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Teste meipso apud Westm. vij. die Julij anno tercesimo the “Red Lion," one of the principal coaching septimo Henrici octavi 1546.
houses of former times, and one where the largest Of Hornsey Wood itself, the chief portion left number of persons were “sworn on the horns," as is Bishop's Wood, extending nearly all the way stated above. from Highgate to Hampstead; a smaller fragment, The “Bull Inn," on the descent of the Great known as Highgate Wood, lies on the north side North Road towards Finchley, is worthy of note of Southwood Lane, near the “Woodman ” Tavern, as one of the many such residences of the eccentric but this was much cut up in forming the Highgate painter, George Morland, to whom we have freand Edgware Railway ; another piece, somewhat quently alluded. It is recorded that he would
hed upon, lies at the end of Wood stand for hours before this hostelry, with a pipe Lane.
in his mouth, bandying jests and jokes with the North Hill, as the broad roadway north of the drivers of all the coaches which travelled by this “Gate House” is called, is cut through what was route to Yorkshire and the North. once part of the Great Park or bishop's land, and We may observe, in conclusion, that, in the opinion joins the main road about half a mile beyond South- of many persons, Highgate does not possess the wood Lane. The road may be said to form part same variety of situations and prospects as Hampof the village of Highgate, for its sides are almost stead, nor is it so large and populous a place ; but wholly occupied by villas and rows of cottages, its prospects to the south and east are superior to among which are several public-houses, including those in the same direction from Hampstead.
“ To vie with all the beaux and belles,
Spirit of the Public Journals, 1814.
The New River-Hornsey Wood and "Hornsey Wood House "-An Incident in the Life of Crabbe- Finsbury Park-Appearance of this District at the Commencement of the Present Century-Mount Pleasant-Hornsey Church- The Grave of Samuel Rogers, Author of “The Pleasures of Memory"-A Nervous Man-Lalla Rookh Cottage- Thomas Moore-Muswell Hill—The Alexandra Palace and ParkNeighbourhood of Muswell Hill, as seen from its Summit--Noted Residents at Hornsey-Crouch End.
As we have in the preceding chapters been dealing | New River flows. This place is a favourite resort with Highgate—which, by the way, was originally of the good citizens of London." Hornsey and but a hamlet situated within the limits of Hornsey London since that time have approached much
—it is but natural that we should here say some nearer to each other, and it appears probable that thing of the mother parish. This once rural, but before long it will form a portion of the metropolis. now suburban village, then, lies about two miles | The opening of the Alexandra Park doubtless to the north-east from the top of Highgate Hill, tended strongly to stretch London considerably in whence it is approached either by Hornsey Lane the direction of Hornsey. The citizens of London, or by Southwood Lane.
instead of making it a place of occasional resort, The etymology of this locality must be sought have made it a place of residence. Crosby confor in its more ancient appellation. From the tinues :-“In its vicinity is a small coppice, known thirteenth to the sixteenth century public records by the name of Hornsey Wood. The Hornsey cali it “Haringea,” “Haringhea,” or “Haringey." Wood House is a famous house of entertainment." About Queen Elizabeth's time it was usually called Both the Wood and the “Wood House” have been “ Harnsey," or, as some will have it, says Norden, swept away, and the sites have been taken into “ Hornsey.” Lysons, indulging in a little pleasantry, Finsbury Park. In 1818, as we learn from adverobserves that “if anything is to be gathered relating tisements of the time, “ coaches go daily from the to its etymology, it must be sought for in its more White Bear,' Aldersgate Street, at eleven in the ancient appellation, Har-ringe, the meadow of morning; in the afternoon at seven, in the winter, hares." In “Crosby's Gazetteer,” 1816, Hornsey is and at four and eight in the summer.” Such, howdescribed as “ a pleasant village situated in a low ever, have been the changes brought about by the valley five miles from London, through which the whirligig of time, that now, during the day, there
THE BISHOPS' PARK.
are railway trains to and from London and various portion of it still remains as forest-land, though parts of Hornsey to the number of upwards of fifty regarded as a part of Caen Wood. each way.
Hornsey Park is not altogether without its scraps The Manor of Hornsey has belonged to the of history, for it is said to have been the place Bishops of London from a time antecedent to the where, in the year 1386, the Duke of Gloucester, Norman Conquest; and in the centuries immedi- the Earls of Arundel, Warwick, and other nobleately following that event, those prelates had a men, assembled in a hostile manner, and marched residence here long before they owned a palace on thence to London to oppose Richard II., and to the banks of the Thames at Fulham. Mr. Prickett compel him to dismiss his two favourite ministers has shown pretty conclusively, in his “History of the Earl of Suffolk and Robert Duke of Ireland Highgate,” that the site of this residence is to be —from his councils. looked for in the centre of Hornsey Great Park, As we learn from Stow's “Annals,” the Lodge about half a mile to the north-west of the “High in Hornsey Park, then the residence of the Duke Gate."
of Gloucester, was, in the reign of Henry VI., the Norden, in his “Speculum Britanniæ,” thus de- scene of the reputed witchcraft in which Eleanor scribes it :-“There is a hill or fort in Hornsey Duchess of Gloucester was concerned; for here Park, called Lodge Hill, for that thereon stood | the learned Robert Bolingbroke, an astrologer, some time a lodge, when the park was replenished and Thomas Southwell, a canon of St. Stephen's, with deer; but it seemeth by the foundation that are alleged to have “ endeavoured to consume the it was rather a castle than a ‘lodge;' for the hill | king's person by necromantic art,” Southwell having is trenched with two deep ditches, now old and said masses over the instruments which were to be overgrown with bushes; the rubble thereof, as used for that purpose. Bolingbroke was executed brick, tile, and Cornish slate, are in heaps yet to as a traitor at Tyburn; Southwell died in the be seen; the which ruins are of great antiquity, as Tower; whilst the Duchess had to do penance in may appear by the oaks at this day standing, above the public streets, an incident which Shakespeare a hundred years' growth, upon the very foundations has rendered familiar to his readers in the second of the building.” Lysons, writing at the close of part of the play of Henry VI. the last century, says that “the greater part of it is Once more, when the ill-fated and short-lived now covered with a copse, but the remains of a Edward V. was brought to London, after his moat or ditch are still to be seen in an adjoining father's death, under the escort of his uncle, field.” Lysons adds a remark to the effect that Richard of Gloucester, he was here met by the “Bishop Aylmer's house at Hornsey, the burning of Lord Mayor and 500 citizens of London. Hall, which put him to 200 marks expense, must have in his “Chronicles," quaintly tells us that, “When been upon another site.”. When the bishop's lands the kynge approached neere the cytee, Edmonde were sold, the Manor of Hornsey passed into the Shawe, goldsmythe, then Mayre of the cytie, with hands of Sir John Wollaston, of whom we have the Aldermenne and shreves (sheriffs] in skarlet, spoken in the previous chapter ; he held it till his and five hundreth commoners in murraye, redeath, in 1658, after which his widow enjoyed it ceyved his grace reverently at Harnesay Parke, and till the Restoration. Mr. Prickett adds, that in his so conveighed him to the cytie, where he entered time (1842) the form of the moat which surrounded the fourth day of May, in the fyrst and last yere it was still visible, and that it covered seventy yards of his reigne." square. He writes, “ The site of the castle is still Henry VII., on his return from a victory in uneven, and bears the traces of former foundation ; Scotland, was likewise here met by the Lord it is somewhat higher than the ground outside the Mayor and citizens of London, and conducted trenches. The portion of the moat which still re-l on his progress to the City in like manner. mains consists of a spring constantly running, and Miss Jane Porter states, in her “Scottish Chiefs,” is now used as a watering-place for cattle."
that "the remains of Wallace were secretly removed It is almost needless to say here that the park of and deposited temporarily in the chapel of Hornsey the Bishops of London must have been originally Lodge; and that Robert Bruce was concealed at a portion of the great forest of Middlesex, which Lodge Hill, in the garb of a Carmelite, when we have mentioned in our account of Primrose Gloucester sent him a pair of spurs, as an intimaHill (page 287). It occupied a somewhat irregular tion that he must depart with all speed ;" but it triangle, the base of which would extend from should be added that neither Lysons nor Prickett. Highgate to Hampstead, while its apex reached in his history of the place, mentions these facts, so nearly to Finchley northwards. In fact, a great that possibly they are somewhat apocryphal.
Few villages near London have retained so rural telling fortunes to the rustics; a showman's a character down to quite recent times as that of drummer on the stage before a booth beating up Hornsey ; this may perhaps be accounted for by for spectators to the performance within, which the fact that both the high north road and the the show-cloth represents to be a dancer on the thoroughfare leading to Cambridge leave the place tight-rope; a well-set-out stall of toys, with a untouched. “The surrounding country," writes woman displaying their attractions; besides other the author of the “Beauties of England and really interesting ‘bits' of a crowded scene, deWales,” “is rendered attractive by soft ranges of picted by no mean hand, especially a group coming hills; and the New River, which winds in a from a church in the distance, apparently a wedding tortuous progress through the parish, is at many procession, the females well looking and well points a desirable auxiliary of the picturesque.” | dressed, wearing ribbons and scarfs below their Hone, in the second volume of his “Every-day waists in festoons. The destruction of this really Book," gives an engraving of “The New River at | interesting screen, by worse than careless keeping, Hornsey," the spot represented being the garden is much to be lamented. This ruin of art is of the “ Three Compasses” inn. “But,” says Mr. within a ruin of nature. "Hornsey Tavern' and Thorne, in his “Environs of London,” “the New its grounds have displaced a romantic portion of River would now be sought for there in vain; its the wood, the remains of which, however, skirt a course was diverted, and this portion filled up with large and pleasant piece of water formed at conthe vestigia of a London cemetery."
siderable expense. To this water, which is well “About a mile nearer to London than Hornsey,” stored with fish, anglers resort with better prospects observes the Ambulator, in 1774, “is a coppice of of success than to the New River ; the walk round young trees called Hornsey Wood, at the entrance it, and the prospect from its banks, are very agreeof which is a public-house, to which great numbers able." of persons resort from the City.”
. With advancing years, the old tavern became “Hornsey Wood House,” for such was the more and more frequented, and in the end it was name of this place of entertainment, stood on the altered and enlarged, the grounds laid out as teasummit of some rising ground on the eastern side gardens, and the large lake formed, which was much of the parish. It was originally a small roadside frequented by cockney anglers. For some time public-house, with two or three wide-spreading previous to the demolition of the house, in 1866, oaks before it, beneath the shade of which the the grounds were used for pigeon-shooting by a weary wayfarer could rest and refresh himself. gun-club section of the “upper ten thousand ;" The wood itself, immediately contiguous to the but it was soon superseded as such by the attrachouse, for some time shared with Chalk Farm the tions of the “ Welsh Harp" and of “Hurlingham." honour of affording a theatre for cockney duellists. Hone, in the first volume of his “Every-day Book” The building was just beyond the “Sluice House,” |(1826), speaks thus of the old house and its sucso celebrated for its eel-pies in the last genera- cessor :-" The old 'Hornsey Wood House' well tion. Anglers and other visitors could pass to it became its situation ; it was embowered, and through an upland meadow along a straight gravel- seemed a part of the wood. Two sisters, a Mrs. walk anglewise. It was a good, plain, brown-brick, Lloyd and a Mrs. Collier, kept the house; they respectable, modern, London-looking building. were ancient women, large in size, and usually sat Within the entrance, to the left, was a light and before their door on a seat fixed between two spacious room of ample accommodation and venerable oaks, wherein swarms of bees hived dimensions, of which more care seems to have themselves. Here the venerable and cheerful been taken than of its fine leather folding screen dames tasted many a refreshing cup with their in ruins, which Mr. Hone, in his “Every-day Book,” good-natured customers, and told tales of bygone speaks of as “an unseemly sight for him who days, till, in very old age, one of them passed to respects old requisites for their former beauty and her grave, and the other followed in a few months convenience.” “ It still bears," he further tells us, afterwards. Each died regretted by the frequenters “some remains of a spirited painting spread all of the rural dwelling, which was soon afterwards over its leaves, to represent the amusements and pulled down, and the oaks felled, to make room humours of a fair in the low countries. At the for the present roomy and more fashionable buildtop of a pole, which may have been the village ing. To those who were acquainted with it in its May-pole, is a monkey with a cat on his back; former rusticity, when it was an unassuming 'calm then there is a sturdy bear-ward in scarlet, with a retreat,' it is, indeed, an altered spot. To produce wooden leg, exhibiting Mr. Bruin ; an old woman the alteration, a sum of £10,000 was expended
HORNSEY WOOD HOUSE.
ietor ; and
The so laun as Hornsey
by the present proprietor ; and “Hornsey Wood sanctioning the formation of this park was passed Tavern' is now a well-frequented house. The so far back as 1857. The site is what was formerly pleasantness of its situation is a great attraction known as Hornsey Wood, which is associated with in fine weather.” The lake was used not merely many interesting events in the history of North for fishing, but also for boating, which was largely London. It commands a view of Wood Green, indulged in during the summer months. Indeed, Highgate, the Green Lanes, and other suburban the attractions of the place seem to have been so retreats. The ground has a gentle southern slope, great as to inspire the mind of the prosaic anti- from Highgate on the west and towards Stoke quary, Mr. Hone, who commemorates it in the Newington on the east; and is skirted on the following sentimental lines :
south by the Seven Sisters Road and on the east “ A house of entertainment-in a place
by the Green Lanes. The Great Northern Railway So rural, that it almost doth deface
bounds it by a cutting and embankment on the The lovely scene; for like a beauty-spot
western side, and latterly the London, Edgware, Upon a charming cheek that needs it not,
and Highgate Railway has been made with a So ‘Hornsey Tavern' seems to me. And yet,
station adjoining the park. There are several Though nature be forgotten, to forget The artificial wants of the forgetters
pleasant walks and drives, and in the centre of the Is setting up oneself to be their betters.
park a trench has been cut, into which water will This is unwise ; for they are passing wise
be brought from the New River, and in this way a Who have no eyes for scenery, and despise
pretty artificial lake will be added to thư other Persons like me, who sometimes have sensations
attractions. The cost of the freehold land was Through too much sight, and fall in contemplations, Which, as cold waters cramp and drown a swimmer, about £472 per acre. The funds were principally Chill and o'erwhelm me. Pleasant is that glimmer raised by a loan, in 1864, of £50,000, at 4) per Whereby trees seem but wood. The men who know cent, for thirty years, and £43,000 borrowed on No qualities but forms and axes, go
debenture in 1868.” Through life for happy people. They are so."
The lake above mentioned is an oblong piece of We are told in the “ Life of Crabbe,” by his son, water surrounded by pleasant walks, and in parts that Hornsey Wood was one of the favourite haunts shaded by trees, and in it are one or two islands of the poet when he first came to London, and well covered with young trees, which give to the that he would often spend whole afternoons here lake somewhat the appearance of the “ ornamental in searching for plants and insects. “On one waters ” in St. James's Park, a similitude borne out occasion," writes his son," he had walked further by the number of ducks and other water-fowl than usual into the country, and felt himself too disporting themselves on its surface. much exhausted to return to town. He could not The Seven Sisters Road, skirting the south side afford to give himself any refreshment at a public of Finsbury Park, was constructed in 1832, prior house, and much less to pay for a lodging; so he to which time there was no thoroughfare through sheltered himself upon a hay-mow, beguiled the Holloway and Hornsey to Tottenham. evening with Tibullus, and when he could read no In a map of the suburbs of London in 1823, longer, slept there till the morning.”
“Duval's Lane" is shown as running from Lower Hornsey Wood House was pulled down in 1866, Holloway towards Crouch End, with scarcely a at which time the tea-gardens and grounds became house on either side. A small and crooked road, absorbed in the so-called Finsbury Park, a large marked Hem Lane, with “Duval's House" at the triangular space, some 120 acres in extent, laid out corner, leads also through fields towards “Hornsey with ornamental walks and flower-gardens. It was Wood House," and so into the Green Lanes—all opened by Sir John Thwaites, under the auspices being open country. The now populous district of the Metropolitan Board of Works, in 1869, as a of Crouch End appears here as a small group of public recreation-ground and promenade for the private residences. Between the “Wood House" working classes. Why the place is called “Finsbury” and Crouch End is Stroud Green, around which are Park it would be difficult for us to say, seeing that it five or six rustic cottages. On the other side of lies some miles away from Finsbury, the districts of the “Wood House” is the “ Sluice House," where Holloway, Islington, and Hoxton intervening, and privileged persons and customers of “mine host" that the site has always been known as Hornsey went to fish in the New River and to sup upon Wood. It ought to be styled, in common honesty, eels, for which that place was famous, as stated Hornsey Park.
above. Upper Holloway itself figures in this map The Illustrated London News, in noticing the as a very small collection of houses belonging opening of the park in 1869, says :-“The Act apparently to private residents.
A pretty walk from Finsbury Park to Hornsey view from the neighbouring uplands. With the Church in fine dry weather is by the pathway exception of the tower, the present fabric is comrunning in a northerly direction over Mount Plea- paratively modern, dating only from about the year sant, a somewhat steep hill, from which some 1833 ; it is built of brick, and is of Gothic archipleasant views are to be obtained of the surround- tecture. Its predecessor, which was pulled down
ing country, embracing Highgate, the Alexandra in 1832, is stated by Norden and Camden to have Palace, Epping Forest, Tottenham Church, and been built with stones taken from the ruins of the the valley of the river Lea. The summit of Mount palace of the Bishops of London, about the year Pleasant is upwards of 200 feet above the level of 1500. The Ambulator, in 1774, describes the the river; and its eastern end, from its peculiar church as “a poor, irregular building, said to have shape, has been called the Northern Hog's Back. been built out of the ruins of an ancient castle."
The parish church of Hornsey lies, at some little The tower, which is now profusely covered with distance from the village, in a valley near the ivy, is built of a reddish sandstone, and is emHornsey Station on the Great Northern Railway, battled, with a newel turret rising above the northand its tower forms a conspicuous object in the west corner. On the western face of the tower are