Grazebrook Primary School Walks
Preparation for the Walks
This preparation, to give the pupils some broad idea of the history of the area, would best be done in school. The maps are only a selection of those available. Teachers may like to look through ‘Grazebrook map set’ and add others for discussion.
The 1846 Estate Map
This Parish Map shows that by 1846 there were more houses south of Stoke Newington Church Street than north of it. This would be even more obvious if the two fields called Hornsey Parish was filled in. No houses are shown but in fact these two fields were covered with houses very early, but they did not belong to Stoke Newington. They had been given years before to Hornsey Parish and were administered by Hornsey. People paid their rates to Hornsey. This made it quite difficult at times. Sometimes Hornsey had to pay Stoke Newington to do work for them. In 1900 there was a general tidying up and these houses came under Stoke Newington.
The reason why houses were built earlier south of Church Street was because of the soil. South of Church Street was Gravel: North of Church Street was Clay. Gravel makes better house foundations than Clay. It drains better and is more healthy to live on.
Until about 1850 whole area around the present Grazebrook School site was still fields, as it had been for centuries, but then large houses began to appear. The old curved border of the Crooked Field, which is shown on the Lady Abney map of 1734, was still a field boundary, but Lordship Road and Manor Road had opened the Abney Estate for building. Large houses with long gardens were appearing. There was a house at the corner where the United Reform Church and its Playgroup now stand. Willow Lodge was one of these houses (not to be confused with the much larger Willow Estate in Albion Crescent).
This shows how the new Lordship Road and Manor Road straightened
Large houses like Willow Lodge were common in the area at one time. The whole area had been marked out as building plots but many were still undeveloped in 1868. Slowly these were being developed, but, for example, Yoakley Road (then Park Street), was still empty. By the end of the 19th Century some large houses had been sold off for building and smaller houses built on the sites. By 1914 the whole area had been covered with houses, so the route of this map has been laid out on the 1914 map, so that we can see what used to be there and compare it with what we see now.
This map shows that some of the large early houses still existed, while some orchards and other large spaces had been covered with smaller houses.
Grazebrook School site over the years
By 1894 the large houses on the corner of Manor Road and Grayling Road had been built. Yoakley Road was then called Park Street. Houses had been built on lot 13, and there were Almshouses where the modern blocks of Council flats now stand. They were called Friends Almshouses because they were built by The Friends (or Quakers) who were a very strong religious group in Stoke Newington for many years.
By 1914, the whole area was covered with houses. Extra roads had been cut until no inch of the ground was unoccupied. Yet the Google map of 2007 tells a different story. Today there are houses of many different dates standing side by side as a living history. Many of the 1914 houses have disappeared and new ones built. Why was this? The walks may tell us.
The 1914 Ordnance Survey map of Grazebrook School site
The Google Aerial plan of the Grazebrook School site
Today there are houses of many different dates standing side by side, as a living history. Many of the 1914 houses have disappeared and new ones built. Why was this? Did the old ones just decay? In 1914 the site of Grazebrook School was covered with houses but, nearly a hundred years later, the Google map shows the School in a large cleared area. How did this happen?
London Metropolitan Archives
The L. C. C. Bomb Damage Maps of London 1939-45
These maps are copyright. Commercial reproduction is prohibited without prior permission from London Metropolitan Archives.
However, LMA kindly say:-
This is not an open permission for other areas of London, so schools and researchers outside Stoke Newington will need to approach London Metropolitan Archives themselves about using the maps.
Bombing in the Second World War
This important map of London Bombing was made immediately after the Second World War by men riding round on their bicycles, looking at every damaged building and deciding how badly it had been bombed. Each house was graded and coloured according to the key shown above and the map became the basis of the Abercrombie Plan for the Rebuilding of London. This is one tiny part of it. It is a key map for understanding our present London landscape.
The map shows that a large bomb fell in Grazebrook Road (Purple). These houses were ‘ damaged beyond repair’ and the houses nearby (Dark Red) were ‘ seriously damaged, doubtful if repairable’. These seriously damaged houses included the site of Grazebrook School.
Other houses (Light Red) were ‘ seriously damaged, but repairable at cost’. In addition, almost every other house in the neighbourhood suffered ‘ Blast damage’ ( Orange or Yellow). Some of this may have been from other incidents but the rings of damage centred on the Purple in Grazebrook Road, show that this was the major incident, so the bomb must have been a very large one indeed.
For years the area must have been a large bombsite. Probably some elderly people remember playing on it as children. Perhaps you could ask them.
The Route of Walk 1
The Route has been laid out on a 1914 Ordnance Survey map. This will allow you to compare what was there in 1914, and what has been changed, or rebuilt, at different times since then.
End of the Classroom Preparation
Grazebrook Walks1 + 2 preparation1.5.1.08.doc
last revised: January 10, 2013