods on June 26, 2020 at 12:40

The fence suggests the families are outside the grounds of the house. Maybe beside the loop in the New River or a footpath near it?

Comment by Hugh on June 26, 2020 at 12:57

I think Edward Gray's land holdings were reduced by subsequent owners. So the people probably are outside the house grounds. I have the details somewhere. If I had to guess, I'd say that it was drawn, shortly after the house became empty and when building had start to the north and south. The land by that time was owned by the British Land Company and they probably didn't object to people walking around if they weren't obstructing progress.

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 14, 2022 at 21:40

Hi. What are the best pictures that you have of Harringay House? TIA

Comment by Hugh on January 14, 2022 at 22:14

This is the only known picture. A photo by the North Middlesex Photographic Society which, according to the record, showed the house, went missing from Hornsey Library at some point towards the end of the last century when the collection was stored in an unlocked filing cabinet. It was in the upstairs reading room with no supervision and unsurprisingly photos went missing. You never know, that may turn up. There must also be a painting of the house held somewhere by the descendants of Edward Grey. Or, the descendants of one of the later occupants must have a photo. One day perhaps……one day. 

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 14, 2022 at 22:20

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 14, 2022 at 22:21

I haven’t researched all the possibilities. I’m just thinking aloud really, but this reminded me of HH (coz of the topography, sweeping drive etc). What do you think?

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 14, 2022 at 23:52

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 14, 2022 at 23:52

Not sure I can fit it in with this map tho, unless changes were made before the pic was taken…

Comment by Hugh on January 15, 2022 at 0:23

Good thought, but I'd say almost certainly it's not Harringay House on the basis of the following.

1. It doesn't match the floor plan of Harringay House, and it looks like, according to the drawing in the British Land sale document the wing stretching south from the main house (which would have been towards the photographer) was glass (I assume this was to take advantage of the views looking east). No major alterations were made to Harringay House after it was built, as far as I'm aware. 

2. Harringay House was built in the 1780s. Despite the neo-classical columns, I'd guess that the house in the photo was early-mid Victorian. 

3. Harringay House was demolished in the 1880s. According to the authour, this photo was taken in the early 1900s.

4. The topography doesn't match for me. The ground slopes up toward the left and you can see hills in the distance. Harringay House was built at the highest point on a site between where Allison and Hewitt Roads are now. If this were the front of Harringay House, the land to the left would have been sloping down, not up. The view across the front of the house would have been east / northeast: the land would have been close to 0' above sea level as it is today ans not hilly, as it is in the photo. 

Because of the topography in the photo, I'd say that it's unlikely to be Tottenham, but could have been Wood Green or maybe Hornsey. But, do bear in mind that by 1900, the still rural nature of the surrounding landscape shown in the photo was a recent memory in most of both of those areas.

Was this posted on an FB group?

By the way, I think the main picture at the top of this thread is a view looking south-west across the western end north face of the north wing, shown on the British Land plan. In the distance, you can see the railway embankment of the Great Northern line, to the east of the house.

Comment by Allen Cullen on January 15, 2022 at 0:30

Thanks for all that. The fb group is 'I Grew Up In Tottenham Re-United'. Yes, I also can't place it anywhere in Tottenham...

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