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INTRODUCTION
HIGH CROSS MONUMENT
TOTTENHAM LIBRARY
THE BRITISH LEGION now own this house.
HIGH CROSS GIRLS SCHOOL
THE PALACE THEATRE OF VARIETIES TOTTENHAM
CHARLTON HOUSE 581 High Road Tottenham
LANCASTER HOUSE 583 High Road Tottenham
TOTTENHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY
BLUE SCHOOL
MOSELLE HOUSE
TOTTENHAM BAPTIST CHURCH
MOORE HOUSE
WARMINGTON HOUSE
TOTTENHAM AND EDMONTON DISPENSARY
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FOOTBALL CLUB
DIAL HOUSE
NORTHUMBERLAND TERRACE
HOLLY HOUSE 810 High Road Tottenham

 

INTRODUCTION

This site is to show the building treasures that still exist in Tottenham, London. I would like to thank all the staff at the Bruce Castle Museum for all the help they have given me, for without their help and the use of the archives stored at the museum this site would not be as knowledgeable as it is.

The area now called Tottenham grew up as a ribbon development along the High Road, which was previously a Roman Road, called called Ermine Street.

Tottenham was a rural village until the late 19th century, and the significant number of surviving substantial 18th century town houses along the High Street indicates that the area was much favoured by City merchants during the early Georgian period. In the early 18th century that famous writer Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame, wrote that Tottenham High Road was continuously being built up.

For this site we will focus on the area from High Cross Monument along the High Road to the borders with Edmonton.
 

HIGH CROSS MONUMENT

Many people wrongly think that this monument was built to commemorate where the funeral cortege of Queen Eleanor in 1290 stopped on its way to London. However this site is now thought to be where the Romans placed a marker, when they were building the road. In time this marker was then replaced by a wooden structure and then eventually the stone monument that we see today. It was formally made of wood and in 1580 had four spurs to support it the pointed top was covered in lead. Apparently it had sundials on its west and south sides. In 1809 the cross was repaired and covered with cement in the form you see it today. After a period of time the monument began to lean. Later in the 1970ís when the surrounding roads were re-configured the Council took the opportunity to create an island for the Monument, it was then straightened, cleaned then lights were placed around to floodlight at night.
 

TOTTENHAM LIBRARY

Although this building is not as old as others, which I will be showing, I think that it has a place here as an example of late Victorian architecture built at the same time as the Municipal buildings in Town Hall Approach Road. It was built in a pleasing style, which added grandeur to the High Road. This was Tottenhamís largest library, which I remember using with fond affection. When the new library was built, the building was converted into flats in 1990 and called Library Court.
 

THE BRITISH LEGION now own this house.

These fine pair of houses were built in 1750 and bought by the British Legion after the First World War for a place for returned soldiers to meet in.
 

HIGH CROSS GIRLS SCHOOL

This fine building was built in 1848, there is a plaque on the north side which bears a carving which was originally on the Millhouse Almhouses, which was previously on this site. The Millhouse Company was later incorporated with the Drapers Almshouses and a magnificent parade of almshouses was built in Bruce Grove. These almshouses were restored in the 1970ís and are worth a visit.
The school closed down in 1980ís after been joined with the Gladesmore community school. The building has now been sensitively restored and houses many flats. The extensive school playing fields are now a Council housing estate. The wonderful Ď Felvusí hall a separate building on the High Road which housed the school assembly hall and science laboratories have now been sold by the Drapers Company to a church going by the splendid name of the Christ Apostolic Church.
 

THE PALACE THEATRE OF VARIETIES TOTTENHAM

This was built as a variety theatre in 1908, which with the advent of films it, turned into a cinema. When in the 70ís films were in decline it changed once again. This time re-inventing itself as a Bingo hall. Then again the building became disused when in its turn Bingo went into decline. The building was empty for a number of years, gradually falling into disrepair. The owners, Mecca then decided to sell. Many different organisations were interested in purchasing the building; the final successful bid went to a church. The church is now competing with many other churches in the immediate vicinity, one next door and another immediately behind. So perhaps it will not be too long before the building is once again up for change of use.
 

CHARLTON HOUSE 581 High Road Tottenham

This small delightful house with a side extension is now a Doctors surgery. The original house was built in 1750, it was built for a wealthy family. In Georgian times this part of Tottenham was popular with people of substantial means. Many Quakers settled in this immediate area as there is a Quaker meeting house with a burial ground just over the road. The meeting house is now behind a small parade of shops, but is still in daily use. The burial ground is still there, but no funerals have taken place here for many years.
 

LANCASTER HOUSE 583 High Road Tottenham

This house with 585 is a grand pair of 4 bay houses, dating 1720. Both of these houses were granted a large sum of money by Haringey Council to restore the beautiful gates and railings to the front garden. The owners took this opportunity to relay the garden to give presence to the houses.
 

TOTTENHAM GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY

This impressive building was put up in stages around the turn of the Century and completed in 1914.

This was an impressive terrace, which housed showrooms and offices, where residents could purchase their coal supplies, which would then be delivered to their door. Bills could be paid here for both gas and electricity. Also you could purchase new gas stove etc. In the 1970ís the building was bought by Haringey Council and houses offices. The building is now being further altered. The showrooms, which have impressive windows and entrances, are to become a Centre where residents can call in to register their problems with any of the Council Services.
 

BLUE SCHOOL

This is the Blue School, this school is thought to have got its name from the distinctive colour of the uniform worn by the girls who attended the school.
This school was originally built by public subscription; this was the earliest charity school in Tottenham founded in 1735. This building was replaced in 1833 by the present building, which was enlarged in 1876, by unsympathetic first floor extension at the back. The school closed in the 1930ís. The back extension then became a dress factory and the front was converted, in my estimation, badly, into a row of tawdry shops. Thankfully these shops are closed, the site boarded prior to restoration.

 

MOSELLE HOUSE

As far as we can ascertain this house was built in 1714.
I have been able to access more information about this house than any other in the street thanks to previous research by an unknown person.
I was most surprised to find out that at one time it was a school kept by the Misses Lindsey as an establishment for Ď young ladiesí
This house lies well back from the road with a shared carriage drive. The reason for this house and the house next door laying so far back from the road is because the Moselle stream runs in front of the house, this stream is now culverted and out of sight. The house is well proportioned and has a proud plaque stating its name for all to see. Unlike many other houses in the High Road the entrance is on the side in Church Road. Internally the house retains most of its decorative plaster ceiling features, plus the windows still have internal wooden shutters.
 

TOTTENHAM BAPTIST CHURCH

Joseph Fletcher built this church in 1825; it has an imposing frontage of 4 Doric Columns, which are apparently made out of single blocks of stone with another block for the capital. The church was restored in the 1990ís and is now floodlight at nighttime. A visit to the church to see the unusual style of the interior is a must. With its upstairs gallery running round the inside on three sides of the church makes me wonder if Mr Fletcher had visited other religious establishments before he started to build The inside of this church resembles many of the synagogues that I have visited.
 

MOORE HOUSE

This house forms part of a terrace and is now flats and offices. The front of the building still has the impressive rainwater head, dated 1817. At the end of this terrace is an imposing house owned by Windsor and Co Solicitors, they have been in residence for more than 100 years. I have been inside this building and it still contains many of its original features.
 

WARMINGTON HOUSE

This house was built in 1828; it is shadowed by the building next door, which was built immediately onto it, jutting out approximately 30feet, and in my opinion spoils the look of the house. Tottenham Hotspurs now owns this house. They have plans to re-develop this part of the High Road, I hope that their plans will in someway restore this house to its previous prominence. This house in my opinion should have Blue Plaque on it, as this is the house that J.A.Prestwich was born in. The building that was the factory where Mr Prestwich produced his famous motor cycles is still in existence nearby in Tarriff Road.
 

TOTTENHAM AND EDMONTON DISPENSARY

This building was erected to serve the poor with medical advice and medicine. A committee was set up and the local Vicar chaired the meetings. At one time Dr Laseron was involved, about that time he was actively raising funds to build a hospital at Tottenham Green, which became known as the Prince of Wales.
The building is now locally listed because of its history also due to the fact that it has a fine stone ground floor entrance enriched by a Doric door case which echo the Tottenham Baptist church opposite.
 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FOOTBALL CLUB

Although this building is not as old as the buildings alongside it has an interesting shape with a prominent clock. Astride the clock is a golden cockerel.
When I was Mayor in 1998 I gave Bill Nicholson the Freedom of the Borough and we named the road alongside the building after him, Bill Nicholson Way.
 

DIAL HOUSE

The Haringey Council restored this house, unfortunately in the restoration they removed all the outstanding fireplaces and plasterwork, this house now houses students.
The house gets its name from the large sundial bearing the date 1691 on its south side gable. The house was built in 1691 by Moses Trulock, a city soap manufacturer. The Trulock family owned the building right up until the 1830s.
 

NORTHUMBERLAND TERRACE

This is a fine terrace of houses, some of which have been unsympathetically restored inside, although from the outside they still look imposing. This terrace was built on land where previously stood some medieval mansions. One of which was called Percy House. Percy house has magnificent gate piers and railings, which are entirely baroque, set of by a wonderful gate. The gate piers have been thought to be part of the original Black House. The Black House (where it is alleged Henry VIII some times stayed). In 1749 Sir Hugh Smithson became the Duke of Northumberland, that is where the name of the terrace. comes from. In 1752, Robert Plimpton built the terrace. No 796 is the grandest with a fine doorway and portico.
 

HOLLY HOUSE 810 High Road Tottenham

Now we come to one of the pair of houses that first started me on this project of Historic Tottenham.

810 (Holly House) and its partner 808 were built c1715-20 and are outstanding early examples of a pair of symmetrical houses flanked by coach house wings. As Grade 2* listed buildings they rank amongst the 6% most important buildings listed nationally. No 808 has been repaired to a high standard and recently won a Georgian Group award.
The grouping of these two houses is such that they mirror each other. The fenestration suggests that the pair was meant to appear as one large house. Narrow windows are placed at each end, while blind windows embellish the central shared wall. The interior has been greatly vandalised, but must have originally had panelled doors, ovolo panelling in some rooms, etc. The fireplaces and the panelling have long gone to the vandals, and are most likely gracing some ones country house.

The Haringey Building Preservation Trust has this house as its number one restoration priority and hopefully with the help of the Haringey Council and English Heritage and other interested parties, this house will shortly be fully restored to its former beauty. Then will come intense discussion as to what role the house will then take on.