All that now remains of St Mary's Church just to the west of the corner Hornsey High Street and Church Lane is the old church tower. The church it belonged to was medieval, and was probably completed around 1500. This building, apart from the tower, was demolished in 1927.
In 1888/9, right on the corner of Church Lane, a larger Victorian church was built on the plot next to the old church to serve the growing Victorian suburb. The old tower was retained to house the bells because the new church had no tower.
In 1968 the Victorian church was also demolished as it was considered too expensive to repair, and St Mary’s Infant School was built on its site.
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Great photo... We live a 100 meters from the site. Hope you don't mind me promoting this again Hugh, but for those interested this view of Hornsey (amongst others), check out my YouTube video 'Hornsey New to Old Photo ‘Time Ripples’' at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvZz4ctE50A
The bell tower is usually open to visitors on Open House weekend each September. The six bells were removed when the new church was demolished, and were broken up rather than being transferred to another church, though some of the metal was reused to cast a new ring of bells for St George in the East in Tower Hamlets.
All the years i lived Hornsey, worked on the Journal and was a friend of the brilliant Rector, Sam Kemble no one ever properly explained why, of all the old churches in London it was Hornsey's that was demolished. Even more odd that the equally expensive tower survived. Any better answers Hugh?
Tam Neal .. I have just watched your 'Time Ripples'. That was excellent, thank you. I have now discovered that the building which I assume was the St Marys Church hall in 1960, where we had the reception (4.23), did actually start off life as the old public bath/washhouse! I live and learn!
Sorry Richard, no answer. You could try the Friends of Hornsey Churchtower. This page on their website offers a few clues.