The Site of Woodberry Down
Community Primary School

Version 2

Let us go a long way back, long before this school was even thought of.

 

The 1747 John Warburton Map

The 1747 John Warburton’s map shows the twin cities of London and Westminster clustering on the banks of the Thames. Almost all the houses were on the north, with only a small development in marshy Southwark, south of the River. The north was much better building ground, higher and more solid. The New River had been built a few years earlier to bring clean water to London. It snaked its way along the contours, through the open fields and farmland, all the way from the springs at Ware. One of these same curves can be found today, circling round the ridge of Woodberry Down as it has done since the time of C Woodberry Down as it has done since the time of Charles II. Newington is shown just over three miles from Cornhill.

 


Bewick Wood Engraving

 

++ADD PIECES OF THIS TO THE GENERAL 1734-1814 TEXT?

History of the school site in maps


1848 Tithe map

School Walks

Links to some of these:-

Borders

Roof shapes

Lintels

Building materials

Building styles

By date

Bye Law houses

Slum Clearance

Post-war

 

The 1734 and 1814 maps

 

The 1734 map shows the Abney Estate with the New River running through it. On the north, the river skirts the edge of the Abney lands at the ridge which today separates Hackney from Haringay. No doubt the ridge had separated farms for many centuries before the Abneys came. There is a mistake on this map. It is dated 1734 but must be a copy of an earlier one. About 1708, a row of houses called Church Row, was built. Photographs show that they were like those in The Grove, Highgate, and Will Owen's sketch of them before they were demolished is reproduced later. Lady Abney asked for a map to be made of her property, but instead of making a new one showing the Church Row houses, the surveyor copied an earlier map which included the outbuildings of the old Manor House. These had been knocked down years before but appear on the 1734 map.

In 1734, land tenancy and the laws on leases still held traces of the Feudal System. The King owned the land which he leased to major tenants in return for services. These, in their turn, leased parts to smaller tenants. Transactions of land took place in the manorial court, and were recorded in copies of the court rolls, so the land holders were called copyholders. A fee or "fine" was payable to the lord of the manor whenever land was sold, inherited or leased. Copyholders could not grant leases for more than 21 years, and the lord of the manor of Stoke Newington was not legally able to grant building leases. Builders needed the encouragement of longer term leases. They would not build houses unless they could be sure of fifty or more years before the houses became the property of the lord of the manor and their own families be left, for all their work and investment, with nothing.

The 1814 map

In 1814, a private Act of Parliament, brought by the Prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral, who was the lord of the manor, changed the law so far as Stoke Newington was concerned. This allowed sub-leases for building to be granted. Copyholds could be enfranchised (set free) and their freeholds could be sold. Tenancies had to be for a period of years. Fifty or ninety-nine year leases were common. People were willing to buy houses on long leases because they could rely on the full number of years before the land and the house on it, became the landlord's property again. At last speculative builders could risk building and many bricklayers and carpenters could risk building a couple of houses in the hope that it would lead to greater things. All speculative building is risky, but long leases encouraged people to gamble on building and then hoping to sell.

The 1814 Estate Map

The 1814 map was made as a result of the 1814 Act. Common land was going to be divided among the local copyholders, who had the right to graze their animals on the common land. Everyone had to have new leases so an up-to-date map was necessary and this is why the map says, 'From an actual survey 1814'.

There was a map dated 1813, by James Wadmore, with a Book of Reference. The book gives the Leaseholder/Copyholder, and the actual tenantof each house or plot. Unfortunately the map is missing.

In this version of the 1814 map the Abney land has been tinted to make it easier to compare the two maps. The Church Row houses are at the southern end of the tinted part and in about the middle of the map. You will see that the Abneys owned Queen Elizabeth's Walk, the eastern side of Clissold Park, but only part of the land which became the ponds. The part we call Haringey was then still in the Parish of Tottenham. Field shapes had hardly changed.

 

 

1734 Map of the Manor


Click on map for bigger version of this map

 

  • Woodberry Down Junior School site was in South River Field
  • Sir Thomas Abney site was in Wood Land Piece
  • Woodberry Down Comprehensive School, now part of Stoke Newington Secondary School, was in Wood Berry Down Meadow
  • Grazebrook School was in Third Croft Meadow
  • St Mary’s CE School site was on the north side of Church Street
  • Betty Laywood Junior School and Stoke Newington Secondary School sites were in the Glebe Field. (The Glebe field was the property of the Prebendary, the Vicar of St Mary’s Church, and either run by him as his private farm, or let out to a tenant farmer.)
  • William Patten Junior School site was in Stoke Newington Church Street
  • Grasmere Junior School site was somewhere in the fields between Stoke Newington Church Street and Newington Green. Albion Road had not been built, so it is difficult to locate.

 

Note to pupils and other readers

 

Note to teachers

 

Brief History of the school

 

History of the school site in maps

Abney map where applicable

1848 Tithe map

 


The 1848 Map

This fragment of Allerton’s Tithe Map shows the shortened curve of the New River surrounding River House on three sides. Number 39 is the number given to the short road and bridge which gave access to River House. When they built Seven Sisters Road they could have strengthened the bridge and continued lot 39 to Stamford Hill and Finsbury Park. In fact, later maps show that they took another route towards Tottenham and the road forks to Stamford Hill soon after crossing the River. The short road whih led to River House is now called Newnton Close.

Saved As 1848 R

River House, used to lie within the curve of the New River. It is shown on the 1848 Tithe Map and the Sale Plan below and is described in the Auctioneer’s text.

SALE PLAN

KEITH PLEASE PUT THESE PAGES ONTO BOXES

 

PARTICULARS

 

RIVER HOUSE

 

Is surrounded by its own Pleasure Crounds, and Lawns sloping down to the New River, and commanding views of the surrounding country, including Muswell Hill, and the Alexandra Palace. The whole comprising

About THREE ACRES._

 

-

THE RESIDENCE

 

Is removed front the road, approached by a Carriage Drive, is Brick‑built, and contains ‑.

ON THE GROUND ,FLOOR ‑ Entrance and Inner Ilalls, Drawing Room, Dining Rorom, Breakfast Room,

Morning Room, small Conservatory, Kitchen, Scullery, Houselmaid's Room. Larder, Dairy, Store Closet,

Wine and Coal Cellars.

ON THE FIRST FLoor ‑ And approached by Principal and Secondary Stairs, are Six Bed Rooms, Two Dressing Booms, Bath Room, W.C., Servants' Bed Room, and Lumber Room.

_________________________________________

 

THE PLEASURE GROUNDS

 

Surround the House, are tastefully laid out, and comprise ‑ Fl, ower Garden, Lawn and Shrubheries, intersected by Pleasant and Shady Walk., and bounded by the New River.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Stabling and Coach House Premises

 

 

Adjoin the House, and comprise Three Stall Stable, and Loose Box, Harness Room, arid Coach House,

wilh Two Rooms and Loft over.

 

THE KITCHEN GARDEN

 

ls well ,stocked with Fruit Trees, and adjoins the East Reservoir of the New River Company, and herein is a

 

GARDENER'S COTTAGE

containing Four Rooms

PARTICULARS OF THE LANDS AND PREMISES

.

Acres Roods Perches

House, Lawn, and Pleasure Grounds 2 1 12

Kitchen Garden, and Cottage 0 2 28 --------------------------------------

 

TOTAL. ACRES 3 0 0

-------------------------------------

Modern Note.

1 perch = 5 yards square = 30 square yards

16 square perches = 1 rood

4 roods = 1 acre

The estate is in the occupation of the Representatives, of the late R. STAGG, Esq., under Lease originally granted for a Term of 21 years, from 25th March, 1862, determinable by the Lessee at the end of tile first 7, 10, or 14 Years, the Lessee paying all Rates and Taxes, at the moderate Rent of 155 0 0

 

Held by the Vendor for a Term of 98 Year, from 25th March. I 837, of whicl, Term 60 Years were

unexpired at Lady Day last, at a Rent of .45 0 0

IMPROVED ANNUAL RENT ... ... ... 110 0 0

 

 

GENERAL MEMORANDA AND REMARKS.

 

The Quantities and descriptions given in those Particulars are believed to be correct and shall be taken as such by the Purchaser.

 

The Properly is sold subject to all Easements, and to any Rights that the New River Company may have over the ground immediately adjoining the New River, and m tile Lessee's Might, under this Lease.

 

The strip of Land 30 ft. wide, from :1 to It ,it the plan, with Forcing Pits, &c., thereon, has been and is still occupied by the Lessee, but it is not included in his Lease, or in the Lease under which the Vendor holds, or in the present Sale. In the Plan upon the last‑nu`uti oned Lease, it is decscribed as "Carriage Road from Lordship Road to Bridge," and the present Purchaser will only be entitled to such Right of Way, or other interest in it, as the Vendor possesses.

 

 

1 perch = 5 feet

Note. 16 square perches = 1 rood

4 roods = 1 acre

 

KEITH PLEASE PUT THE WHOLE OF THE DOCUMENT IN ONE OR MORE FRAME

 

 

Clearly this was a substantial property, where a wealthy family could live in comfort on the edge of the country and yet be within easy distance of the City of London.

RIVER HOUSE 3

 

 

1868 Ordnance Survey

Saved as 1868 wd pri right

 

KEITH THE FINSBURY PARK MAP TO THE LEFT DOES NOT SEEM AVAILABLE. SO THIS PIECE WILL HAVE TO DO. LATER MAPS CAN BE JOINED

 

PERHAPS YOU CAN FIND THE COMPLETE 1968 ELSEWHERE

 

The Site of Woodberry Down Primary School in 1868

Saved as 1868 woodberry Down Pri

 

In those days the Manor Road was the important road linking the Manor House area to Church Street and so opening up the estate for development. Manor Road did not join Seven Sisters Road, as it does today, but turned left along woodberry Grove to Green Lanes. Seven Sisters Road had been built but very few houses had been built along it. This was still farmland, supplying milk and hay to London.

 

This could have been a typical Woodberry Down scene.

It is a wood engraving which illustrated a dairy farm in East Finchley, but could equally well have been about a Stoke Newington one.

There was a thatched cottage at the bend in Manor Road on the modern shopping centre site.

..

The Woodberry Down Thatched Cottage

Saved as 1868 thatched cottage.jpg

FIND BEWICK OF THATCHED FARM

LINK TO SAMUEL BUTLER AND THE UPSIDE DOWN ROOF and Back

At one time most of the houses in Stoke Newington must have been thatched cottages like this, but most had been swept away long before 1868. This was a lone survivor.

There is one amusing story worth telling, about the roof that was put on upside down.

Samuel Butler, the Victorian writer, photographer, wrote the two utopias Erehwon and Erehwon Revisited. He was the son of a bishop and, as a young man, he wanted to get away from his father, so he went to New Zealand, which became the setting for Erehwon. There he bought a small sheep farm, but he was much more interested in producing plays in the local town than sheep raising, so he asked others to build him a house. It was a very simple house like the one in the picture above. The friends who built the house were amateurs. Instead of starting by tying in the bundles of thatch from the bottom and working upwards, they started at the top and worked downwards. This meant that the ends of the pieces of straw making the thatch pointed upwards instead if being protected by the straw above. The rain ran straight down into the house, like water though thousands of drinking straws.

 

1894 Ordnance Survey

Saved as 1894 wd pri left.jpg

 

 

The Site of Woodberry Down Primary School in 1894

Saved as 1894 Wooberry Down Pri

1894 Ordnance Survey

Saved as 1894 wd pri right

++JOIN THESE TWO1894 MAPS, CROP AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE AND SAVE AS 1894 wd pri

By 1984 there were large houses all along Seven Sisters Road. Tramlines ran along the centre of Seven Sisters Road to Stamford Hill and |Finsbury Park. The future Woodberry Down Primary School site was a large garden running along Manor Road, with the houses at one end and what was probably a stable or a gardener’s cottage at the other.

The whole area was covered with houses. Woodberry Down had been extended all the way to Bethune Road, with houses on only one side of the road and stretching down to the reservoir. It joined Bethune Road

 

1912 wd primary left

1912 wd primary left

 

2

saved as 1913 wd primary right

 

PLEASE JOIN THE TWO MAPS AND CROP and save as !912-3 wd primary final

 

1930 London County Council map

Saved as 1930 wd pri

 

 

KEITH WILL YOU PLEASE FIND A 1930S MAP OF THE SAME AREA.AND SUBSTITUTE IT. THIS LCC ONE SHOWS ONLY A FEW TOKEN HOUSES.

 

1939-45 Bombing Map

Uses of the Bombing Map on this website

Saved as WD +STA bomb map

 

THESE MAPS HAVE BEEN JOINED. IS IT POSSIBLE TO MATCH THE RESERVOIR COLOURS PLEASE?

 

KEITH PLEASE FIND A MAP OF THE AREA OF ABOUT 1956 OR EARLIER WHICH IS OUT OF COPYRIGHT. I WANT TO SHOW THE NEW FLATS AND WOODBERRY DOWN SCHOOL.

 

Later Maps

 

Ordnance Survey maps are copyright for 50 years, so all their maps which have been printed so far are out of copyright. Schools will have permission to use later ones and to print them for educational use. Thus they can extend this sequence of maps.

Note to Schools

The 1962 O.S. map shows that the Woodberry Down Estate flats had been completed. Woodberry Down Junior School building is shown, but there is only a cleared site in Woodberry Grove, to the north of the East Reservoir, where Woodberry Down Comprehensive School would be built. The Junior School was built, as I remember it, in 1951 and is on the 1962 map. The Secondary Comprehensive School does not appear, yet we had opened in 1955. This illustrates how maps can be years behind the actual condition on the ground.

In 2009 Woodberry Down Estate is being rebuilt. Woodberry Down Comprehensive School has been largely demolished and new flats are to be built on the site. One block of 1950s flats in Woodberry Grove has been demolished and will be replaced as part of a rolling programme of renewal, so this History of the Site will need repeated alterations and additions as the years go by. Nothing ever stands still.