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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This building still stands on Seven Sister's Road just near the end of Overbury Road, but it's lost it's steeple.

I particularly liked the detail showing of how ornate the tram wire holders were.

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Tags (All lower case. Use " " for multiple word tags): woodberry down
Albums: Historical Images of Manor House / Woodberry Down

Comment by StephenBln on April 23, 2016 at 10:44

Was head hunted around 1961 to join the Sunday Morning Children's Club here.. Only ever went the once.

Talking of which, does anyone have a definitive answer: Was it originally Woodberry Town and not Down. I've seen both names used. One must be a spelling mistake..?

Comment by Hugh on April 23, 2016 at 10:49

It was definitely Woodberry Down. A map as early as 1844 shows the name in use before many of the grand old houses were built. However, some early maps also show Woodbury Down. So go figure!

Comment by Hugh on April 23, 2016 at 10:52

On the spelling issue, I noticed recently that the earliest map I've seen of the area that's now Vale Road, by Hermitage Road, showed the house by the elbow of that road as "Dale House". On a slightly later map it had become "Vale House". Who knows which one was correct, or were both and perhaps the name was changed.

Comment by StephenBln on April 23, 2016 at 11:24

Regarding the tram traction poles. These were the original M.E.T ones erected on electrification in 1904. They were to be found on all routes, Green Lanes, Seven Sisters Road (from Finsbury Park), as well as, Tottehnham High Road, Fore Street. They were situated in the middle of the road and caused many accidents, so that it was decided to replace them around 1910/11, by traction poles on the sidewalks.. I say that, because I'm not sure if there were pavements everywhere at that time.

The poles can also be a good way of dating photos.

Comment by StephenBln on April 23, 2016 at 11:57

Hugh, you are aware, that Woodberry Down (Town) is an older thoroughfare than Seven Sisters Road, which was only opened in the 1830s?

Woodberry Down was a settlement that crossed Green Lanes at today's Manor House Junction and 'The Walk' in Finsbury Park was originally part of that settlement. Look on a map and you'll see it's a straight line Woodberry Down > The Walk.

In this 1887 view of a stream tram 'Woodberry Town' is on the sideboards of via points. I've always assumed that Woodberry Town was the ancient name, which became Down, due to how it was spoken.

This D>T shift is common in Germanic Languages i.e.Teutons = Deutsche, Tuesday = Dienstag etc.,

Comment by Hugh on April 23, 2016 at 12:34

I'm aware that Woodberry Down pre-existed Seven Sisters Road, yes. As to the road that continued north west after the Manor House junction, every map I've seen shows it as 'Hornsey Wood Lane', which makes sense since it went to Hornsey Wood House.

Excerpt from 1869 OS map

I've just started to try and find out a bit more about Woodberry Down and I haven't found anything that refers to it as a settlement prior to the building of the early/mid Victorian villas. If you have a reference for me on that, I'd be very grateful. Likewise with 'The Walk'. Can you link me to where that comes from please.

The earliest reference I have to the history of the name so far is from a 1734 map of the demesene lands of Stoke Newington Manor. It shows Wood Berry Downs Meadow. Next to it it shows South Berry Meadow and North Berry Meadow. The common name here obviously was 'Berry'. Fascinatingly for me, ancestry.co.uk seems to think that 'berry' would have referred a 'fortified manor house'. So, whether by intention or accident, it seems that London Underground's naming of the tube station as Manor House wasn't far off the mark.

With regards to the other part of the name, 'down', my understanding is that it refers to an area of rolling, grassy, treeless upland used for grazing.

Up till this point I've been happy with the background outlined above offering an explanation to the etymology of Woodberry Down. But I'm always learning and eager to revise my thinking if in the light of new information.

As to the steam tram - fascinating. I never knew such a thing even existed. It looks quite preposterous. I'm assuming that you have a bigger version of the picture as I can't make out any words form the one on the summerhill site you link to.

Comment by Richard Woods on April 30, 2016 at 0:10

Was Hornsey Wood House the 'manor house' for the area? If so could that point towards the usage Manor House just up the road for the pub and then the station?

Comment by Hugh on April 30, 2016 at 1:36

Yes, Richard, that's one possibility. Hornsey Wood House was built near the site of Copt Hall which was the manor house for Brownswood Manor. Uptill recently I'd thought that the pub had taken its name from this. However it was on the lands of Stoke Newington Manor. So I'm not sure which of the two manors was the root, or indeed if either was. Down on Church Street there was a school called Manor School (where Edgar Allen Poe was a scholar). It may just have been the case that  prefixing 'Manor' to an institution was perceived as endowing respectability. We'll probably never know. 

Comment by Richard Woods on April 30, 2016 at 16:53

Excuse but when did Poe come to Britain? He was adopted and stayed with his adoptive parents in Boston until adulthood I think or is that thought :-)

Comment by Hugh on April 30, 2016 at 17:19

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