The John Rocque 1741 Map

The 1741 John Rocque map shows the small villages of Stoke Newington and Newington Green in a landscape of meadows, with the New River snaking through it. Rocque shows his hills by vertical shading lines: the closer the lines, the steeper the hill. This was the start of our contour line system of map making, but of course it was very vague. It was still halfway between a picture and a map. The only real contour line on this map is the path of the New River. It had to follow the contour because water will not run up hill.

These shaded hills allow us to remember that the land is not flat. In the country, hills and valleys are obvious, but in town, with the land covered with houses, we tend to forget the hills, until we become old and hills become a burden. This map shows that Stoke Newington rises steadily from Newington Green in the south, to the ridge at the Tottenham (now Harringey) border at Manor House in the north. Rocque shaded this ridge on both sides. The ridge is why the New River had to snake so far east before it could break through and continue south.

The map shows Church Street joining Stoke Newington High Street and Green Lanes, with houses on both sides. Some of these houses are still there and are fine examples of the building of the time. The rest of Stoke Newington was farm land and tile pits, The Reservoirs had not yet been built.

John Rocque shows a countryside with very large fields. These are not accurate as comparison with the 1734 Estate map and Milne's map of 1800 show.