Shorter Walks – 2019

11 February 2019

Clerkenwell : a walk led by Philip Messent

From Barbican tube to Farringdon, taking in gorgeous churches, the remains of a medieval abbey, an ancient hospital, the eponymous well, and a meat market! Yesterday Philip took the Shorter Walks Group on a wonderful historic tour of Clerkenwell which was like stepping into a Dickens novel & beyond. We had it all with a monastery, priory & nunnery; site where Braveheart was hung, drawn & quartered; prison known for its treadmill & harsh regime and one of the worst slums in London where drunken men & women ‘wallowed in filth’. Not for the faint hearted but we survived! Thanks Philip!

Text by Alison Miller; images by Julian Osley and Alison Miller.

28 January 2019

Luvvies Laughter and the Lido : a walk led by Oonagh Gay

On a freezing cold but bright day, with very blue skies, we set off from outside Hornsey Town Hall, up Crouch Hill to Cecile Park to see Kestrel House, originally Cecile House, that was the original home of Mountview Theatre School, not far from the former Hornsey School of Art. Then along to the former Park Chapel, now home to recording studios and the Mount Zion Cathedral.

At Weston Park we heard about the Clock Tower erected in honour Henry Reader Williams, a local politician who did so much to preserve the green spaces from development in the area. We then sheltered on the steps of The Queens and heard of its history and saw the lovely stained glass for which it is famous. Further along Tottenham Lane we looked at the former Salvation Army Citadel, now The ArtHouse cinema and the YMCA opposite. Then to Park Road and Topsfield Road which featured in an early Madness video. We heard about Maynard (the pub and the road – now Park Road) and the history of Crouch End’s gentrification – and the coffee shop culture which started at Banners. Along the way I noted the many original cast iron street signs high on the buildings along The Broadway and Tottenham Lane as well as an interesting paving slab in Elmfield Avenue (see HHS newsletter 150 of March 2017 for the history of Aberdeen Adamant).


For anyone interested in a walking history of Crouch End I would recommend Crouch End – Four Walks available from Hornsey Historical Society. Similar guides on Hornsey and Muswell Hill are also available.

Edited from text kindly supplied by Lesley Ramm

14 January 2019

River Lea healthy walk : Tottenham Hale to Ponders End – led by Sally Geeve

We had a good turnout of twenty eight members for the first of the year Short Walks from Tottenham Hale to Ponders End along the Lea.Shaking off the Christmas lethargy, we walked the river path through sometimes semi-industrial, sometimes very rural, landscapes, taking in herons, cormorants and drifting swans – scenes so tranquil that we forgot we were in London until the giant IKEA sign loomed on the horizon and we realised we were quite close to the North Circular. The Ponders End Harvester was a welcome sight at the end of this wintery walk.