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Hornsey, Middlesex

Historical Description

Hornsey, a metropolitan suburb and a parish in Middlesex. The suburb stands in a pleasant valley, on the New river, and on the G.N. main line, on which it has a station, 5¼ miles NNW of St Paul's, London; was known at Domes-day as Haringe, and afterwards as Harringay; forms now a favourite retreat of London citizens; includes many villa residences; lies within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan police, and is in the metropolitan northern suburban postal district. The parish contains also Crouch End, Fortis Green, Muswell Hill, Finsbury Park and Harringay, Stroui Green, and part of Highgate. The Local Government Act of 1858 was adopted for Hornsey in 1867, and the parish is now divided into two districts, each with a local board of its own, named respectively Hornsey and South Hornsey. The area of the entire parish is 3012 acres of land and 27 of watery population, 61, 097. The manor belonged from time immemorial to the bishops of London. An ancient palace of the bishops is supposed to have stood on Lodge Hill, and a park connected with it was the place where the Duke of Gloucester and other noblemen assembled, in 1386, to form a league against the favourites of Richard II., and where the youthful Edward V. and the victorious Henry VII. were met by trains of citizens to conduct them into the city. Hornsey Wood House, about a mile to the S, long noted as a place of refreshment and amusement, has been taken down, and the site of it with about 100 acres of adjoining land taken to form Finsbury Park. A range of hills goes through the parish, and they have on their N side several feeders of the Colne, while near their top, adjacent to the railway, is the New Alexandra Park with the Alexandra Palace. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London; net value, about, £400. Patron, the Bishop of London. The old parish church, now disused, was rebuilt with the exception of the old ivy-covers! tower in 1832, and is a building of brick and stone in the Gothic style. The new church, which stands on a site immediately adjoining the east-end of the old church, is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style. The churchyard has some fine trees and shrubs, and in the old church there is a monument to Samuel Rogers, banker and poet, who died in 1855. The ecclesiastical district of Holy Innocents was formed in 1877. The church, erected in 1877, is a building of brick in the Gothic style. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of London, of the net value of £350, in the gift of the Bishop of London. The vicarages of Crouch End, Muswril Hill, Brownswood Park, and Stroud Green are separate benefices, and the district of South Hornsey is ecclesiastically subdivided, and attached to the parishes of All Saints, St Faith, and St Matthias, Stoke Newington. There are Baptist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The population of the ecclesiastical parishes and districts of Hornsey is of the mother parish of St Mary, 13, 658; Holy Innocents, 5488-; All Saints, Highgate, 4741; Christchurch, Crouch End, 4886; St James, Muswell Hill, 1727; St John, Brownswood Park, 9047; and Holy Trinity, Stroud Green, 8554. The foregoing are all in Hornsey, but the following are partly in London, and the returns are for the portions in Hornsey only-St Michael, Highgate, 2892; All Saints, Stoke Newington, 228; St Faith, Stoke Newington, 4397; and St Matthias, Stoke Newington, 5479. The South Hornsey Local Board offices consist of a building of brick and stone in the Classic style, to which is attached a surveyor's house, engine house, and mortuary. The Hornsey Local Board have a valuable sanitary depot, erected in 1887-88, at a cost of over £13, 000. They have also an isolation hospital, erected in 1889, for the reception of persons suffering from infectious diseases. The Priory is a fine mansion, standing in well-wooded grounds at the foot of Mnswell Hill. Bishop West-field was rector, and Lightfoot the Hebraist, Newland the Bank of England cashier, and Moore the poet, were residents. Moore is said to have written here his well-known Eastern poem "Lalla Rookh."

Hornsey Parliamentary Division of Middlesex was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 77, 744. The division includes Finsbury (part of)-Finchley, Hornsey (including South Hornsey).

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Ecclesiastical parishHornsey St. Mary 
Poor Law unionEdmonton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hornsey from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.


Online maps of Hornsey are available from a number of sites:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Fortis Green
Muswell Hill
CountyGreater London
Postal districtN8
Post TownLondon