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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Wood Green Obelisk | Monument to Victorian Anti-Slavery & Animal Rights Campaigner, c1905

The image shows Bounds Green Road.

The "monument' in the image is a memorial drinking fountain. Erected in 1879, it originally stood in the middle of the road a little further to the south at the junction with Park Avenue. It was moved in 1904 to accommodate new tram routes.

The main inscription on east face reads 'Erected in affectionate remembrance of Mrs Catherine Smithies of Earlham Grove, Wood Green, Founder of the Band of Mercy Movement, and presented by her family and friends for the use of the public'.

The stone forming the obelisk is twenty-one feet in length. In 1879 it was the longest single cut stone in London, with the exception Cleopatra's Needle on the Thames Embankment. Made of polished granite, it was quarried from the Penryn quarries of Freeman and Sons, in Cornwall.

As well as being the founder of the Band of Mercy Movement, Catherine Smithies (1794- 1877) was an anti-slavery activist and a campaigner for temperance. The Band of Mercy Movement was established to educate children about animal welfare and was a precursor to the RSPCA. It was formed whilst Ms Smithies lived at the nearby Woodside House (called Earlham Grove House at the time).

The memorial still stands today, and although it now looks smaller than the one in this image, that's just a trick of the eye and they are one and the same.

Below is a picture which accompanied an article published when the monument was first erected.

This piece from the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette on 26 November 1879 reported the formal arrival of the memorial.

The next image shows a picture of Catherine Smithies published in 1878 (shortly after her death).

This last image shows the scene, I imagine, shortly before the monument was moved.

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Tags (All lower case. Use " " for multiple word tags): Woodside House, bounds green road obelisk
Albums: Historical Images of Wood Green (1 of 2)(F)

Comment by Hugh on February 13, 2018 at 21:57

Here's a further illustration of the Obelisk to accompany an article about it's 'opening'. (Click picture for full size)

As Google Maps shows, the building on the right is still standing.

Comment by Hugh on March 28, 2018 at 12:12

I've just added another Edwardian photo of Bounds Green Road and the monument here.

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