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Hornsey (St. Mary)

HORNSEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Edmonton, Finsbury division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex, 6 miles (N. by W.) from London; containing 5937 inhabitants. The manor of Hornsey, anciently called Haringay, has from a remote period belonged to the see of London. The parish comprises 2362 acres; comprehending, besides its own village, the hamlets of Muswell Hill, Crouch-End, and part of Highgate. The village is agreeably situated in a vale, through which the New River passes, and is enriched by hills commanding varied and beautiful views of London and the adjoining country; it contains many detached villas with gardens and pleasure-grounds, and is one of the most agreeable places of residence, or occasional resort, in the vicinity of the metropolis. Lands held under the lord of the manor descend according to the custom of gavelkind, in common to all the sons or daughters of a customary tenant. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £22; net income, £493; patron, the Bishop of London. The church, consisting of a nave, aisles, and western tower, was rebuilt of brick coloured to imitate stone, in the early English style, in 1833, with the exception of the lower part of the tower: the former edifice is said to have been built about the year 1500. An additional church was some years ago erected at Highgate (which see): there is a small neat chapel at Crouch-End; and a district church has lately been built at Muswell-Hill, which is dedicated to St. James, and is in the gift of the Bishop. At Crouch-End is also a place of worship for Baptists. Several bequests have been made for charitable purposes. At Muswell-Hill was a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Muswell, much resorted to by pilgrims before the Reformation, on account of a mineral spring called Mousewell, or Muswell, famed for the supposed miraculous cure of a king of Scotland, and still in repute for its medicinal properties. The chapel was an appendage to the priory of Clerkenwell; and the manor of Muswell, though locally in the parish of Hornsey, is subordinate to that of Clerkenwell.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.