Finding a Site for the Proposed
New Betty Layward Primary School

The previous section was about the area around Betty Layward School and how it changed over the centuries. This piece is about finding a site in the 1990s for the proposed new Primary School. The area was already overcrowded, so there were problems. Earlier there had been bomb sites left after the Second World War, so then the choice had been easier. Grazebrook School , for example, bad been built of a bombsite in Lordship Road . By 1998 the bomb sites had all been used up. A new school had to be built for the extra 400 children who had already been born, or were soon to arrive in the neighbourhood and schools take time to build, so the matter was urgent.

There were no empty sites available but there was an old school standing empty in Clissold Road , tucked away behind the houses opposite Stoke Newington. It was hidden and forgotten, waiting to be woken up like a princess surrounded by thorns.

The site is very old and has an interesting history.

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The Site of Betty Layward Primary School

This is the story of the school site and how the neighbourhood has changed over the years.

The Development of the The Clissold Road Area over the years

In 1800 the whole district was open country, with scattered farms and herds of dairy cattle. Church Street joined Stoke Newington High Street and Green Lanes in one gravel track. There were no other roads, just footpaths. Church Walk was a bridle path which joined the villages of Newington Green and St Mary's Church. Albion Road had not yet been built.

The Sites of Betty Layward Primary School
and Stoke Newington Secondary School

1814 Prebendary Map of Church Street and the South of Stoke Newington

Future School Sites

1814 Prebendal Map of Old St Mary's Church.

This map was made for the Prebendary (the Vicar) of St Mary's when the estate was applying to Parliament for an Act to allow it to sell long building leases of 99 years instead of short ones. Hence the name, For more details see

Selling off the Stoke Newington Estates by the Earl of Darlington in 1810

The Rectory and the Rector's Glebe Field are coloured pink. The old St Mary's Church was on the north side of Church Street , just as it is today, and opposite was the old wooden Rectory house. The new St Mary's Church would not be built until 1855. Eventually bith Stoke Newington Secondary School and Betty Layward Primary School would be built on the Glebe Field.

The Glebe had been the home farm of the Vicars of St Mary's for centuries. There had been houses along Stoke Newington Church Street from the Eighteenth Century.

In 1835 four houses were built in a field that adjoined the north-west corner of the Glebe Field. (Move your mouse over the above map to highlight these houses)

Nos. 3 & 4 Glebe Place, eastern Pair,
Front View 1928 (HOA38)

This row of four houses was built about 1835 by Thomas Widdows, on Paradise Row, on the Glebe Field. They are shown on the 1848 Tithe Map.

They were in London Stock Brick as two pairs of semi-detached houses. Each pair shared the front garden and the carriage entrance, and the two front doors shared a covered portico with four reeded columns and Doric capitals. This design reaches back into the Eighteenth Century when British architects first discovered Italian classical designs for houses.

The windows were very simple and severe, with small panes of glass in sliding sashes. The attics had attractive semicircular windows. Each light was a quarter circle hinged at the centre. These semicircular windows are not just attractive. They also The windows were very simple and severe, with small panes of glass in sliding sashes. The attics had attractive semicircular windows. Each light was a quarter circle hinged at the centre. These semicircular windows are not just attractive. If a square or oblong window had to be fitted into the triangular gable it would have been much smaller and let in less light.

The 1848 Tithe Map

This Tithe map was made as a record of the houses and building lots in the Manor of Stoke Newington in 1848.

At this time the new St Mary's Church, circa 1855, had not been built. Instead, the Old Rectory House stood on the site (number 662). Four large houses, called 1-4 Glebe Place , had been built in Stoke Newington Church Street.


Whole Map Full Size Full Size Map in New Window

The 1848 Tithe Map of the top end of the Vicar's Glebe Field.

The map is protected by a plastic sheet fastened top and bottom and was
very difficult to photogragh. We have stitched the resulting images together.
Unfortunately the colours vary in the different images.

The Glebe Field

The wooden Rectory stood on lot 662; the four large Glebe houses on lots 667- 670 and Swift's Cottage on 666. Swift's Cottage is now part of the Swimming Bath site.

Clissold Road was cut from Stoke Newington Church Street to Albion Road about 1870. Soon after 1891 the houses in Clissold Crescent and Carysfort Road were built.

The Swimming Bath and four blocks of flats were built between 1936 and 1939. Eventually Stoke Newington Secondary School , Betty Layward Primary School , and the Mosque, were all been built on the Glebe Field.

When the Willows Estate was sold in 1891, the whole ara of Clissold Crescent was developed, factories moved in behind and the surroundings to the Glebe Field altered. This long series of changes is shown in the following sequence of maps.


End of Part 1

Part 2 is a sequence of maps from 1868 to 2000

Betty Layward School

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