Lionel and I passed Manor House on the 141 bus rather than on a tram, but other than that its not changed that much since this photo was taken. This is about to change though as work has already started on a massive redevelopment of the area.
From what I have seen they are replacing a lot of old ugly buildings with newer and bigger, ugly buildings. Well that's progress I suppose...
We got off the bus a little earlier than we intended. Which considering the cacophony of gangsta rap played on mobile phones, mad people and screaming children was quite a relief. This also gave me a chance to take this snap of our local landmark.
Lionel told me that the french term for water tower translates as water castle and this is certainly that. Once the main Water Board pumping station. It was designed, by William Chadwell Mylne, to look like a towering Scottish castle.
A little further down is 'The Brownswood Park Tavern' ( a pub I have not ventured into as yet ) This area was just that - Browns Wood - and a popular day-trip destination for Londoners wanting to escape the city for a bit of peace and quiet in the clean air of the countryside.
Brownswood is shown at the bottom right of this map. If any one has a picture of Brownswood Manor I would love to see it.
On into Clissold Park
Clissold Park is not only a lovely park but is full of history as well as Spring bulbs.
Clissold House was built for Joseph Hoare, a Quaker merchant and anti-slavery campaigner, in the 1790s. The park was his garden, and the stretch of water that winds around the house was once part of the New River (the New River is a blog to itself so more on that at a later date, methinks).
The house then went to the Crawshay family, the middle-aged daughter of which was courted by the Reverend Augustus Clissold. Her father was against the match. He was probably right, for as soon as her father died Clissold acquired ownership of the estate and his wife's fortune. He changed the name of the estate to Clissold Place and gave up the church. All of a woman's property and money transferred to the husband on marriage at that time. Not much is known about her. I hope she was happy but somehow I doubt it.
I didn't take a snap of the house as it's going through a major refurb, as a Starbucks and wedding location or something of that ilk I expect. It was covered by netting and cement mixers anyway.
The story after Mr Clissold is actually more interesting - The growth of London and urban development.
On 22 June 1886 Clissold Park was to be sold, the trees felled and the land laid out as building plots.
Stoke Newington was losing its open spaces at an alarming rate. In the previous ten years, from 1776-1866, nearly a third of its 2000 acres had been built over.
Two men headed a London-wide campaign. Mr. Beck and Mr. Runtz pressurised the authorities. The estate was eventually acquired under the Clissold Park (Stoke Newington) Act 1887!
Thank heavens they did you can see in the next map how much was lost:
(Gold means very-very rich, blue means poor. Black is for the very poor/sub criminal classes.)
Many country estates neighbouring Clissold Park and shown on the maps above were lost to the developers
1875 Newington Hall,
1887 Holly Lodge / Lordship Park
1890 Sale Plan of Willow Lodge:
1888 Sale Plan of Green Lanes Estate:
and Manor House, Stoke Newington (not to be confused with the Tube station):
When the London County Council took over the land as Clissold Park, they inherited a minor Botanical Garden which had been designed in the grounds of a gentleman’s residence. It was the last of many.
Thank you, Mr. Beck and Mr. Runtz!
The two ponds in Clissold Park were christened Beckmere and Runtzmere and a memorial drinking fountain erected to commemorate Beck and Runtz’s work in securing the park for the public:
After a troll around the park Lionel and I headed of towards the Parish Church of St Mary's:
Now I was confused!
I have seen the church many times from Green Lanes. It creates a wonderful picturesque view seen across the park. It has the tallest spire of any parish church in London.
This was not it!
Stoke Newington has two parish churches next to each other and both with the same dedication. The 'Old' and the 'New' St Marys...
Both are still in use.
From here we walked to Newington Green to catch a bus up to Islington
Newington Green, 1860:
The Newington Green area has always been a little bit posh and a bit alternative. That might be due to Non-Conformists moving there from the city to avoid persecution - or the indeed fact that Hermione Gingold and Barbara Windsor both grew up there, which must have left its mark!
And so to Islington (mainly so that Lionel could do some shopping and I could get a pint in a gay pub with a beer garden).
We did pop into Chapel Street Market for a quick browse:
But we were both felt too hot for the eels, pie and mash that we promised ourselves earlier:
This stall has gone but Manze's is still there:
No eels, no pie, no mash and no liqueur - hey ho, next time!
Lionel went off shopping and I went to sit and relax in the sunshine in the beer garden of the Edward VI.
I love London! This was basically a trip to Sainsbury's but at the turn of a corner one bumps into history, culture, green open spaces, architecture and the legacy of amazing people .
There is so more to talk about in this short stretch of green Lanes me thinks there should be a follow up blog
t t f