At the corner of Wilton Road and Coppetts Road was the Farmhouse where we brought small groceries, but the building was always a mystery. Why was a farmhouse surrounded by houses? It was old. The roof tiles were a deep, rich red completely different from the grey slates of Wilton Road or the hard red tiles on our house. Its walls were built of irregular bricks with weather-worn corners, set in soft white mortar and covered with ivy; roof and walls were solid enough but they sagged and slumped. It was a farmhouse, yet how could there be a farm without fields or animals?
The photograph shows the ivy-covered Coppetts farmhouse when it was still a working farm, surrounded by fields, with the footpath running beside Coppetts Road in the foreground. By 1925, the fence in the picture had disappeared, swept away twenty years before when Wilton Road was built. The farm outbuildings had been demolished and built over, but the farmhouse still existed, with a shop on the ground floor selling groceries and the old farm-entrance yard converted into a garden.
It was the last relic of the economic life of Muswell Hill in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Then, before the coming of the railways, London lay in the centre of a ring of farms which supplied its daily milk and meat and hay. Wilton Road was built on old farmland and symbolized the change from milk to houses.