BL-SNS sites 1868-1914


1868 Ordnance Survey





By 1868 this part of Stoke Newington had been developed as an area for wealthy and well-to do people who could live in clean air, far from their factories and businesses in the City of London . Albion Road and Clissold Road had been lined with large houses, while the houses along Church Street, facing Clissold Park, was a veritable ‘Millionaires' Row'.

The coloured area on the1868 map is where Betty Layward School would be built 132 years later.





The Environs of Betty Layward and Stoke Newington School sites in 1889

Charles Booth and How People of London Were Housed in 1889

1889 Booth Map Descriptive of London Poverty



Wealthy (three or more servants; houses rated £100 or more)

Well to do (one or two servants)

Working class comfort

Comfort mixed with poverty

Standard poverty

Very poor

The lowest grade


Charles Booth (not to be confused with General Booth of the Salvation Army) was a wealthy business man who refused to believe that a million Londoners lived in 'great poverty', as radical politicians claimed. He started a long survey to prove them wrong, the first really carefu1 survey of how people lived and worked. Booth divided people into eight groups H-A, but coloured in his maps in seven colours ranging from 'Wealthy' to 'The Lowest Class' as follows: -



The information was collected by teams of people who interviewed the local clergy, police, teachers, and others with particular knowledge of the local areas. One of the main sources of information was the School Board Visitors. Their original qualification was the ability to run faster than the children, and so catch truants, but they became far more than that, compiling unrivalled local knowledge. It was their duty to visit every house in every street and make notes on each family with children of school age. They began a few years before the children reached school age and continued until the last child in the family had left.


Booth published coloured maps of the streets of London showing their status. The major colours for London were Blue (Standard Poverty) with a great concentration of Yellow in Kensington and the West End . There is very little Yellow anywhere else, but this part of Stoke Newington was an exception.


Stoke Newington in general was a prosperous area. There were a few small pockets of poverty in Edwards Lane and other corners, but very few. This section of this map was very prosperous indeed, full of Yellow and Red houses, all with servants living in. Even the new houses being built at that time along Clissold Crescent were coloured Red and Pink (a mixture of Wealthy and Working Class Comfort). The latter were the foremen and skilled craftsmen, ‘the non-commissioned officers of the industrial army.'


The Willows

‘The Willows' was the end house at the corner of Church Street and Clissold Crescent (then called Park Street ). The house looked over Clissold Park and the bridge where the New River passed under Church Street and its gardens stretched the full length of Clissold Crescent . It was a truly splendid estate, bordered almost all round by trees, enclosed and private.

The Sale Plan of the Willows Estate.

It was sold when Mr. Alexander died in 1891

The house and garden are coloured blue and the paddocks pink. A straight roadway leads across lot 2 from Park Lane to the stables and greenhouses. This area later became the start of the Industrial area.

Besides the Willows, Mr. Alexander owned all the other coloured properties on the sale map. We shall be concerned particularly with Lot 13, Thistleton House.

Thistleton House

This was an early house in Clissold Road and is now the site of the modern Mosque. It was on a small triangular site in Clissold Road , but had a narrow passageway leading to an enormous garden behind. The Thistleton House garden stretched up behind the Clissold Road houses for no fewer than sixteen houses. It was a very large garden indeed and completely secluded. Because of the position of the Willows Estate, the first eight Clissold Road houses had to have curious curved gardens, which still persist.


Lot 13, Thistleton House on the 1891 Sale plan.

Thistleton House stood at the end of Clissold Road . By this time the long row of Clissold Road houses had been built but they did not go quite to the end. There was an odd triangular piece at the corner because the pink paddock cut off the corner. The corner of this paddock, which had been screened from Albion Road by a dense thicket of trees, would later hold the shops, a cinema and many houses in Clissold Crescent and Carysfort Road .

A hundred years later, Thistleton House garden and a piece further up, became the site of Betty Layward Primary School . Just as a reminder of where it all started, here is the sale description of Thistleton House and garden.

Photograph of the 1891 Sale Document


1894 Ordnance Survey


Only three years after the Willows Sale, houses were being built along Clissold Crescent , with a gap left for the entrance to a future Carysfort Road . The ‘Millionaire's Row' houses in Church Street still had their long gardens but the owners must have been becoming uneasy at all this building preparation.



By 1914 the whole of the Willows Estate land had been built on and Carysfort Road was complete. Two short roads leading off Carysfort Road were lined with factories but there were still trees on the rest of the land. The Albion Parade shopping Centre had been completed and a small Cinema opened behind the shops. The entrance is now the betting shop and the cinema itself is part of the Mosque.


END OF 1868-1914









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