The appeal was warmly welcomed by the press. A Private Bill was rushed through Parliament and the Highgate Woods Preservation Act, 1897, became law. The Committee now had the right to advertise for contributions towards buying the Wood and preserving it.

In a fairly short time almost all the money was raised, but the last few thousand proved very difficult to raise and the Commissioners' deadline was a matter of weeks away. Mr Cory-Wright wrote pleading for more time but was granted a mere three months and then only if interest at 4 per cent was paid for the extra period on the full sum. In the end the London County Council, which had originally offered £2,500, made this up to £5,000 and the total was reached, but it was a close-run thing.

The Council decided to re-name the Wood as the 'Queen's Wood' in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and Hornsey put on a fine display of bunting when the Duchess of Albany formally declared the Wood open 'for the free use of the public for ever'.


Muswell Hill Road about 1880

It seems probable that these three pairs of cottages were
the ones at the centre of the dispute.

 

215

Hornsey Historical Society photograph collection

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