Octavia Hill had a network of allies, so her help to save the wood was invaluable.

The Metropolitan Gardens Society, set up in 1882, had laid out about two hundred small gardens in city centres by 1890, which they later handed over to the Local Authorities, so their support for the Churchyard Bottom Wood Appeal was assured from the start.

The Kyrle Society is forgotten now, but in its day had great influence on town planning and open space legislation. The Society had been set up about 1875 for 'the Diffusion of Beauty', to bring colour and interest into the lives of people living in dull, drab surroundings. Bright colour to walls and decoration, good singing, open spaces, Nature, Literature and Art. All these fell within the Society's remit.

There was a Decorative Branch, for whom William Morris lectured; a Musical Branch to promote choirs and Happy Evenings for people in local school buildings; and a Literature Branch. This appealed regularly by letters in The Times, to 'the richer classes' for books and periodicals to be distributed to boys' and girls' clubs, almshouses and elsewhere. However the Open Spaces Committee was the most active. The very name 'Kyrle' came from Pope's The Man of Ross, the philanthropist who gave his birthplace to the people as a public park.

Sir Robert Hunter 1844-1913


The bas relief of Mr R.H.Williams on the Crouch End Clock Tower



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